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Some of the web’s best infographics

Last week, we wrote about using infographics to enhance presentations and engage with your audience.  One way to get a good feel of how to use infographics is by looking at some good ones. Luckily, many sites across the web compile the best infographics., for example, frequently posts some interesting infographics from around the web. Some of note are a scatter plot of where Waldo actually is and a graph about perfect preparation for Thanksgiving cooks.

Randy Krum, of CoolInfographics, wrote a book called “Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design” for Wiley.  You can read more about the title on the Wiley website. 

CreativeBloq compiled the 80 best infographics.

Kanter Information in Beautiful Award celebrates excellent data visualizations. You can view this year’s shortlist and last year’s winners here.

Take a minute to look through some of these lists and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which ones were most successful?
  • Is there a common thread that strings the good ones together?
  • How can you use these infographics as a guide for your own work?
  • Are there any good infographics you’ve seen and can share with your fellow authors?

Feel free to use the comments section to discuss your thoughts on infographics.

How to use Tumblr, part 2

Last Wednesday we posted a beginner’s guide to Tumblr.  This week, we are going to follow-up with some additional tips and links for using Tumblr. 

Like most sites, Tumblr maintains their own Tips page.  Among these tips are how to bookmark, instructions on mass editing for tags and posts, using short links, and a keyboard shortcuts list.

You can also view a list of Tumblr Writers.  These links take you straight to individual Tumblr pages. These writers are spotlighted for their impressive pages.  You can get a feel of what others are doing and if this type of activity can fit into your self-promotion plan.

This WikiHow post provides a cheat sheet and a step-by-step guide. 

What Writers Need to Know About Tumblr is a guide from MediaBistro.  Experts say reblogging and tagging are two important aspects of Tumblr.  When you find people to follow, be sure to reblog their posts. Many times, your reblogs will lead someone else to reblog your posts.

Although they may seem targeted towards literary professionals, these tips are not just for fiction authors. Academics can modify tips for their needs as well. There might be a community of physicists or sociologists using Tumblr to connect with colleagues and others interested in their subject area.


How to use infographs

In academic and corporate life, we are sometimes are tasked at creating presentations. Presentations can be time consuming and often end up bland and uninteresting. No matter how exciting the data may seem to you, it is sometimes hard to get pthers excited.

Engaging your audience is very important. In the past, we posted on slide design tools that can enhance a presentation and wrote a brief piece entitled “Illustrate your data.”

Today we are going to focus on infographs.

Infographs are graphic visual representations of data. They display complex information in an easily digestible way. They focus the viewer on larger trends and methodology. With a little bit of color, shape, and an interactive element, these graphic images can spice up your data and require zero design training.

Say you conducted a peer-survey and would like to share the results and trends. One type of chart, for example, can display the location of survey respondents on a world map.

Say you want to break down respondents by gender.  Well, there is an infographic for that! You can create a chart that uses male and female symbols to convey gender breakdowns.

These are two examples where it is  easier to digest data through an infograph (instead of just a simple bar or pie graph). 

With interactive tools, you can also create dynamic charts that instantly segment data.

Infographs are not always appropriate. Keep the audience in mind as well as the type of data. Infographs display data trends. They do not focus on tiny numerical details.

Here are some sites to check out:

Many sites require subscriptions and each site may work differently. So take a tour and browse through instructions and frequently asked questions. If you find value in data visualizations, these tools could be easily integrated into presentations.  Some people even use sites like to create dynamic, visual resumes.

Related links: 

[edited by wileyauthor2 12/1]

Where to start with Tumblr

This is icon for social networking website. Th...

This is icon for social networking website. This is part of Open Icon Library’s webpage icon package. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tumblr is a free blogging site that allows you to share both images and text with ease.  Text formatting is done automatically and the layout is minimal. There is room for customization. But mostly Tumblr is just an easy platform to share whatever with whomever.

Mashable has quite a few posts about this blogging site.

First, check out this beginner’s guide. It outlines what to do once you create a Tumblr page, how to customize that page, and how the dashboard works. 

There is also a Tumblr starter guide that features a slideshow of popular Tumblrs. 

Once you become an expert, check out 11 tips for power-users.

Here are some more general tips:

  • Since Tumblr heavily relies on tags so browse through existing Tumblrs to get a feel for what others are posting about. 
  • Start by familiarizing yourself with the posting tools and other basic functions.
  •  Use the “follow” function to subscribe to other blogs.
  • Tumblr also has a strong mobile app so you can post on the go. If this is something you are interested in doing, download the app for your mobile and try it out.

Using Instagram, a follow-up


image of Instagram

Related to our previous post about using Instagram, Mashble posted about some other companies that are using Instagram for promotion efforts.  Fortune-500 companies like Nike, Walgreens, Target, and Whole Foods launched successful Instagram publicity campaigns, highlighting their brand and providing their followers with useful information.

The article analyzes success of campaigns based on the post type (video or image), filter-usage, time of day, and Hashtag usage.

For example, research found that pictures are more successful than videos but videos are most successful during “off-hours” (9 PM to 8 AM).

In the end, final tips and thoughts are presented by Sabel Harris, of TrackMaven.

Tool-kit for MOOCs from New York Times

English: Logo of The New York Times.

English: Logo of The New York Times. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The evolution of online courses and MOOCs is a popular discussion area, especially the debate of access and legitimacy.

New York Times posted an article about navigating the world of MOOCs.

The article profiles three sites: EdX, Coursera, and Udacity.  Each site is concisely profiled so it is easy to see the major differences and similarities between these sites.

Click here to read the article.


Wiley Exchanges: even more content for authors

Wiley Exchanges is another one of our resources for authors.  Recently, Exchanges posted some new content focusing on publishing trends, promotion, and professional development written by experts.

You can subscribe to updates via email or RSS feed or follow Exchanges on Twitter.