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Viral story: the rise of visual content

I wrote an article for the dutch blog Frankwatching last week, and here is the translation of it on my own blog:

The huge amount of Instagram users, the addiction rate of Pinterest and the bizarre ease of reblogging images on Tumblr, I see a trend: the rise of visual content. I have written articles on this subject and gave presentations. One of them, the rise of visual content, has gone viral thanks to SlideShare. Their slogan “We make your content go viral’ is true in my case. Here is my story in text. (The image below is a sketsch from blogger Mina Moka, inspired by my presentation)

illustration_bloggerMinaMokaVisual content: why now? Bloggers were already using big pictures for a long time, but why did so few existing brands, I wondered? Only new concepts and startups, most sites with one purpose or functionality such as Twitter, PeerIndex and WeTransfer know how to adress the nice picture feeling exactly. Old-skool paper magazines have not (yet) been able to do this online, until a concept like Flipboard ensured that their content was really nice to see on the iPad and iPhone. Then I laid my eyes upon the Pitchfork interview and the Snowfall project of the New York Times. You have to view them to see how beautiful digital (moving) images and text enhance each other.

Nice big images
For the conference for webeditors in November 2012, I made the presentation of “The rise of visual content”. Because the subject was visual content, this had to be a visual presentation. In the course of time I fortunately have a lot of nice visual examples preserved. I do that with Pinterest, the super handy social tool for storing, categorizing and sharing images. I have beautiful resumes, kept my visual LinkedIn contacts with LinkedIn Maps, the best infographics and the special dynamic content interview with the band ‘Bat for Lashes’ on Pitchfork. At the sight of these beautiful examples I thought, but how did we do until then? What did most content look like a few years ago? Then I had the idea to show a word-resume, functional streams of Twitter and iTunes and some bar and pie charts to put in my presentation as examples of how we ‘earlier’ worked.

I was thinking: what has changed, so we’re all much more visual and able to make everything visual? And there was a row of developments arising from this thought:

  • Everyone has a smartphone with camera and shares everything
  • Visually driven apps, applications, sites and communities are huge emerging
  • The speed of the Internet is no longer an issue
  • Everyone is a designer with better tools, apps and sample templates
  • We can experiment again, also thanks to the development of html5
  • Photos and videos get more likes and are more shared on social media
  • There is too much data, visualition is necessary to stand out and to get the image clear and understandable

In my presentation on SlideShare you can find many examples of these tools, apps and applications to make your content visual.

Schermafbeelding 2013-02-07 om 22.12.05

Sharing on Slideshare
For international blogger event “Meet the Blogger” in Stockholm, I have updated the same presentation and translated it into English. A number of bloggers that were present at this event, shared my presentation via social media. The next day I had an email in my inbox:

“Your presentation has chosen as one leg or Slideshare’s Top Presentations of The Day. We’ve showcased it on the top of the Slideshare homepage. Kudos from our editorial team for your effort. Your presentation was chosen from the thou sands uploaded to SlideShare everyday from across the world. ”

And then it went loose …

Gone viral
What happens if your presentation go viral? After three days my presentation was viewed more than 100,000 times. Gone viral. I think it’s a good presentation, don’t get me wrong, but this good?
Perhaps the presentation is really appealing because it is so visual. Perhaps nobody had clearly defined this visual trend, like my presentation. Or maybe it was just luck (at the start, it certainly was).

I don’t have much benefit (yet) from my viral presentation. Some 40 additional Slideshare and Twitter followers, some compliments on social media and on my work and a couple of proud parents. I’m very happy of course, but where’s that requests for presentations and workshops? I reported myself (with presentations) to the South by Southwest Interactive conference. I am going there around early March, but that program is unfortunately already boarded. Fortunately I am well on the Media Parade from 16 to 18 April, so if you are interested, you can also live to see the presentation. (The image below is a sketsch of me from blogger Cez06)Portretschets_KirstenJassies_bloggerCEZ

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1 COMMENT
  1. teamgloria

    it is magical how when “real” people got the tools to open up a window and record their lives and let others Peek in – the world of content changed forever.

    *wavingfromlosangeles*

    love your blog.

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