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The Power of Infographics: Using Pictures to Communicate and Connect With Your Audiences (Que Biz-Tech) Paperback – June 25, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Foreword by Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment and former chief evangelist of Apple

INFOGRAPHICS ARE TODAY’S MOST POWERFUL WAY TO
• Tell Your Story
• Make Your Point
• Deliver Instant Knowledge
• Get Results!

WHY? THEY’RE:
• Visual
• Quick
• Intuitive
• Fun
• Beautiful
• People Love Them
• And 1 More Thing: THEY WORK.

LEARN HOW TO VISUALIZE:
• Big Ideas
• Numbers
• Processes
• Who, When, Where, and more
• Personal Stuff

YOU NEED A PROCESS. HERE IT IS:
• Prework
• Idea Processing
• Design
• Publishing (everywhere!)

THIS IS BUSINESS. GET MAX VALUE:
• Sell!
• Build Brands
• Serve Clients
• Align Teams
• Measure ROI (Executives Like That)

About the Author

Mark Smiciklas is the president of Intersection Consulting, a Vancouver-based digital marketing and communications agency that teaches organizations how to leverage the dynamics of Web 2.0 to achieve business goals. He is an established digital marketing and social media practitioner recognized for his visual thinking and strategic, no-nonsense approach. His service offering is framed by core beliefs in listening, stakeholder engagement, trust creation, and employee empowerment. An interest in the evolution of social business continues to motivate him, as does a passion for teaching. Smiciklas has developed and taught social media strategy classes for undergraduates and adult learners at a number of Canadian universities. He also has spoken about a wide variety of digital marketing topics at corporate and public events and workshops. His genuine love of technology and people continues to ignite ongoing learning and new thinking that aim to help individuals and organizations connect with their audiences. Smiciklas hangs out full-time at intersectionconsulting.com/ blog. He can be found on Twitter at @Intersection1. He is also a regular contributor to socialmediaexplorer.com, the popular digital and social media marketing and online communications blog. He lives in North Vancouver, BC, Canada, with his lovely wife, three kids, and Max the dog.

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Product Details

  • Series: Que Biz-Tech
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Que Publishing; 1 edition (June 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789749491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789749499
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark is a digital strategist and President of Intersection Consulting Ltd. His background includes over 15 years in senior marketing roles, accumulating broad experience in the areas of marketing strategy, communication and business development.

Mark is an established digital marketing and social media practitioner recognized for his visual thinking. Blending strategy with a practical approach, he teaches organizations how to leverage the dynamics of web 2.0 to communicate with their audiences.

He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with his wife, 3 children and Max the dog.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Buck Field on September 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Caveat: No one likes to write a bad review, even less to read it. With that said...

In the course of tediously wading through the book I was shocked by how often and badly the author's example graphics violated the principles described in the text, and not merely "just over the speed limit" violations, we're talking capital offenses. In fairness, his intro and graphical resume (Figs. 1.1 & 4.2) are quite good; I will post examples of good and bad in product photos, but suffice to say that virtually all the infographics contain distractions from the core idea or story point which need to be eliminated. Happy colors are fine and can help communicate, but swirls of randomly colored icons and arrows indicating nothing of import (Fig 3.13) are not "compelling" rather: they indicate the presenter's reach exceeds their grasp and undermine their credibility. One feels sympathy for clients using some of these consultants.

In contrast: the work in Indexed or xkcd: volume 0. They've become worldwide internet phenomena with clear, simple black and white portrayals containing humor and typically: important truths.

The book's goals are admirable, but it's own message was not well executed (or perhaps not well understood).

Authors: please do a full revision. Consultants used for source material: use sensible color schemes, minimize until there's nothing left to remove, and select appropriate visual metaphors - for example: don't portray valuable ideas as lightbulbs being dropped from some height onto a conveyor as in Fig. 6.2, or the awful Fig. 7.1. Use well aligned designs like the excellent Fig. 7.2 metaphor of a game with progress, winning, risk & uncertainty which is brilliant, despite questionable color choices.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Conspicuous Consumer TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
One of my job responsibilities is to make data quickly and easily understandable for an audience that includes clinical staff, students, and doctors. This book has a mix of trite Powepoint level graphs and interesting, innovative approaches to data display.

I wasn't particularly impressed with Content Burger which displayed data in the form of a hamburger but the Stairway to Brand Heaven and Hell was clever and memorable.

Much of the internet already uses the Price Visualization charts so that was nothing new but the Customer Front Line makes a strong point immediately when discussing issues related to who in an organization actually knows what's going on.

If I hadn't just seen the resume infographics the week before, I would have thought this guy was a genius. But it was useful for the book to tell you where to go to find software to create these graphics.

We already use project management software at work for major construction projects but it was useful to see how they presented a 12 week timeline for only three people.

The strong point of the book is the resources cited in Chapter 11. Having spent several hours last week unsuccessfully searching for the resume infographics software, I recognize the value in these resources.

Excellent book. I do not agree with the low-rated reviews.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thom Mitchell VINE VOICE on January 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
With the explosion of social media, people are leveraging information graphics to visually communicate complex information more than ever. If you are curious about the how, the what and the why of information graphics, Mr. Smiciklas's book is a good starting point. There are lots of examples showcasing different ways of organizing information to communicate a point visually. The book's strength is the focus on helping people understand why they are creating an information graphic and what they'll do with it and how it will be used after it is finished. Too often I've seen presentations with great graphics that don't support the overall purpose of a meeting - this book will help prevent future mismatches between content and goals.

My biggest quibble with the book is that the most useful chapter came at the end of the book. I would have liked to see the chapter listing various information graphics resources and reference images near the beginning of the book to help build a visual vocabulary and understanding of what is possible. Additionally, if you are looking for a book to help you with the mechanics of creating an infographic - this book won't be very helpful. It isn't a how-to on how to use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop - but it is the perfect book for someone leading a team tasked with creating infographics and shaping how those infographics will be used once they are created.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on January 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For better or worse, I have been a long-time occupant of the land of office cubicles and have had to do my fair share of presentations and reports. For this reason, I thought there might be some value in Mark Smiciklas's The Power of Infographics. I was precisely right: there is some value in this book, but there could have been even more.

The term "infographics" is a rather obvious portmanteau of "information graphics", which is to say, a way of conveying information in a visual format rather than a textual (or other) one. Graphs are probably the most familiar sort of infographic, but it essentially is any image or set of images that can illustrate a point.

This book discusses the uses of infographics to relate various ideas, such as statistics, chronologies, organizational structures or processes. Certainly, there are times when infographics can simplify a message: to use a couple cliches, pictures can be worth a thousand words and they can help you see the forest instead of focusing on the trees. The book also discusses the basics of setting up infographics and various resources that can be used.

While reading this book, however, I couldn't help but notice things that were missing. In particular, I think Smiciklas should have written more about common problems with infographics: for example, ways that graphs can misrepresent information, making trends seem larger or smaller than they actually are, or using bad analogies. I think a few illustrations of flawed infographics would have been helpful (after all, one way we learn is through the mistakes of ourselves and others).

Finally, for a book that is all about "saying it with pictures", I actually found many of the examples provided to be relatively weak or confusing. On the Amazon rating scale, this merits three stars. It's wide in range, but shallower in depth than it needs to be to be a truly great book.
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