Who doesn’t love nuggets of factual information organized in an easy to read, eye catching format that includes pretty pictures and large format text? Infographics, word clouds, flow charts and diagrams are more than just tools of the tech trade.
These visual storyboards talk to today’s 140 character audience and tell a story much better than a text heavy press release or marketing brochure. And people love to share information that tells a story. Need help getting started? Read on!
I make word clouds all the time. In fact I think it’s starting to inhibit my ability to get work done. It’s super simple and the results may surprise you. The clouds highlight words you use most often and let you get creative with different fonts, layouts and color schemes. You can paste text, enter a URL that has an RSS feed or Atom, or enter a del.icio.us user name to see their tags. Wordle = hours of entertainment.
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Visual.ly rocks. Not only can you use it to search just about every Infographic subject possible, you can also use it to create your own Infographics that highlight your Facebook fan page growth and activity, your Twitter interactions, the “Life of a Hashtag”, and upload custom Infographics for the world to share and explore. They are getting ready to launch customizable Infographics in categories such as sports, politics and football. We use Facebook fan page Infographics to show our clients the growth, interactions and engagement that’s occurred on their fan pages over a thirty day period. Much quicker than any paid program out there.
Creating flow charts and diagrams are not my strong point. I can barely create a PowerPoint presentation and the paint program sometimes proves too much for me. Enter — gliffy. Gliffy is a tool that makes it simple to create, share and even collaborate with others on diagrams and flow charts. Its maps out everything from SWOT analysis (a personal favorite) to business process modeling and technical drawings. The pre-built templates make it easy to get started and the drag and drop shapes enable you to get creative without having to really be creative. I like it because it enables me to create a org chart that I can easily hand to a client so they know who their team is, how to contact them and who is in charge. And I can make it pretty.
I wasn’t really sure what a Venn diagram was until I started researching this article. Imagine three circles intersecting with the overlapping circles highlighting the common relationships between the sects. Make sense? You start by uploading an image URL and decided what type of chart you want, what size, background and the title. Hohli makes everything from Venn diagrams to radar charts and scatter plots. This is really useful for PR and marketing presentations and helps get data points across in a much more visually pleasing format.
Easelly is still in beta and is a theme based web app for creating Infographics and web based data visualization (that’s straight from the website). You drop and drag artwork onto template Infographics and you can edit/ customize any of the objects on the screen. They say it’s easy as drag, drop, edit and share. You can add custom colors, shapes and text. You can even create the Infographic so it’s compatible with a mobile phone. This application works best if you have some basic design skills already. It’s not for those of us that can’t operate PowerPoint — like me.