How to apply SEO and accessibility to infographics and comics

How to apply SEO and accessibility to infographics and comics

I’m a long time fan of infographics as they can provide a truly engaging way to present data in a visual and easy-to-understand way. I feel the same way about comics as a similar format to convey information with the additional benefit of creating empathy with your audience while educating and entertaining them. However, all that text in graphics is a big no-no. Be mindful of SEO and people using assistive devices such as screen readers, text-to-speech for people with cognitive impairment, and refreshable Braille devices, when posting infographics and comics. Currently, search engines can’t read and index text in images. And people using accessible devices rely on webmasters to take the time to properly describe images. There are two things you can do to fulfil this… 1. Talk about your graphic Add an intro paragraph or an outro paragraph. As long as it’s descriptive of the information in the graphic. In web accessibility circles, this is known as providing a “long text alternative”. Use the keywords your audience is using and other SEO best practices. This way, Google will be satisfied and most importantly, people using assistive devices can enjoy your content. As of this writing, Google likes to give higher rankings to pages with at least 300 words. That may sound like a lot of text to introduce a comic or infographic but really, the quality of your content is what matters now. So make sure your content is worth your audience’s attention in the first place! 2. Use ALT and TITLE tags to their full potential It’s important to fill in those ALT and TITLE tags your...

A Quick Guide to Podcasting

Podcasting seems to have made a resurgence in the mainstream, especially in social marketing circles, in recent months. As both a podcast producer and listener, it’s natural that I’d be happy about this! I’ve been podcasting since 2006 and the amount of fun, community, and opportunities that you build for yourself when you produce a podcast makes it difficult for me to ever imagine myself not podcasting. So I thought I’d share my learnings and experience with podcasting as well as my joy of cartooning in an ebook that I’m offering for free. Entitled, A Quick Guide to Podcasting, it’s part comic book and part survival guide. I hope my 10-page book will help you get set up on your first podcasting adventure. Or if you’re already podcasting, there may be some new tips that will be helpful to you. My ebook stars Spud, the main character in my web comic at superspud.com. I cover microphones, rss feeds, domain names, using smart phones as a short cut, how to sound like you’re not reading when you really are, choosing the best room in your house to record in, audio filtering, how to know if podcasting is right for you, where to find royalty-free music, community building, engaging listeners, and much more. Please note that I only cover audio since I’ve only dabbled a little bit in video over the years. Perhaps a topic for a future ebook? Watch this space! My ebook, A Quick Guide to Podcasting, is available in PDF format and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International...

Content lessons from the Corner Gas Movie

I’m a huge fan of Corner Gas who watches his DVDs over and over. I’m not usually a fan of tv shows being turned into movies but couldn’t pass up the chance to watch the Corner Gas movie. Maybe it will turn out right? Thankfully, it did! I can sum up Corner Gas: The Movie as an unconventional movie experience. And it was refreshing. Because something unique was done. A few unique things, actually. And that’s what can make your content stand out, no matter the medium or format. 1. A very short theatre run It was only in theatres for 5 days in select theatres. At first I thought this was a little strange. Why go to all that production trouble just for a week of showings? Then I pondered if it had anything to do with budget or perhaps Canadian movies having a hard time competing with American ones. Or maybe there was a positive reason? Read on… 2. Quick DVD release The DVD is set to release the week after as will digital downloads. 3. 20 minute warm up before the movie started Instead of sitting through 20 minutes or more of commercials for movies, cell phones, bank services, and cars I’m not in the market to buy, Brent Butt treated us to his comedy, really funny Corner Gas trivia games (many in the theatre including myself laughed out loud), bloopers and even a section where he asked the audience to snap photos and tag with #CornerGasMovie for a Selfies For Swag contest. The latter was genius. It was cool to see photos of my fellow Corner Gas...

NASA’s cool ABC’s of Orion

Photo credit: NASA How do you engage an audience on the many complexities of designing a spacecraft to send people to outer space? With infographics, of course! And not those wordy ones. The pictogram kind. Coinciding with upcoming test flight of the Orion spacecraft on December 4, 2014, @NASASocial tweeted a pictogram for each letter of the alphabet corresponding to a feature of the new vehicle every ten minutes. #Orion from A to Z: A is for Apogee. Apogee is the point in an elliptical orbit when farthest from Earth pic.twitter.com/L3q8TB1mj3 — NASA Social (@NASASocial) November 29, 2014 #Orion from A to Z: B is for Beyond: Orion is designed for deep space missions to go beyond Earth’s orbit pic.twitter.com/OUlJNDQqjr — NASA Social (@NASASocial) November 29, 2014 #Orion from A to Z: C is for Crew Module: a home for our astronauts on board with living space & supply storage pic.twitter.com/X8Yl133aZj — NASA Social (@NASASocial) November 29, 2014 And what beautiful, simple graphics they are! I especially like the tag cloud like collage at the top. Graphics like these are always great way to quickly and simply illustrate the many fascinating details about a concept. In this case, something completely outside of everyday life. NASA’s Orion spacecraft is designed to take humans farther out in space including Mars and asteroids. It will also sustain the crew during the travel, and be used to return to Earth. Just like during the Apollo missions in the 1960s! In fact, I’m wondering if their choice of using pictograms could be related to a theme of lunar landing retro? If so, I think...

Crowdfunding is my latest adventure

Slight excerpt from the book I’ll be crowdfunding Crowdfunding is my latest learning adventure. Joining forces with my friend, Jean-François Leblanc, who lives in Quebec City, we will learn this exciting new field first hand — in not only raising funds, but also ongoing engagement with a community in a slightly different environment from the usual social media for a brand. Soon, Jean-François and I will be crowdfunding to produce a French translation of my book, “Stuttering is Cool: A Guide to Stuttering in a Fast-Talking World” which I self-published at the end of 2013. Jean-François and I met through my podcast of the same name, then in a Stutter Social hangout and in person at the National Stuttering Association conference in 2012. Along with about 200 of our fellow stutterers in the community, we’ve been friends ever since. Two audiences, different languages Since our target audience will be the francophone stuttering and speech language pathologist communities, we will be running what is somewhat a bilingual campaign. One of the best practices for running a successful crowdfunding campaign is to first tap into your existing network of friends, family, associates, etc. Both Jean-François and I are active in the English speaking stuttering community but would they be interested in funding a version of my book written in a language which most of them do not understand? Fortunately, Jean-François also hangs out in the francophone stuttering community where the wishes of a French version of my book emerged. He will be helping me connect with our online francophone audience. Thus, our campaign will naturally be in French. However, we shouldn’t...