filizefe's blog

Visual Storytelling For Web: Tips And Techniques

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 31, 2009

Draft Chapter – Visual Communication

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 10, 2009

INTRODUCTION

Introduction will be with either a quotation or a story.

DEVELOPMENT

–          What is visual communication?

The study of visual communication comprises such wide-reaching and voluminous literatures as art history, the philosophy of art and aesthetics,  semiotics,  cinema studies,  Television and mass media studies, the history and theory of  Photography, the history and theory of  graphic design and  typography, the study of word–image relationships in literary, aesthetic, and rhetorical theory ( Rhetorical Studies), the development and use of charts, diagrams,  cartography and questions of geographic visualization (images of place and space), the physiology and psychology of visual  Perception, the impact of new visual technologies (including the impact of digitalization and the construction of “virtual realities”;  Digital Imagery), growing concerns with the concept and/or acquisition of “visual literacy,” and the boundless social and cultural issues embedded in practices of  visual representation.(Griffin 2008)

–          Sector overview

  • general background info on the sector: (Kathy)
  • sector use of social media in general: Twitter, Facebook, MySpace
  • financial importance of sector: (Kathy)
  • the unique factors at work that make this a good sector for analysis: On the one hand, the nature of the sector is challenging on Twitter. On the other hand, it is worth to analyze their alternate ways to reach their communities and their own use of the visual communication language on Twitter platform such as profile pages and links.

–          Methodology
I’ve used various tools to pick my profiles during my research about the organization/brand profiles related with the visual communication field:

1- Twitter People Search (specific brand names)

2- Twitter Keyword Search (visual, communication, photography, creative, design, image…)

3- Twitter Directories (WeFollow & TrackingTwitter)

4- Google

5- Google Finance (searching for brand competitors)

6- Visual communication related individuals and their following lists

Many corporate visual communication brands do not have a presence on Twitter yet. Some of the well known brands and organizations have been using Twitter but most of them are not paying attention to their profile descriptions and keywords, which make them invisible during search.

Visual communication is not classified on Twitter directories yet. In WeFollow there is only one representative of “photography” category. These profiles does not reach millions of followers, so it can be called as a niche category to deal with on Twitter.

–         How Is Twitter Used In This Sector?

  • types of communication to analyze: marketing, PR, reputation management.
  • themes and norms of how Twitter is used: Kodak Social Media Guideline

Kodak has been growing its participation in social media to strengthen our brand and our connection with customers and key influencers.

Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, news sharing and bookmarking sites like delicious and Digg, and photo- and video-sharing sites like flickr and YouTube can be exciting new avenues for communication in our professional and personal lives.  Used responsibly, they provide an effective way to keep abreast of new trends and topics, and to share information and perspectives.  Kodak has thousands of followers who have subscribed to keep up with Kodak blogs, podcasts and “tweets” each day. The number continues to grow, as does the number of viewers watching content on KodakTube, our YouTube channel.

Given the reach of the internet, it’s important that when you use these various media, you follow some basic procedures that support our “one voice” policy as described in the Business Conduct Guide.  That policy applies to Kodak employees when they blog or participate in social media for work, but it should also be considered if personal blog activities may give the appearance of speaking for Kodak.  Adhering to the following points in either situation will provide protection for you and Kodak

  • Rhetorical analysis of tweets 

Case Study 1 : CreativeReview

Creative Review is a visual communication magazine based in UK. I’d like to compare it with National Geographic Magazine.

Why this organization? What is its history of social media use? How is it using Twitter? Why is it using Twitter? What is the problem/opportunity?  Policies? Obstacles overcome? [narrative comes from the Q/A — look for good quotes and tweets that can be used as call-outs]

–          Screen Shot

–          Stats (followers, following, number tweets, date joined, first tweet)

–          pie chart (link tweets, @ tweets, RTs, other)

–          Elements that will be “graded”

–          External analytical data (tool TBD)

Case Study 1 : KodakCB

The competitors of Kodak is not actively taking place on twitter yet. Although Sony Pictures is not the direct competitor, it is relevant to compare two global visual communication brands and how they interact with their communities.

Why this organization? What is its history of social media use? How is it using Twitter? Why is it using Twitter? What is the problem/opportunity?  Policies? Obstacles overcome? [narrative comes from the Q/A — look for good quotes and tweets that can be used as call-outs]

–          Screen Shot

–          Stats (followers, following, number tweets, date joined, first tweet)

–          pie chart (link tweets, @ tweets, RTs, other)

–          Elements that will be “graded”

–          External analytical data (tool TBD)

Case Study 3 :Startup Company Analysis – Lilipip

My case studies above are global brands and organizations. A startup company and their tone of voice is significant to examine and compare with global brands. Therefore, I want to give a place to Lilipip, which the Twitter profile is run by the company owner.

CONCLUSION

–          Thought Leaders

Recommendations on who to follow in this sector and why.

–          Lessons Learned / Recommendations

Synthesis of all case studies (at least two per chapter is the goal) and heuristic analysis.

CITATION:

Griffin, Michael  (2008) “Visual Communication.” The International Encyclopedia of Communication. Donsbach, Wolfgang (ed). Blackwell Publishing. Blackwell Reference Online. Retrieved on 02 August 2009 from http://www.blackwellreference.com.offcampus.lib.washington.edu/subscriber/tocnode?id=g9781405131995_chunk_g978140513199527_ss17-1

Quality vs. Quantity: Which one to pay for?

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 6, 2009

Bill Wasik in his talk at BigThink claims that shorter written content (newspapers) is inherently going to be free in part because there’s so many people making it. In contrast, there is demand in the market to longer content (e-books) even though people need to pay for it. He determines that modern media made it available for everybody to create content and find a large audience to stage so there is an amateur explosion creating short content. Also people have no patience to pay for short content online. However, what is the role of quality? Is it the effectiveness or length of the content make us pay for it.

I agree, the modern media made it incredibly easy to produce content and share with large or selected audiences. Hanson Hosein, Director of the Master of Communication in Digital Media Program at the University of Washington, commented about the modern media by also naming as pocketmedia: “everyone is a communicator, a filmmaker, a journalist, a content creator, a community  organizer, a rabble rouser, a message disrupter, a salesperson, a marketer, a broadcaster, a narrowcaster.” This media environment turns everybody a potential producer. However, the ratio of effective content when compared with the informational pollution is not too high. People are improving their skills to find quality content or willing to pay a fee to be a member of a platform where they can be served with selected quality content.

Quantity on the other hand is losing its importance. Nobody has time to spend with useless information. As a reader, if one day I believe that I can’t reach accurate news through my own Internet search, I’d open up my wallet to pay a fee for online news service. In other words I’d trade my time with money. This is more about getting a service not the length of the content itself. But also there are some good examples of short quality content which can compete with 1000 pages: Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words.

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

…and is said to have called it his best work.

Chapter Outline – Visual Communication

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 4, 2009

Visual Communication Chapter Outline

Methodology

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 4, 2009

I’ve used various tools to pick my profiles during my research about the organization/brand profiles related with the visual communication field:

1- Twitter People Search (specific brand names)

2- Twitter Keyword Search (visual, communication, photography, creative, design, image…)

3- Twitter Directories (WeFollow & TrackingTwitter)

4- Google

5- Google Finance (searching for brand competitors)

6- Visual communication related individuals and their following lists

I realized that many corporate visual communication brands do not have a presence on Twitter yet. Some of the well known brands and organizations have been using Twitter but most of them are not paying attention to their profile descriptions and keywords, which make them invisible during search.

Visual communication is not classified on Twitter directories yet. In WeFollow there is only one representative of “photography” category. These profiles does not reach millions of followers, so it can be called as a niche category to deal with on Twitter.

Ah-ha Moment on Twitter

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on August 4, 2009

Creating meaning with words always seemed abstract to me. Twitter is the most abstract social media tool in this sense. I’ve been resisting using Twitter for a long time for this reason. May be I was afraid to take a step up to the stage where I was not able to use visuals to support my speech and tie down the meaning. How could I build a relationship where the common expression is with word and even worse; under 140 characters?

First I started with observing what was going on this platform. I realized that twitter reputation is related with how many followers you have. A profile’s currency and its territory are represented by the number of its population.

I started examining some profiles and used our class template for my report. After I posted my @KodakCB and @CreativeReview profile reports to our course blog, I decided to share the links with the profile owners on Twitter. In a couple of hours I started to get RT and replies. And short after that, we exchanged e-mails, we carried our communication to other social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

I was stuck with the idea that Twitter is a platform limited with words, which was extremely difficult for me to build relationships. My ah-ha moment was when I realized that Twitter could be a great step to start, build and expand relationships on social media.

Duration Does Matter!

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on July 30, 2009

I was studying film in the college in the 1990s. The length of the short film was defined as maximum 30 minutes. After 30 minutes it was called feature-length film. I didn’t keep my short film assignments from then but I remember they were not short and my primary concern was not the length of the film. In today’s media environment, duration does matter and it is shorter than it used to be but not the only criteria to attract the audience.

The short article published in the New York Times this month is discussing the Web habits of the today’s impatient audience, the duration of a visual content and the importance of storytelling. It also gives statistics and insight about the use of the media and audience habits, which is worth clicking.

“Keep it short – Keep it Simple – Keep it Interesting”

The first rule we keep in mind in digital storytelling classes is “keep it short!”. If our story is going to be distributed online, our audience is impatient and they are distracted very easily. After 90 sec, it is our own risqué to be watched. Although it is not a big issue technically, we consider these perceptional limitations in our short films now.

The pace is fast on the Internet; too many windows are open at the same time. We need to tell what we tell in a simple way and more if it is not interesting there is no chance: It turns out to be named as ‘boring stuff’.

Our everyday life and communication tools have changed and so the expectations for the content. We don’t go to a movie theater to see a short film; it’s there in our pocket already. We are not limited with time restrictions; we stream or download the content anytime we wish.

What makes us nailed to our seats to watch a longer film?

Good storytelling and good production values make the audience engage with the content. But also the expectations are playing an important role in the process. The audience classifies the content: Is it a 90 min movie or a video clip or a documentary? And they devote some time to consume that content.

When the medium was TV or a movie theater, we were able to come up with some quantitative metrics for the value of the content. But the Internet as an ultra medium blurs the picture of measurement. The Video Insider poses the question “What is a show and how do we define a most-watched show on the Internet?” and proposes that “the ‘most-watched’ measurement should be the highest number of user-initiated streams in any distribution category that is measurable online and that a ‘show’ is any periodically produced branded content.”

The audience defines the length of time they are going to devote before they consume the content. Therefore not all the visual content is to be under 90 seconds: Although, duration does matter and it is shorter than it used to be, classification of the content, good storytelling and good production values are the keys to create an effective content.

Best Practices: Who to TRUST and Why?

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on July 21, 2009

Twitter is a great platform to share useful links and resources. Since I’ve been researching the activities of visual communication related organizations and brands on Twitter, I had the chance to compare their presence and engagement to their communities. My own experience made me understand that, in order to start building trust and relationship:
– Being followed is not enough
– Get a customized auto reply is not enough
– Fancy background with a corporate logo?….No, not enough
– Follower reputation? …Yeah, maybe a little
– Enjoying the links is not enough
– Being ReTweeted is not enough
– Being recommended on #FollowFriday is not enough
– …
My aha moment was when I realized that there are some people out there, “listening” and “answering”, communicating, sharing their ideas with me behind these “dry” 140 characters. And that was the first time I felt like we were somehow connected and building up our relationship.
When I got in touch with them, @KodakCG and @CreativeReview immediately started communicating/sharing with me and that’s why I found these brands trustworthy and worth to examine as a best practice.

Sociology and, of and in Web 2.0

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on July 20, 2009

Company Profile Analysis on Twitter: @kodakCB

Posted in Uncategorized by filizefe on July 14, 2009

I analyzed @kodakCB on Twitter; its visual identity and discourse according to 100 Tweets posted between Jun 26 – Jul 13, 2009. Its social media presence is greater by far than any other photography related brands online.

Visual Identity & Discourse Analysis by @filizefe - Jul 2009

Visual Identity & Discourse Analysis by @filizefe - Jul 2009

twitter.com/kodakCB

twitter.com/kodakCB

ABOUT:

Jennifer Cisney – Kodak’s Chief Blogger and Social Media Manager. Design Geek. Photography Nut. Check out kodak.com/go/followus

Location: Rochester, NY

Joined: Tue 29 Apr 2008 21:06

Following: 9840

Followers: 10013

Updates: 3004

Favorites: 151

Friend: Yes

Protected: No

Web: http://jennycisney.1000words.kodak.com

Twitter: twitter.com/kodakCB

AVATAR:

Kodak preferred to show the smiling face of their social media representative on their avatar. This immediately gives a warmer effect, a human touch to the profile.

The avatar photograph is not a studio photograph; on the contrary it is an ordinary and casual profile picture, probably captured by a point and shoot camera and framed arbitrarily.

The ordinary look (hair style, no heavy make-up) of the representative also encourages the potential conversation with their followers.

BIO:

Kodak preferred to give the representatives’ website and personal information on BIO. This again reflects the human face of the corporate identity. This doesn’t mean that one cannot reach Kodak corporate website but the social media requires interpersonal communication and Kodak with this profile seems on the right track.

The representative reveals her character by giving clues such as “Design geek” and “Photography nut”

The number of following-follower-updates balance also gives the idea that this page not only “talks” but also “listens”.

TONE OF CONVERSATION:

Following chart shows the tone of the conversation according to the 100 tweets posted between Jun 26 and Jul 13, 2009.

Tone of Conversation Chart by @filizefe - Jul 2009

Tone of Conversation Chart by @filizefe - Jul 2009

As the chart shows, the tone of @kodakCB’s voice is mostly conversational (@replies). Every 1 tweet out of 4 is corporate marketing/PR related.

This conversational balance on visual identity and discourse has most probably a great impact to maintain relationships and build communities on social media. I found @kodakCB highly successful on designing and implementing a social media strategy on Twitter.