Put frankly: words are overrated.
Sure, words have their place (after all, I make my living off them)… but it’s become increasingly easy to add dynamite media to your site… without coding, technical skills or phenom-Flickr skills.
The following is a list of 5 easy-to-implement tools writes can use to add timelines, innovative data visualizations and interactive maps to lend a helping punch to their blog posts…
Upload Videos Via Phones
Socialcam allows you to instantly upload media to all major network sites using jsut your smartphone.
The potential is huge. Imagine you’re doing a piece on London pub-crawls; Socialcam lets you record your experience in each pub, then upload it to your blog, Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon in just a handful of clicks. Or how about a report on Vietnamese street food? Simply record a short snippet in each food stall ( a la Anthony Bourdain) and upload to your hungry viewers.
So Socialcam works swimmingly for (almost) real time… but what about…
Creating Timelines With Multimedia
Dipity lets you create dynamite timelines with ease. With just a click of a button, you can add text, audio, video, timestamps and locations on a Google map. The beauty with Dipitiy is that you can either create your own timeline from scratch, or use an existing timeline for your article. This adds tremendous value for writers.
For example, if you’re writing about Russia, you might want to add this timeline on Russian history. Just think how much more professional your article will come across!
But what if your research (or someone else’s) isn’t put together in a neat, chronological order?
Fear not because now you can…
Publish Data In New and Exciting Ways
Created and hosted by IBM, Many Eyes allows you to upload any data set and – with one click of your mouse – visualize the data in several different ways.
And we’re not talking line-graphs or bar-charts, either… Many Eyes uses bubble charts, word clouds, and nearly a dozen other visualizations which you can activate with one click.
There’s even global maps. For example, you could write an article on the average travel spend for each country. Once you’ve got your data set (check government resources for this) you can create a global map like this. Pretty cool, huh?
And the best part is, as your readers scroll over your map, each country pops up. This not only provides quality content, it adds a solid interactive experience for your audience.
But what if you found an awesome website? How do you share this visually?
That’s when you…
Shrink the Web
Shrink the Web lets you easily add snapshots of a website to your article. Simply enter the URL, and ShrinkTheWeb produces a handful of snapshots in different sizes for your use. This is extremely handy when publishing round-up posts (like “The 7 Hottest Websites For Cheap Travel”).
Not only is it easy to implement, it adds an awesome visual aspect to your articles as well.
And last but not least…
Create Customized Maps In Seconds
Umapper allows you to create highly-customized maps on the fly. Travel writers will find this especially valuable (I certainly do) when writing narratives. For example, if you’re writing a piece on cycling through Italy, you can include a map highlighting your journey. Not only is it easy to create, Umapper seamlessly integrates with Google, Bing and several other online map providers.
Now here’s the question: I’ve listed 5 DYNAMITE tools for improving your blog posts. But what have I missed? Let me know in the comments section below…
Do let us know what do you think about this five media tricks to enhance your blog posts, via the comments section.