Create Your Free Infographic Resume

Last July, I wrote about how I’ve been waiting since April 2011 for Visual.ly to provide me the ability to create cool infographics with little to no graphic design skills – and for free. Because I’m cheap budget-constrained.

Today, I finally got my wish!

I’d seen some email notices from them about their Marketplace where you can locate people you could pay to design infographics for you; but, if they told me before today that there were free plug-and-play ones out there, I missed it. That whole inbox zero thing never really worked for me.

Today, however, I actually opened the email from them and read “Check out our Visual Resume data visualization tool!” Which I did because that sounded like a cool addition to the visual CV/portfolio that I created on Pinterest.

Turns out this is one of handful of co-branded infographic templates now available on the site. Most are what I’d classify as just-for-fun like one tied to my Facebook stats and the Sherlock Holmes TV series called “Elementary.”  But, some more useful ones allow you to create a Venn Diagram (might try that one to update my Enjoli Woman post) or a visualization of Facebook Page statistics.

Then there is the newest one for creating a visual resume. You just choose one of their templates – sponsored by Kelly — then log in with your LinkedIn account and boom! There are currently five styles to choose from, but hopefully there will be more in the future because I was almost tempted not to share these for fear everyone would start to have one like mine. <wink>

create infographics with visual.ly

Sidewiki Just a Less Fun Weblins

I decided to check out Google’s newest toy today. If you haven’t heard of Sidewiki yet, you will. Google says it will enable us all to “help and learn from others as you browse the web.”

Their example of it in action is rather optimistic. They show a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) page where “Doctors add detailed expert insights on heart disease prevention.” I’ll believe it when I see it.

On the sidewiki comments of that same page, however, someone brings up an interesting idea: a global “user rank” meter below each commenter’s name so we can see how well each user’s overall comments fair across sites.

That sounds like a community. Something John Battelle made a point to say Google is not good at: “But as much as I love the idea of SideWiki, I’m skeptical of it for one simple reason: Google isn’t in the community business, and SideWiki, if it’s going to work, needs to either A/be driven by communities or B/Needs to be embraced as a standard by publishers, who are the proxy for communities.”

Like an unmoderated community, many suspect it will simply be filled with snarky comments, trolls and a term I rather like “web graffiti.” Jeff Jarvis worried it would take comments off his blog itself and into the sidelines robbing his site of its value. And, The IT Chronicle notes how it is open to abuse by spammers, in the same way Google’s Searchwiki has been.

A quick look at the three comments seen on my employer’s site today would back that up (click the image to see the full size):
Dell website with Sidewiki

Still, many marketing/branding/PR/reputation management gurus are going to say it is a big deal. Some are even using Sidewiki to say it:
Issac Pigott sidewiki comment

I think I’m going to take a wait-and-see approach. Certainly it is something to keep an eye on, but if it fills up with nothing but spammy comments and trolls, it won’t be useful and our customers won’t bother to look. And, without an active community, I suspect it will be nothing more than a less fun version of Weblins.  Remember them?

Weblins launched in early 2007 and enabled you to create an avatar of yourself that appeared that on any web page you viewed. You could also see and interact with the avatars of any other Weblin users who happened to be on that page at the same time.

Many saw promise in the “co-presence” it allowed and the way it could be another step toward a 3D internet; but I rarely saw others on the pages I was surfing when I used it, and when I did there was no real conversation happening. In the end, it just became annoying to have it blocking my view of the bottom of the page and I uninstalled. Recently, they’ve retooled Weblins as Club Cooee – another 3D chat like IMVU or, dare I say, Google Lively?

Trying Out a New Look

Saw that they had added some new themes for those of us using IABC eXchange and thought I’d try out a new look. What do you think? I liked the fact that it was easy to customize the main image in the header.

Opted to go with the same image I’ve been using on my Twitter page since Earth Day this spring, but there were several other potential designs. And, as I surfed my Flickr photostream this evening I found a few more that I’ll add to this set when I get a chance tomorrow.

Feel free to comment here, or in Flickr, on any other designs you like better.

New Toys for Everyone to Play With

Had intended to do some real writing tonight, but keep getting distracted. Two things have the twittersphere buzzing: changes to the Twitter web interface and video uploads on Flickr.

Seems @Armano likes how Twitter has moved their search box to a much more UX (user experience) friendly place at the top of their web page. And, several (including myself) are submitting their Twitter stories via a new link for that. But, @QueenofSpain fears the demographic information asked for in that form means advertising will soon be pushed at us on Twitter. @SamLawrence shares her reaction. I don’t rush to go there yet. I know demographics can be helpful for way more than that, and can envision how the Twitter guys might use them to pitch for more venture funding, or just answer that question they probably get all the time: “So, who uses Twitter?” Even if this did preclude ads, if they’re necessary to keep the Twitter servers running, I’m OK with it. Also, I haven’t run into it yet, but @TWalk _really_ doesn’t like the hover effect . They also seem to have moved the link for getting widgets for your blog (which I’d love to have, but don’t see available through IABC’s version of WordPress). But, no one’s really talking about that much.

The other big deal is video on Flickr. Having just purchased a cool Flip Ultra camcorder [that wouldn’t connect to my PC, so I’m having to return it and wait to get it fixed or get a new one before I can start having fun with it :-(], I was jazzed to see that. Any opportunity to not have to open yet another account somewhere is a good thing, and if I can combine my still-to-come vids with my pics, all the better! However, it looks like it’s only available for pro accounts, and I’m so cheap I’ve only got the free account. Might have to break down and upgrade, but wondering if the 90sec length limit will be a big deal or not.

The cool thing about all of this is just how quickly everyone jumped on the new features, and how quickly they became the hot topic of conversation online. Really drives home the speed at which the web works – it’s a crazy environment for those of us who work in it every day!

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