Read & Respond week 11: Images

This week is all about visuals. In Briggs’ chapter 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? Skim around this list and identify some options you might be able to apply to making your blogging more visual.

Photos:

  • Some of you are photographers. Many of you aren’t. Here’s a crash course on using a point-and-shoot camera for your blog (from Mindy McAdams’ excellent Journalists’ Toolkit)
  • Photoblogs: These blog-like formats are focused on image sharing. Sites like Cake Wrecks hit big a few years back, but there are more serious efforts like the Boston Globe’s The Big Picture.
  • Tumblr provides a resource for frictionless sharing of images. Check out some of 2015’s best (or these ones that are just weird).

Graphics:

GIFs:

Sure, they’re short and silly, but journalists use them too. Is confining an idea to a seconds-long clip any stranger than limiting it to a 140-character tweet, or a six-second Vine?

Remember, your responses are due by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, October 23, as a comment to this post.

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12 Responses to Read & Respond week 11: Images

  1. Ryan Decker says:

    Graphics are an important part of story telling, especially on the Internet. Readers can be discouraged from reading too long of a story if there aren’t visual elements to break up the text. The difference between a story on the web and a story (or book) in your hand, is that it can be tougher to tell how much progress you’re making on the web. This is wear visual elements come in.

    In my own personal blogging experience visual elements are great at not only breaking up long strings of text, but also at giving secondary information. When using WordPress as a blog site, Twitter can be very useful in this department. You can find still photos, info graphics and GIFs from millions of outlets all in one place. ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) is a great Twitter account to follow for sports bloggers – every day the account tweets out incredible information that most fans don’t know.

    The 10 graphic tools mentioned in the class blog seemed interesting. They would be useful tools when using a lot of numbers that would be hard for the normal person to just read, rather, they need to be displayed in a way that is easy to visualize.

  2. kameronduncan says:

    Images and graphics can be vital to telling a complete story. It’s one thing to be a comprehensive writer, but when one can connect that with relevant imagery, it enhances that writing even further. Blogs like the ones posted that focus on images to tell stories are a good example of this.

    Pictures that are detailed and focus on specific subjects and section can often tell a story more vividly than words can. The picture of David Ortiz in the Boston Globe blog shows that he was a figure that commanded a great deal of attention and reverence during his playing career, and the amount of photographers standing around him (along with the thousands of cheering fans in the background) show this.

    Pictures also help to make stories multi-dimensional, and they help break up walls of text in a story. Readers are less likely to stay through the entirety of a post or article if it is only text with no other elements, and pictures also give greater context.

  3. In Briggs chapter 7, there is a lot of good advice about incorporating visual elements into blogs and other stories. There are a lot of good examples, especially the one with the one-legged baseball player. Charles Bertram knew that words could not do the story justice and that the video would be captivating. He published the raw video (no voice overs or editing) and it got over 3 million views. In this case the video element made the story popular. It is is important to try to get those high-powered visuals in your story. i also noted that all the experts that were featured in the chapter were all from print sources. Whether it was newspapers or magazines, it goes to show that visuals are becoming vital to the print field.

    The photoblog link was pretty eye opening. There were a bunch of blogs that gained popularity even though the ideas were very specific. it shows all the niches out there and that there can be an audience if your content is captivating enough. I can also see the free graphic tools link being beneficial for this class. i have some blog ideas that will involve data that can be boring to just write out, so those tools can definitely help. Lastly, I think the link with the “5 Questions for Animated GIFs in Journalism” is important. Animation is important, but can look foolish in the wrong situation.

  4. lmalexander1 says:

    Visuals are so important when telling a story. Readers can better understand what a story is trying to say when there are visuals to accompany the text. I incorporate photos into almost all of my blog posts, but I have never used anything other than photos. I really think that my blog could benefit from using more graphics, and even gifs. Especially my posts on my group blog.

    Because my group blog is food focused, having visuals of food, graphics showing statistics relating to food and restaurants, and gifs to make the blog more appealing can really enhance my posts. I’m really going to focus on incorporating visuals into both my personal blog and my group blog because I feel that it’s a great and effective way to show the statistics that I find rather than just typing them out and letting people read them.

  5. Beyond Craft Beer says:

    Pictures are worth a 1000 words. I wish I could have a video portion of my blog blog. I think it would make my blog more entertaining and genuine. I like GIFS and I respect how they have effected social media.

    On one of the links there was a list of the best tumblr pages, one of which led me to a tumblr page of last text messages received, which turned out to be a lot more depressing than I anticipated. There were these screenshots of people’s texts before they got into a car accident or broke up with them or just straight up left. Seeing the actual message was so much more powerful than if it was just some words in quotation marks. Images make you feel things in a way that words dont. I love words and books and the emotions they bring, but pictures can cut deeper sometimes.

    Incorporating media, not just photos, but graphs and videos and maps are all ways to make text more visually appealing to readers. The goal of a blog is to inform in an appealing and relaxed way. For example, if I had videos of different breweries on my beer blog then people might be more inclined to read my blog and subscribe to it.

  6. smarino92 says:

    Young Journalist Problems is lit, that had me rolling. But, I agree- I think I seriously say the same thing every week. But, pictures and GIFs is what makes the world go round. Nobody wants to read anymore. For my, I like Instagram, probably, more than Facebook because it’s so much more visually engaging. Also, Facebook if you haven’t noticed is kind of the same way anymore, nobody posts anything but GIFs and memes, maybe that’s just my Facebook? I think it’s sometimes hard to find visually engaging things about my personal blog because it’s not really about anything “visual” but with music, it can be visual, but can also be just about the music. I like pictures, but not everything needs one. If the story merits a photo, then sure, but you shouldn’t over simplify everything.

  7. michalalynn says:

    My favorite part of the Internet anymore is the visuals used. From gifs and memes to videos there is an onslaught of visual information for us to process anymore while we read articles. Personally, I hate reading blogs that are just long chunks of text with no visual aid. In fact, some of my favorite blogs that I follow sometimes have posts that are entirely visuals. I also love the weekly posts in which the blogger shares their favorite links from the past week, most of which end up being videos or photos.
    My favorite links that were included this week were both of the links about Tumblr. I am an avid Tumblr user and I love finding new interesting, substantive, blogs to follow. I believe the reason Humans of New York is so successful at what he does is the fact that the blog has a HUGE visual impact. Not only does it use visuals it uses the human element to make people read.
    The entire reason that Instagram is a viable platform is the fact that nowadays we love to get our news, even our personal news, in the quickest possible way. In most forms that means pictures. We’ve also been told from our youngest days that a picture is worth 1,000 words and that we should “take a picture it’ll last longer”. I believe that is why we are such a visual driven society anymore.

  8. jayrudolph says:

    As said in Briggs, “Journalism without pictures is like writing without verbs.” I believe that this is very true because a picture can tell a thousand words. Sometimes the best picture can even come from someone who doesn’t know they are being photographed. Facial expressions can tell a lot about someone and adding this emotional aspect to any form of journalism is nothing but beneficial.

    For my blog with music festivals pictures of people that are suffering from the injuries that have been occurring is very important. Showing someone who is deathly ill can have a lasting impact on people and force them to want to stay hydrated. Showing the security lines in my blogs has also been important because a lot of security issues with deaths, drugs, and extortion has been happening. Lastly using social media tweets and embedding those into my stories has been very helpful as well.

    In 10 good ones they talk about Google Charts. “Google chart tools are powerful, simple to use, and free. You can choose from a variety of charts and configure an extensive set of options to perfectly match the look and feel of your website. By connecting your data in real time, Google Developers is the perfect infographic generator for your website.” I think that google already saves lives and that using this which directly connects to google could help a lot in finding useful graphics and charts.

  9. carlyperez5 says:

    Visuals are extremely important to any piece because they are attractive to the eye and keep the reader interested. Ann Friedman says in the article about GIF’s that “We are in the midst of an animated GIF renaissance.” It is true that people will be more likely to read an article that has a few pictures than something that is mainly text. Viewers tend to search for things that include GIF’s because they are much more compelling than a static photo. Kevin Locker also makes a good idea in his article that is it very much possible to overuse GIF’s, no matter how trendy they are becoming. Locker suggests you decide on a strategy that fits your needs.

    I personally use a lot of tweets and static pictures in my blogs. I will occasionally embed a youtube video within a blog as well. One visual I haven’t incorporated in my blog yet is a chart or data table. I think if your presenting a large amount of data, you could condense it into a chart, making it more visually pleasing to your viewer. Wolfram Alpha is an interesting site that I think could be very helpful. It is cool that it can bring up almost any data you are searching for.

    Overall, it is very important to include visuals into your blog. Without visuals the reader is left with a page of text that has no flow or story. Find the best way to use visuals in your blog and use it in a way that your viewers can understand the story.

  10. alexaciattarelli says:

    Alexa Ciattarelli
    R&R11

    Graphics have been a part of our lives since before we remember. We were just a couple days old without a care in the world besides for milk, and were being read a book full of pictures. Why? Because visuals are a huge part of journalism and our every day lives.

    I know firsthand; when I pull up an article on The New York Times webpage, if there are no pictures, just scroll after scroll of words, I quickly become overwhelmed and discouraged. Graphics are vital for story telling, as they are relatable, emotional, thought-provoking and more. Not that words don’t have this effect, but pictures have the ability of telling stories better than words.

    I use visuals a great deal in my blog. I find them to be very interesting and engaging. As Creative Bloq states, “For all the importance we place on text, it’s an indisputable fact that images are processed in the brain faster than words.” This is proven in the blog links provided, as sometimes, it may be better to tell a story with pictures.

    I really liked the Cake Wrecks page. The way visuals are used to provide fans with entertainment is so interesting and unique.

    This is the world we live in. Our phones promote picture taking camera usage. The camera feature is just a swipe away from your home screen! We are constantly sharing graphics, whether they be on social media or blogs. It is a part of our every day lives, and I think, makes the world much more interesting.

  11. Incorporating visuals, such as photos, graphics and sometimes even GIFs is very important when writing a blog or writing in general. Sometimes a picture is the first thing that arrests a reader’s attention and then they proceed to reading as they want to know what the story behind the picture is. Sometimes the story could be told with the help of photos only which requires good photography skills, such as knowing your camera and settings, knowing how to take good pictures, knowing how to be always ready to capture a moment in a fast paced environment.
    I enjoyed looking through the Boston Globe’s The Big Picture. All the pictures provided captions and stories behind them. Even if you don’t read the caption first, you could predict or kind of know what the story will be about. That’s the power of the image really.
    Graphics is useful for those who include data in their stories. If it’s done in a creative way, it will most likely attract more readers.
    As for GIFs they are really fun to use when it’s appropriate and relevant. Young Journalist Problems is absolutely hilarious!

  12. Graphics are an area that I think are really helpful but daunting to people, who are not as tech savvy. The tools given are simple to use though and can be great for representing sects of society, stats and other areas that blogs like mine take on a lot. Also, in Briggs the many uses of Photoshop including graphics and collages using lasso are helpful to people who have not really explored Photoshop for more than simple editing. I think for a topic like mine, things like graphic , GIFs and the occasional meme are more helpful than standard photos because these things are representative, modern and capture attitudes as opposed to moments which can help appeal to an audience.

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