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Randy Krum
President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization and Infographic Design

Infographic Design

Infographics Design | Presentations
Consulting | Data Visualizations

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Entries in blog (14)

Tuesday
Jan242012

The Cool Infographics 2011 Gallery...A Pinterest Experiment

 

Check out the Cool Infographics 2011 Gallery!  I’m trying an experiment using Pinterest to create a one-page, visual gallery of the infographics I post.  On this board I have pinned every post from the Cool Infographics blog from last year, and it makes a really nice, visual way to browse through the infographics I have shared.  One of the reasons I wanted to play around with Pinterest is that it displays the entire (sometimes very long) infographic, not just a square thumbnail like many galleries.

In general, I keep the 10 most current posts on the front page of the blog.  Once they scroll off the front page, of course their traffic and visibility drops off dramatically.  I’m looking for a way to create a live, growing gallery of the infographic images so these great examples of design can continue to be easily discovered.

Because infographics is, by definition, a visual media, I think people would be more likely to find examples they like and inspiration for their own type of design if there was a better way to browse.  I’m not sure that Pinterest is the answer yet, but it’s certainly worth trying.  On the down-side, I haven’t been able to integrate the Pinterest PinIt button into the blog along with the other social sharing buttons.  Their button doesn’t seem to work with the Squarespace platform I use for the blog.

I am absolutely looking for feedback, so please leave your thoughts in the comments.

Cheers!

Friday
Sep232011

The Blog Tree: New Growth infographic and Q&A

 

Eloqua and JESS3 have partnered again to design The Blog Tree: New Growth (building on the success of the original Blog Tree infographic project from last year).  The new version focuses on new blogs from the last few years (INCLUDING Cool Infographics!) and uses the Edelman BlogLevel as the scoring system (a ranking system I hadn’t heard of before). They are also using SlideShare.net as an embedded PDF viewer so you can interact with the clickable version that takes you to any of the blogs by clicking on any particular leaf.

 

The Blog Tree: New Growth
View more documents from Eloqua

 

 

A couple things worth mentioning about the project:

  • The clickable version is available on SlideShare.net or as a downloadable PDF file.
  • They are using Facebook photos in a unique way.  They are asking anyone interested in being a part of the next version to “Like” the Eloqua page and tag themselves in the image of this year’s Blog Tree.
  • They’ve added the concept of site badges this year for anyone listed on the tree.  From a content stance, this is a great way to encourage long-term links from influencial blogs.

 

From the Eloqua blog post:

We’re calling today’s visual is The Blog Tree: New Growth edition because it celebrates a very important group of bloggers. New ones.  All gene pools benefit from healthy DNA, and if the blogosphere is going to continue to evolve, it’s important that new voices are heard. The Blog Tree: New Growth cheers about 60 active, insightful blogs launched (or significantly re-engineered) after January 1, 2009.  It’s truly a collection of the freshest voices on the Web.

After combing through the feedback we received on the original Blog Tree, we made two significant changes in this version:

  1. Interactivity: Today’s infographic is interactive. Every leaf links to the corresponding blog. Interactivity was a popular request in the wake of last year’s visual, and when we shared a draft with the bloggers featured on the New Growth version, they too asked for it. The result is an infographic that fulfills its promise of making it easier for you to discover blogs we think you’ll love.

  2. (Much) Better Ranking System: Last year’s version looked only at Web traffic, and we received a bit of pushback on that ranking model. So we turned to one of the world’s most reliable sources of trust and influence: Edelman. We used Edelman’s BlogLevel tool as our sole data supplier because it gave us the most holistic view of each blog’s relative influence, popularity, engagement and trustworthiness.

 

I asked Joe Chernov, VP of Content Marketing at Eloqua, a few questions about the project:

Cool Infographics: You’ve partnered with JESS3 on a number of infographic projects now.  What do you see as the biggest benefit of designing infographics as online content?

Joe Chernov: Marketing today is all about having strong “fast twitch” muscles. It’s about creating content, lots and in rapid succession, that appeals to viewers with short attention spans. It’s a hell of a challenge, especially for a business-to-business technology company, like Eloqua, whose story typically takes a little longer to tell. The benefit of an infographic is that it’s like a Trojan Horse: The visual captures attention, giving the marketer time to convey a message.

Cool Infographics: What did you learn from the original Blog Tree that changed how this one was designed?

Joe Chernov: We learned what worked. It’s funny, in “post-mortem” meetings, companies often focus on what didn’t work. But it’s also important to inspect what did work. When we released the original Blog Tree, I hesitated. I thought people might accuse it of being too high concept or pandering. Neither accusation was made. My hope was that the public recognized that we put thought into the selection, that it was truly a meritocracy. So what we learned going into the New Growth edition is that the key to success was found in the quality of the curation. Sure there were some improvements that needed to be made at the margins. Using traffic as the sole metric was a ridiculous oversimplification — and one that was 100% my fault — and, as you pointed out insightfully, the leaves absolutely should link through to more content, preferably the blogs themselves. So we made those changes.

Cool Infographics: What would you tell companies considering infographics as part of their marketing strategy?

Joe Chernov: Respect the medium. Simply calling a bunch of Excel line graphs and bar charts an infographic doesn’t make it one. Stuff like this (http://blog.marketo.com/blog/2011/09/attention-b2b-marketers-embrace-the-mobile-web.html), I believe, damages the medium because it eliminates art and nuance, which are essential elements of a good infographic. Before we publish any infographic I ask myself, “What would David McCandless (http://www.davidmccandless.com/) say if he saw this? Would I be proud to show it to him?” Try to be an ambassador for the medium, because it’s under duress.

Cool Infographics: I had never heard of the Edelman BlogLevel before.  Why did you use that as your blog metric in the design?

Joe Chernov: We needed a better metric than the simple traffic data that we used to grade blogs in the original Blog Tree. Not only was that metric one-dimensional, it was also a poor measure of the quality of a new blog, which we were trying to highlight in the New Growth version we just released. After all, it takes a while to build up traffic to a blog. So we looked for a multidimensional blog “grader” from a trusted, independent source. Edelman and trust are synonymous, at least in the communications world. And their BlogLevel tool evaluates much more than traffic. It looks at engagement and the soft science of trust. I have also collaborated with David Armano, one of Edelman Digital’s leaders, in the past so I welcomed the chance to partner with him again.

Cool Infographics: In your opinion, why do blogs continue to be relevant online?

Joe Chernov: Because this is the era of transparency. Buyers want to know, really know, who they are doing business with. The blog, or at least should be, a window into the organization.

 

Also, check out Joe’s presentation about infographics that he gave at this year’s Content Marketing World conference, and available on SlideShare:

 

Infographics in 15 Minutes
View more presentations from Eloqua
Wednesday
May042011

Real Estate: Social Media Killed the Blog Star

 

Another good infographic from Fixr.com about the how the real estate industry is changing.  Social Medai Killed the Blog Star: Real Estate looks at how buyers are finding their information online and who are the most influential blogs and real estate people on Twitter.

I like the use of company logos and Twitter profile images.  I also like that all of the data is built-in to the pie charts and bar charts to make it easier for the readers to comprehend.

The side-by-side Top 10 lists are interesting, but because they’re based on different measurements (followers vs. Alexa page rank), the graphic should give the reader some context of how to compare the different values.  Why do these lists support the overall message that social media is more important than blogging?

Some major technical errors as well.  Pie chart percentages should ALWAYS add up to 100%.  The pie charts here add up to 71%, 99%, 91% and 100%, which means that the visual of the slice sizes doesn’t match the data.  You never want your data visualizations to tell a story that isn’t supported by the data.

Thanks to Raul for sending in the link!

Monday
Dec272010

The Blog Tree

 

The Blog Tree is growing on me.  A project collaboration between JESS3 and Eloqua, it uses the tree metaphor to map out the post prominent Marketing blogs by traffic size and category.

The Blog Tree maps out the marketing blog structure from the most prominent blogs at the roots through the leaves which are shown in different colors to indicate the size of each blog’s readership. The positioning and color of the blogs were determined using publicly-available visitor data about each web site on compete.com.

This has gotten a lot of traffic on its own, and they are experimenting with an interesting call to action for viewers.  

As for those blogs not yet portrayed on the infographic, Eloqua invites and encourages their authors to tag The Blog Tree infographic on Eloqua’s Facebook account in order to be included in future versions and receive an official “Blog Tree” badge for their site.

Where’s the infographic blog branch?

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