Sites like MPIWeb.org illustrate that how we consume information is changing rapidly.
WE’RE DROWNING IN INFORMATION. WE’RE OVERSATURATED.
We don’t read long form posts or emails. Heck, this article is too long for most of you. Sites like Pinterest.com illustrate that how we consume information is changing rapidly.
The new MPIWeb.org is bite-sized. It’s visual. It’s engaging. It begs you to browse around, see something that excites you and click your way deeper. It’s the opposite of a magazine. It’s a scrapbook.
Like Pinterest. There. I said it. MPIWeb rips off Pinterest, and I mean that in the most loving and homage-filled of ways. It’s brilliant. It’s what I wrote about recently on my own site. Pinterest is the hottest website out there right now (and if you have no idea what I’m writing about, why have you not paused, gone to Pinterest.com and looked around?).
When USA Today came out, critics hailed and reviled it. It was colorful when newspapers were black and white. It was bite-sized when respectable newspapers were not. Info-graphics were a mainstay for USA Today back in the 1980s. Decades later, the world is finally admitting their value.
MPIWeb, Pinterest and my favorite Gentlemint.com (like Pinterest for dudes) all point out that the Web isn’t just an electronic academic journal any more. It’s visual. It’s bite-sized. It’s a place where we can choose an entry point and dig in.
Your website, your media, your email newsletter are not designed like MPIWeb or Pinterest or USA Today. Many of you hate your company website, which is just now adopting the new methods and ideas from four years ago. It’s time to consider how you communicate: How long are your emails? How text-laden are your Web pages? What are you doing to share information visually? How much video have you adopted?
This isn’t as hard as you think.
1. Make a mobile version of your site. You must develop a mobile-friendly (at worst) version of your website. Shoppers this holiday season purchased more tablets and smartphones than laptops and desktops combined. We take the Web to the toilet and into the hallways between meetings. If your site is only built for laptop viewing, you’re losing the game.
2. Make your first page bite-sized. Design it so people know what you want them to do immediately. Give them a way to start small on everything else thereafter. Need design inspiration? Go to MPIWeb.org (and MPI isn’t paying me for the praise).
3. Use photos and video. If you’re not getting into the visual game, you’re missing out on how many (most?) humans process information. We react to graphics, to movies, to color. Start simple. Use photos with every article. Shoot a short (under-two-minute) video instead of an article or a post. Use these for your event materials, as well.
4. Implement social sharing on all articles, posts and newsletters. You know those little buttons that let people tweet or Facebook or add something to Google+? Add them to your website or newsletter. What’s the benefit? You’ve made it easy for people to share information about your company or meeting. Provided your info is worth sharing, you’ll gain quickly.
5. Try infographics. You need a talented designer for this one. Want some inspiration? Check out http://infographics.alltop.com.
Media snacking is here to stay, whether you’re still reading this article or not. You’re much more likely to skim the first two paragraphs and bookmark it to read later (which rarely ever comes). The smaller the article, the more bite-sized the page, the simpler for people to engage and find elements that matter to them.
Be wary of clutter. Just because you’re at a buffet doesn’t mean you need one of everything.
See what comes of it. Millions of people have rushed to Pinterest. I think you and I (and MPI) are on to something here. What do you think? One+
One+ March 2012,