The Power of the Visual

There is a lot of pointless “content” being created
and pushed at us. I know a lot of people who are struggling to decide how much to spend on telling their stories in more beautiful ways.

It’s hard to know if it’s worth paying for the photoshoot, or paying for the extra animations that your agency has asked for to make the brand film look perfect. Even paying someone to design your website or your logo and business cards can sometimes seem hard to justify. Especially when it seems like a lot of the content we’re all bombarded with looks like it was made by a someone’s 14-year old who knows how to mess around a little in iMovie, or worse.

Content is everywhere. The majority of it is pretty boring. Some of it is so bad, it’s offensive. But every now and then something really remarkable comes along.

To me, the definition of remarkable is something as follows:

The “piece of content” (what did we call it before the internet?) has to be carefully created down to every detail, executed with precision and, most importantly, tell me a story that engages me both intellectually and emotionally. It’s been my experience that, without fail, remarkable content almost always includes a story, a fact or set of facts that I have not heard before. In a few cases, it’s not a new story or fact, but a new perspective on someone else’s story or fact.

This time, it was DDI’s “The Power of the Visual”, presented beautifully on their website (and on Vimeo).

Thanks to an email from LinkedIn (who have gotten very good at recommending interesting content lately), I had the pleasure of watching “The Power of the Visual”(made by DDI, an integrated ad agency from Australia, who I had not come across before).  This video, which is beautiful and immensely engaging to me, answers the question “Why does visual information work better than text” better than any savvy marketer has ever tap-danced a budget-conscious client in their life. The next time you’re asked why someone should invest in making things look good, show them this video.

Then just walk out of the room.

We’re connected online to EVERYONE we ever knew, but our neighbors.

#oldcity #neighborhood #downtown #philadelphia #philly #igers #igerphiladelphia #igersphilly #statigram #insta_america #instam #instapic #instagood #instagram #instaaddict #instagramhub #instagramerscba #iphone #iphone5 #iphonesia #iphoneonly #iphonephoto

Here’s a link to a fantastic Fast Company article by Christina Chaey, called “Can Nextdoor Turn Your Neighbors Into A Billion-Dollar Social Network?“. I hadn’t heard of Nextdoor (things get to the UK a bit later than I’d like, so I have to really be reading my Twitter Feed and checking it out.

In my last post, “Time for reconnection”, I mentioned that I feel that we’re reaching a new phase in terms of our attitude towards our “digital life” and the gadgets and screens that are impacting our lives.

Of the many great points that she makes about this level of “localised” marketing, was the fact that one of the keys to fuelling Facebook’s success was the fact that it began on a college campus. It delivered impact for a group of people that were forming a sort of “neighborhood” at Harvard University, mostly because it offered the very useful service of making it easier to get to know who you were going to school with (regardless of what you may have been intending to do with that information).

An excerpt from the post itself that should make you want to go and read the whole thing is the description of the “aha! moment” from the Nextdoor CEO, Nirav Tolia:

Listening to Tolia describe Nextdoor, it’s surprising the platform didn’t exist two years ago. We have Facebook to keep up with friends, LinkedIn to network with professional contacts, andTwitter to discuss our interests. But Tolia wondered, Why isn’t there a place online for people to connect with their next-door neighbors?

I recently joined Streetlife.com, which is a local network that covers my part of London. Can’t say I’ve used it much, but I am beginning to want more from my Social Networking experience than people’s personal moments, political rants, all of which can become a major distraction to getting anything done. (See the reference to research on Facebook Fatigue in the Fast Company article – link above).

Recent post (which are sent to me in my email) topics include:

  • Could you or anyone you know help this poor woman
  • NHS dentist recommendation
  • Jam jars urgently wanted
  • Wandsworth Preparatory School Open night
  • Free wooden desk and desk chair
  • Sourcing Spanish food: flour and peppers
  • Best estate agent for renting (one I will be checking out soon)

I can see a real use for this, and the idea that services like Nextdoor and Streetlife have deliberately separated themselves from Facebook, etc is probably a smart one. Some people would like to differentiate very clearly between friends, professional contacts and neighbors and although you can always create groups (on Facebook) or circles (on Google+), it’s sometimes nice to know that it’s a completely separate identity (which for some people it most definitely is).