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Infographics: The CliffsNotes of the Internet?

  |  November 11, 2011   |  Comments

Have infographics become the publisher's best friend?

At my company we have a PC, MAC, iOS, WebOS, and TouchPad app. Our biggest challenge in product design used to be making sure that as new browsers came out we could support them. Today, our app on the Android market reaches over 750 different devices running "some" version of Android. While Google attempts to publish guidelines that ensure consistency, as you can imagine, an open system offers an open bed for innovation and inconsistency.

Over the years, the world wide web has continued to spiral out of control in this same manner. While there are guidelines for information and insights, what is published on the Internet of today ranges from the conservative to the out-of-this-world wackiness. As a publisher looking for insights to enhance your approach to a digital and mobile marketplace, how can you best navigate the Internet?

The answer might just lie in infographics. Brands have latched onto a unique way to consolidate content strewn all over the Internet in a cohesive manner. Today, I wanted to share my top five favorite infographics with you and ask you: do you think infographics have become the publisher's best friend? Are they the CliffsNotes of the Internet?

  1. How to reach 100 million people from one website.
  2. The mobile web: what is life online like every 60 seconds?
  3. The rules of the Internet for yesterday and today.
  4. The summary of the best infographics out there (although some are very old).
  5. "The Do's and Dont's of Infographic Design: Revisited."

While infographics will not answer every question you have ever had about publishing online, or in a mobile manner, they do a great job of summing up high level insights. The top five things I think infographics add to the thought process for publishers are as follows:

  1. They force you to digest a large amount of data in a small period. It gets the creative juices flowing!
  2. They introduce new aspects of thinking and put things in perspective. Understanding that 1 million people "like" something on Facebook every day (and feeling that is impressive) until you see that in just four minutes 1 million pieces of fruit are sliced on Fruit Ninja, changes the way you consider usage.
  3. They help you logically consider topics of conversation.
  4. They encourage you to dive deeper into new topics. Now that I know what the hottest emerging country on LinkedIn is, I want to figure out how to do a better job of getting my products and services merchandised there as well.
  5. The comments shared on infographics give you even deeper insights into how the content is being absorbed and often times leads to some fantastic conversation.

If you think infographics are old hat, can't help a publisher's plan, or are not compelling, think again. The infographic may just resurface as the content management system we could all get a lot of use out of.



Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition. 

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