Lazy Blogging: Why Your Words Matter

I just recently came across a blog post, if you can call it that, which consisted of PowerPoint slides that had been converted to graphics and were used to explain a sports play.  Now on the outset, you would think that would be educational, and for some who commented – and it appears this blogs gets a lot of comments on the pictures, it seems that the audience appreciated the pictures. However, when I “read”  the post, if you can call it reading…very few words, let’s say when I  looked at the pictures, I ppfailrealized the author was merely taking a lazy way out of writing and using pictures, did I mention the comment bubbles to make the players talk to within the pictures to boot) I have a fondness of visuals as a graphic artist, I am always trying to convey my message with great visuals and accentuate  the message conveyed with the words.  This post, just made me cringe as it appeared on the screen but the message I received so poor of the author, that I didn’t feel the need to share this here with you or anyone else.  It’s was like a bad picture book that someone didn’t take the time to flesh out. I walked away feeling that my intelligence just took a major hit. Why not just explain the plays in a video? Or better yet, use words. To compare and contrast this “author” to other writers on the site within the same site, one blogger chose to respond to tweets he had received during the course of week – and most were centered not on the sport but rather a self-serving ego post that was more about the writer than the sport itself.  The last two “authors” composed prose – using adult words and explained their stories in typically great fashion showcasing they understand the use and beauty of the English language.  I would go back to read these blogs and would be willing to share their brilliance.

Most bloggers know that use of different formats within our blogs give us a chance to expand our reach and audience by varying our content deliver. Pictures can tell a story without captions at all sometimes. If you view some of the best photo blogs, even instagram (aside from the “What I had For Dinner” folks) you can see that the value of graphics, photographers can have on its audience. We can see the story of the person within these pictures. We can be transported to that scene and make our own conclusions as it to meaning. That’s the beauty of great art.

Words are art, and our ability to convey our message in words so that we can be understood without distraction.

What say you, do you find words or pictures to convey your message the best in your writing?

Jennifer Olney
Over the course of my career, I have been sought after by numerous organizations to bring my talents in the arenas of sales, marketing and business development. As the Founder and Director of Business BEALEADER, I bring my experience to the table to expand the knowledge base for those seeking to find their own leader within. In 2011, I created BEALEADER to be a platform for individuals to share their expertise and leadership to make others better by being a resource of business, career and marketing solutions for those who are just starting out or maybe have a “few” years under their belt and need keep their skills fresh. In addition to the BEALEADER platform, I have developed the business units BEALEADER Business Services, which provides marketing, business development and human resource management services and BEALEADER Executive Coaching Services, which provides one on one and group coaching services to executives and individuals. These business units expand our ability and brand to make others better as we reach out to our audience with these unique product offerings. In 2014, I was named to the Inc.com list of Top 101 Leadership Speakers and I have written for several publications such as Yahoo! Small Business, Business 2 Community and others. I have also co-hosted several podcasts and in 2015 will be hosting the BEALEADER podcast for our audience as well.
Jennifer Olney
Jennifer Olney
Jennifer Olney

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  • February 9, 2013

    Ted Rubin (@TedRubin)

    Words are awesome, but we do not all have time for words all the time. Also, images allow for the readers/viewers own interpretation play a primary role. Just some thoughts to consider.

  • February 9, 2013

    Jennifer Olney

    Thanks, Ted. In context to my point, I think of when I read books, the words can transport us and to use our own imagination to create the pictures with the words. Each of us is different in how we process visuals and words – some are visual learners and pictures help them to gain knowledge. I just hate to see the written word being tossed aside too often in place of visuals. I appreciate your comment, Ted.

  • February 9, 2013

    enzzzoo

    Yes, Jen, I agree that words alone are not always enough to explain certain topics, especially complex ones.

    When I was a child my favourite books were the ones with the occasional illustrations. I remember, in particular, a brilliant version of Pinocchio that had beautiful drawings that reflected the story as it unfolded.

    I think a fine balance of prose and art can make any article easier to read and memorable. Too many images breaks up the the flow of the text; too much text with poor or badly positioned images can be a little boring.

  • February 9, 2013

    Jennifer Olney

    Agreed. Everything in moderation works with life as well as storytelling. I find that we are “dumbing” down the prose to include too many visuals – we need to get the reader to understand and comprehend our words – let the words create pictures in the mind. Too easy to give graphics to explain our thoughts and to the reader as well to be lazy to not spend time reading but just viewing the posts. You need a graphic that gives meaning to the words not just a graphic for the sake of having one inserted. Thanks, Enzo.

  • February 10, 2013

    Michelle Mazur, Ph.D.

    Both! I don’t understand why you would just use PowerPoint slides in a post instead of turning it into a screencast or a webinar or something a bit more thought provoking. I like to use images in combination with words. Also turning some successful posts into images is a great way to repurpose content.

  • February 10, 2013

    Jennifer Olney

    Good points, Michelle. I think the best use of graphics, pictures is supporting the words. They have to enhance the conversation happening on the page or site. It doesn’t make sense why you would make graphic of slides to discuss as the total blog post…odd. Thanks, Michelle

  • February 11, 2013

    profkrg

    Well, both. I’m a word nerd, but it’s difficult to get people to embrace the words without a visual. Did I cheat?

  • February 11, 2013

    Jennifer Olney

    Thank, Kenna. I think you need the graphic or photo to enhance the words, not take away from the conversation. I love a great story that allows me to see the visuals in my own mind without relying on the photos only. Does that make sense?

  • February 12, 2013

    dadofdivas (@dadofdivas)

    Words are so important but I agree that sometimes I do not seem to have the time to embrace it myself!

  • February 12, 2013

    Jennifer Olney

    It may be difficult, that’s for sure.

  • February 14, 2013

    Dana Walton (@travelingdelta)

    I agree that words are very important, but I think pictures are good too! A lot of people are very visual, so breaking up texts with pictures helps them to get through all of the content.

  • February 14, 2013

    Jennifer Olney

    I agree both words and pictures help those who are visual. The point of my post was the use of PowerPoint slides as the only means to communicate – bad form, IMO.