The Power of the First-Person Perspective

A lot has been said about “clickbait” content from sites like Upworthy, whose headlines tug on (some say exploit) emotions and curiosity to lure readers to their content. While I don’t feel as strongly about these headlines as many do, one type of headline that particularly grates on me is the faux first-person headline. For example: A News Team Follows Potential Models For One Week. My Face Is Now Stuck In Disgust Mode. I’ve Tried To … [Read more...]

Instant Karma

Earlier this year, we wrote about the value of building a community around photo content with Instagram. Since then, a lot has happened, including Instagram's availability on the Android platform and a small chunk of change from a guy named Mark. But the promise of Instagram as a tool for creating a sense community through shared visual experiences remains. Nick DeNardis recently wrote about how his institution, Wayne State University, joined … [Read more...]

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Pins

First, Instagram (which we love). Then, Pinterest (which lots and lots of colleges love). Now, Facebook Timeline (which we're also gobbling right up). The future, apparently, is visual. These image-driven platforms are hotter than hot. But here's the $64,000 question: What's our strategy? Even in 2009, a Harvard Business School study noted that "pictures are the killer app of social networks." All the more reason for us to be more thoughtful … [Read more...]

Build Community Around Photo Content with Instagram

After years of loyal Blackberry usage, I finally bought an iPhone in early September. But it took me a few months to come around to what millions of iPhone users had been obsessing about for months: Instagram, the photo editing and sharing app. Once I decided to go all in, I realized what the buzz was all about—Instagram's real potential for engaging, community-driven content. In talking with Higher Ed Live's Seth Odell at EduComm 2011 last … [Read more...]

Web Content Insights Through ‘Understanding Comics’

I am not a comics nerd (I don’t think my Archie obsession as a kid holds muster), though I have befriended many — and married one. So while I’ve never sniffed at comics and graphic novels as child's play, I didn’t fully realize the complexity of the form until I picked up a copy of Scott McCloud’s seminal text, Understanding Comics, in which he explains many principles of visual communication and what makes comics tick. I had heard of the book … [Read more...]