Category Archives: 100 Tips

DIY Infographic: Timelines

Recently, I’ve created a blog post (A History of Augmented Reality) with a timeline infographic.

Just 1 month ago, this would have taken 1 week to create. Most of the spent time was on the designer who had to conceptualise and create the timeline. And really, their time could be better spent on other design things.

Now it takes a grand total of 2 hours to make a Timeline Infographic.

image

Thanks to Timeline JS. It’s a simple and yet beautifully rendered timeline that runs on a Google Excel sheet. Yup, a Google Excel sheet. Just plonk in the data and image links, some formatting, and it automatically creates the timeline for you.

image

If you’re being held ransom by designers and account managers, I’d suggest having a go with Timeline JS. Also, there are many DIY infographic tools on the internet that anyone – newbie or seasoned designer — could use to create great-looking infographics.

It just takes a little bit of willingness to try out the tools and perhaps a penchant for storytelling.

  1. Get the Timeline JS from Knights Labs
  2. See how timeline infographic is implemented at “A History of Augmented Reality: When Digital & Physical Worlds Converge”.
Advertisements

#24: Listen, Eavesdrop: A Wellspring of Ideas

Most of us live in a world of tick-tocks, drunken love-dovey nothings, tired screeches, ding-goes-the-ovens, bad singing from American Idol wannabes, and gems of ideas.

If you listen closely, you’d hear much to fuel any creative projects.

Here are a few tips to get started with listening and eavesdropping well.

  1. Carry a little notebook and a pen. Even better if you have a sound recorder (most mp3 players double up as recorders) to take down whatever you hear and notice. Always export them to your idea bank.
  2. Talk to everyone. Everyone has a story to tell. They’re just waiting for someone to tell it.
  3. Listen. Really listening to what’s out there is a skill that not many have. Listen to what people are really saying. Listen without prejudice. Just listen without saying stuff.
  4. Living Life Fully suggests that we can be creative listeners if we…

    Listen critically. Mentally challenge assertions, ideas, and philosophies.  Seek the truth with an open mind.

    Listen with patience. Do not hurry the other person.  Show them the courtesy of listening to what they have to say, no matter how much you may disagree.  You may learn something.

    Listen with your heart. Practice empathy when you listen.  Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

    Listen for growth. Be an inquisitive listener.  Ask questions.  Everyone has something to say which will help you to grow.

    Listen creatively. Listen for ideas or the germs of ideas.  Listen for hints or clues that may spark creative projects.

That’s it. Good ol’ common sense, really.

So open your ears and listen up.

Who knows, you might even learn something useful.

 


A day, a tip | 100 days, 100 useful content tips

Tip categories: Create, Source, The Truth, Spread & Be Nice.
Got an idea, opinion or critique?
Please share it with me @ContentTicks.

 

Credits: Featured image from empopempo

#23: How to Get Rid of Trolls (aka Online Idiots who Grief You)

Trolls aren’t green brutes living under a bridge (although they might well be given their behaviour),

Trolls are…

…someone who intentionally steers a thread off-topic or incites arguments in a forum.

Source: Mental Help

You might have read them in action, or even worse, bore the brunt of their childish antics. So you’ll know that they’re disruptive and annoying.

Akin to most bullies, online trolls are like persistent boogers. You just can’t seem to get rid of them and the more you smear, the more you get them on everything.

So how can we get rid of a troll?

Continue reading #23: How to Get Rid of Trolls (aka Online Idiots who Grief You)

#22 Want Readers Write Good Headers

#22: Effective Headers Get Readers

If you know some HTML, then you might have seen bits of words with <h1> or <h2> tags.

For example,

This is a <h1> tagged phrase </h1>

looks like…

This is a

tagged phrase

As you can see, anything between the tags are headers. And they’re important, because for you – the blogger, content creator, social media sharer –, headers get you readers.

Continue reading #22: Effective Headers Get Readers

#21: Make an Idea Bank

Whatever you do, never let even the most insignificant idea slip away.

Put every idea that you can think of – the amazing, off-the-wall, utter crap, and bolts-of-inspiration-in-the-toilet ideas – into your idea bank.

After all, who knows when it might come in handy?

Of course, there are more reasons to keep an idea bank:

  • Don’t lose your intellectual capital. A forgotten idea is gone for good.
  • An idea might seem bad now. But not in the future when technology and attitudes change.
  • Break out of a creative rut by using old ideas or riffing off them.
  • Rejig ideas for different clients or purposes.

So dust off your thinking cap and make your first idea deposit.

Continue reading #21: Make an Idea Bank

19-twitter-advanced-research-techniques

#19: Twitter advanced research techniques

Last week, I’ve posted on how to use Twitter to get content. For this post, here’s the low-down on how to use Twitter’s Advanced Search Functions:

Operator

Finds tweets…

twitter search

containing both “twitter” and “search”. This is the default operator.

happy hour

containing the exact phrase “happy hour”.

love OR hate

containing either “love” or “hate” (or both).

beer root

containing “beer” but not “root”.

#haiku

containing the hashtag “haiku”.

from:alexiskold

sent from person “alexiskold”.

to:techcrunch

sent to person “techcrunch”.

@mashable

referencing person “mashable”.

“happy hour” near:“san francisco”

containing the exact phrase “happy hour” and sent near “san francisco”.

near:NYC within:15mi

sent within 15 miles of “NYC”.

superhero since:2011-02-26

containing “superhero” and sent since date “2011-02-26″ (year-month-day).

ftw until:2011-02-26

containing “ftw” and sent up to date “2011-02-26″.

movie -scary 🙂

containing “movie”, but not “scary”, and with a positive attitude.

flight 😦

containing “flight” and with a negative attitude.

traffic ?

containing “traffic” and asking a question.

hilarious filter:links

containing “hilarious” and linking to URLs.

news source:twitterfeed

containing “news” and entered via TwitterFeed

Source: Twitter.com

Instead of re-posting what to do, head over to Twitter advanced research techniques 1: searching twitter from Journalism.co.uk for a brilliant primer how to combine operators for better search results.

 


A day, a tip | 100 days, 100 useful content tips

Tip categories: Create, Source, The Truth, Spread & Be Nice.
Got an idea, opinion or critique?
Please share it with me @ContentTicks.

Credits: Featured Image from Peter Standing

#18: Responding to Critics

Criticism is far worse online. It flows stronger, faster and sharper on Facebook Fanpages, blogs, Twitter and YouTube. And anyone can comment without using their real identity – that supposed swimsuit model might actually be a beer-grubbing obese male.

But they are part and parcel of publishing content online. For many of them, their heart’s in the right place as they want to point outflaws and express their own ideas.

The question then; how to handle and respond to critics?

Continue reading #18: Responding to Critics

#17: Murder Your Darlings – Be Succinct

Going on and on and on and on and on kills moods, destroys meanings, invades the brain like a bad Rick Roll and irritates like smelly people queuing overnight for Hello Kitty toys from McDonalds (I kid you not, this happened in Singapore).

There, I had to get it out of my system.

Long, rambling sentences get my goat. I argghhh against writers do not know how to trim, nip and tuck for our reading ease.

William Strunk said it best:

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

From Strunk & White

Continue reading #17: Murder Your Darlings – Be Succinct

#16: What’s Your Content Mix?

I had trouble figuring what to put inside this blog. I knew I wanted to post stuff about content and share what I knew about it.

But should I reblog anything that I saw? Or put up my stories, or just whatever with “Content” in the headlines? I tried and got paralysed by second-guessing: “Would this post work for the blog?”

That was annoying and, frankly idiotic. After all, a content creator should be able to create content about content, right?

That’s when I decided to take a weekend to think about it. And that’s how I got around to structuring a content mix.

During the entire process, my head was entirely wrapped around what content to make and put up. I kept revising, returning to my old ideas, disposing of them and going back again.

It was an absolute mess.

Eventually I came up with a content mix. I realised that it could be broken up into six parts:

Continue reading #16: What’s Your Content Mix?

#15 Spread by Sharing Content on Twitter

#15: Spread by Sharing Content on Twitter

I found this list of reasons why people tweet from The Simple Web Toolbox.

  • To learn new things
  • Connect with people in their industry
  • Publicize themselves or their company
  • To draw traffic to their blog or website
  • Create a network to disseminate information on a social cause (i.e. education, animal rights, etc.)
  • To consolidate researching on the web by following people who provide links in a particular subject area
  • To make friends

From The Simple Web Toolbox

It got me thinking about how Chris Brogan uses Twitter.

He connects with folks (the number of conversations that he has is just crazy!), shares information about social media, and draws traffic to his blog with the occasional tweet to his blog post or question on Facebook.

So what does it mean for spreading my hard created content?

Continue reading #15: Spread by Sharing Content on Twitter