Visualizing Information

Part of an Infographic about handwriting (source: educatorstechnology.com)

Part of an Infographic about handwriting

Infographics. Do you remember them? Have you seen any lately?

In our internet, SEO-obsessed world, the question arises from time to time, should we bother with the graphics, especially something like an infographic?

Courtney Gordner  asked “are infographics dead?” at tweakyourbiz.com recently. Seems that many feel that graphically conveying the information is a dying art because SEO cannot really read text in a graphic. Well, my question to you is, are you looking for SEO points or are you looking to make your information useful to others? Courtney points to evidence that they are not, because of the rise of social media platforms such as Facebook or Pinterest. Courtney points out five reasons you ought to use them:

  1. Statistical data is more compelling and easier to understand when placed in charts and graphs
  2. Visual stimulation is the highest sensory detail we have, since 90% of our daily information intake is visual
  3. Most social networks are built on picture oriented platforms
  4. Pictures reach a wider demographic
  5. When someone uses your infographic, they link back to your page

Let’s face it, connecting with others takes work. Infographics take work to create. (If you want to read the one on this page, click the infographic or here to see the full-sized version. It is quite interesting.) But as John Maxwell says, connecting takes work and connectors are willing to do the hard work of creating connection.

If you are interested in infographics, there are plenty of places to learn more. I did a post a few months back on the subject.

Also, if you are really interested in learning to visually display information, you should consider getting one of Dr. Edward Tufte’s books, or even better, attend one of his marvelous seminars. I attended one some years back and, while I have always appreciated the power of the visual arts, Dr. Tufte helps you really understand how to make information live visually.

If you find a way to make information interesting and compelling, you will have no problem with SEO. Rather, you will have people flocking to your site to see more about your compelling information.

Using Infographics For Your Company by Courtney Gordner at tweakyourbiz.com

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The Three Stooges Communicate!

I was reading on my iPad using Zite, a news aggregation application you can tailor to get information that interests you (I find many of my Leaderclip post subjects via Zite), and came across today’s article. What caught my attention wasn’t the title so much as the graphic — Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk! (Which you see here…)

If you want to talk about three rules of anything, one great way to attention (at least of middle-aged white guys) is to show the Three Stooges. Fortunately, Mike Figliuolo of ThoughtLeaders LLC wasn’t offering silly ideas when presenting Three Rules for Successful Communications. Here they are:

  1. Its always three things. As Mike suggests, even if you have 47 things to share, break things down into three major points. Some people can keep track of a bunch of things, but keeping organized so that there are only three things keeps you (and your audience) focused.
  2. They have to hear things three times. Why do you think your high school or college speech teacher told you when planning a speech, “Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them. Then tell them what you told them.”? People need some repetition to understand and process your message.
  3. After three emails, go have a conversation. If you have to keep going back and forth, there is probably something that can be handled much more deftly if you talked to one another than continue to waste a bunch of time typing emails. Relying solely on email just slows things down and invites misunderstanding.

Yes, Mike really kept it to three things. You can be a stooge, or you can adopt these simple rules to help you improve your communication with others.

Three Rules for Successful Communications by Mike Figliuolo at ThoughtLeadersLLC.com

Expert advice for keeping on task

Our friends at Under30CEO polled a number of successful entrepreneurs to find out what they do to keep on task, even with hectic schedules. Some of the ideas are technologies, others are behaviors, some are attitudes. Enjoy the list:

  1. Turn off the Dopamine Drip — Break your addiction to email and social media. Use them wisely.
  2. Make Yourself Accountable — A challenge when you are the boss and don’t have someone to hold you accountable. As Nike says, “Just Do It.”
  3. Segment Time into Tasks — Focus on the most important things and dedicate time to them.
  4. Keep Certain Rituals — Regularly doing things such as planning your next day the night before can help you make sure you are prepared.
  5. Manage Tasks with ANY.DO — An Android-based task list
  6. Work Well with Wunderlist — I use this one on my Apple products, iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air. You can even share lists with team members.
  7. Leave it all to Asana — an online productivity app. I’ve not played with it yet, but it looks interesting…
  8. Touch Base with the Team — keeping people in the loop daily helps keep coordinated and provide accountability
  9. Learn to Reset Yourself — Figure out how to get back on track when distracted — then remember how you did it for the future!
  10. Stick to a Critical Triad — Don’t mistake busy for productive, ask “What 3 critical tasks must I get done today?”
  11. Multitasking is Overrated — It is best to try to focus on just one thing at a time. Try carving out time so you can do this…
  12. Stay in the Moment — Don’t get overwhelmed with all you think you have to do. Just do what you need to now and attend to the other stuff in its turn.
  13. Set Ground Rules — As a leader, you have to give time to others, but need time for what you must do, too. Make it clear when people can or should interact and hold them to it.

What things do you do to keep on task? Why not share them below?

13 Ways to Manage Your (Hectic) Schedule and Stay On Task at Under30CEO

Keeping Context Lists by Relationship

If you are a fan of GTD (Getting Things Done, a methodology developed by David Allen for personal management), you know about contexts. What about using contexts to manage communication with the people you need to communicate with the most?

Keeping Context Lists by Relationship