This week is all about visuals (remember we’ve bumped back the syllabus a week after our guest speaker). In Briggs’ chapter 6 on visual storytelling, think about his advice and note the example experts he gives. Some of you have been incorporating visuals into your work from the start, and others have yet to do so. Regardless of your use of visuals so far, how might your blogs tell a story that is more visual than textual? Yes, photos are ONE possibility – what are others?
First, I’d like you to look at some photoblogs. What’s a photoblog? Find out for yourself; can you point us to an example in your response? A great home for this kind of thing is Tumblr. This site (and others like it) are becoming prominent examples of quick-hit, visual blogging (remember that Briggs refers to this as microblogging). Skim through these “30 Tumblrs you NEED to follow” and see what compels you. What ideas are here that we can use?
Next, graphics. We started down this road in our discussion of data, and you’ve already made some graphics with Google Maps. Skim through these examples and see what strikes you – what could you do with these resources?
- Wolfram Alpha: We touched on this in class. Create an account and ask it a data-related question (e.g., “How long does it take to play Monopoly?“).
- ManyEyes: This one might seem a little dense, but poke around for a bit. Look at the existing examples. Figure out how to upload your own data (past examples include things like data maps but also the full text of Grimm’s fairy tales).
- Wordle: This is a simple tool for creating word clouds. What’s that? Have a look.
Finally, something a little lighter: GIFs. Yes, they’re light, often silly, and incredibly short, but can’t we say the same thing about tweets? Or Vines? As we discussed in our unit on microblogging, many of today’s formats have some pretty significant limitations on time and size built in (140 characters, six seconds, and so on). Rather than writing them off, consider how they could function as another mass communication tool. Have a look at this primer from Poynter on what you need to know. MediaBistro also provides a useful five-point guide for when (and when not) to animate. In what ways does this change your perspective? At the very least, they’re not memes.
Remember, your responses are due by noon Monday, November 4, as a comment to this post.
UPDATE (10/31/13): Bitstrips! Just for the hell of it, come up with an idea for how we could use these (or the idea behind them) for useful mass communication. No, you’re not allowed to complain about them being annoying.