Infographics are supposed to have two related qualities: they’re useful and you want to spread them. Putting a whole bunch of stuff together in a graphic, no matter how cleverly, doesn’t necessarily qualify. When people do this, I’m left scratching my head.
This makes one hell of a poster. It has “3,874 Marketing Solutions on one slide.” And I’m certain that Brinker learned a lot by shoehorning all those logos into one mosaic. As he told me:
Originally [I did this] to serve as ‘Exhibit A’ in the case that marketing has become a software-powered discipline. That case is probably settled by now. More recently, I think it’s a useful way of illustrating the evolving dynamics of software entrepreneurship in a rapidly changing industry such as marketing. [But now,] it’s mostly intended as a conversation piece.”
I could see this in a venture capitalist’s office, as an object warning about funding any more marketing technology companies. I admire the effort, like making a sand mandala. But as a practical tool, it’s useless.
According to this table, there are 124 elements of Internal Communication, ranging from Strategy to Mobile Site. According to Alan Oram, who created this with Chuck Gose:
There are so many aspects. But there is no central place to look at them, to understand what aspects are there and how do we structure those together. From that kernel of an idea, we put the periodic table of internal comms together. If you look at each element, we are explaining what each one of those means, with advice and guidance on each one of those elements.
Why a periodic table? “It was a nice way to wrap everything from a digestible perspective, see all the aspects in one simple table of information.”
When I interviewed Oram, he said over 1,200 people had downloaded this. Internal communications is a big topic for me, but I still don’t get how somebody would use this. It’s just a long list, dolled up in a graphical format borrowed from chemists.
I’m working on my own infographics now. Here’s my list of qualities that make them work:
- They’re useful.
- They cover one topic.
- They make a point.
- They’re clever.
- You want to share them so others can get the same insight.
Are the monster graphics I’ve shown useful in some way that I’m missing? Help me out here.