What Kind of Model (Data) Are You?

abstract model image

abstract model image

As a marketer, I pay attention to how corporations are leveraging the latest digital marketing channels to promote their brands.  For example, I recently enjoyed reading this post, “Five examples of brands that are nailing Pinterest.”

I’m just as, and maybe more so, interested in how individuals are using digital channels, like Pinterest, to promote their individual selves today.  In some cases, individuals on Pinterest are giving corporate brands a run for the money in terms of their number of account Followers – for example, one individual, Joy Cho, has more than 15 million people who follow her Pinterest account.

The majority of digital channels today make it easy for individuals to convey and share their preferences related to a multitude of subjects.  For example, Pinterest provides almost a literal picture of the interests and preferences of its users.

Other digital channels, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, also make it easy for individuals to indicate and share their preferences (on Facebook and on LinkedIn, you can hit the “Like” button to indicate that you like certain content, while on Google+, you can hit the +1 button to indicate your preferences).

Have you ever asked yourself why the latest digital channels include functionality that so strongly promotes individual preference sharing?  As I’ve stated in a prior post, online behavior is being tracked more and more often by companies who want to identify and target more individuals as potential buyers of their products. New digital channels providers are capturing and making the preference data of their individual subscribers available to those companies, usually at a some cost.

Also, many companies today are using software solutions to collect online data, mine the data, model the data, and then create visual representations of that data – all in an effort to gain new insights and knowledge that their organizations can use to propel their businesses forward.

Speaking of data visualization, I enjoy seeing different data visualization examples on the Information is Beautiful site.  What about you?  Have you ever stopped to think about what kind of model all of your personal, historical online data would create if summarily captured?

Would your online behavioral data present a Kate MossKurt Cobain-waif-like image, or would it reveal a more robust Kate Upton-like visualization?  What trends or secrets of your life would be revealed? Which of your data points would surface as uniquely beautiful, like the mole over Cindy Crawford’s lip or the gap in Lauren Hutton’s front teeth?

When I was a young girl, I dreamt of being a model.  I had no idea that I would actually fulfill that dream to the extent that I, like you no doubt, have become a data point in someone else’s data model.

Remembering the Roses

multi-colored rose image via designboom.com

multi-colored rose image via designboom.com

Last weekend, Kentuckians and countless others around the world witnessed the run for the roses and Joel Rosario’s now-famous ride on Orb to win the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

This weekend, and, especially today, is a time to stop and remember the roses in our lives.

Which roses?

I’m referring to those who have cradled us, guided us, scolded us, pulled for us, and, above all, loved us during our lifetimes – our mothers, of course.

Do you have a mother or mother-in-law alive or deceased who you are thankful for today?

Are you a mother yourself who has been blessed by the experience of giving birth or adopting a child?  Or, are you someone who is childless but who gives someone or some specific cause your utmost care and concern that is equivalent to a mother’s touch and affection?

If you’ve ever tended to a rose garden, then you’re aware that mothering is not always an easy task.  Growing roses require continual care and maintenance that often varies, depending on the variety of rose involved.  Similarly, growing children require continual care, guidance and supervision that will often vary, depending on the particular needs of the individual child involved.  Like roses, no two children are alike, so, when it comes to the mothering of children, the “how-to” rules aren’t often clear.

Without doubt, the fragrance of a rose is most distinctive.  Do you think the same can be said a mother’s love?  I think many would say so.  Consider this Pinterest board entitled, “There is Nothing Like a Mother’s Love,” for example.

On a personal note, today I’m thankful for my mother-in-law, a beautiful rose of a woman of the Spanish variety, and my mother, who is not only a beautiful rose but is also a beautiful Pansy.

Who are the roses filling the garden of your thoughts today?

Knockout Pictures or Words?

Knockout roses

Knockout roses

According to Wikipedia, a photoblog is “a form of photo sharing and publishing in the format of a blog.  It differs from a blog through the predominant use of and focus on photographs rather than text.”  The online encyclopedia also points out that photoblogging gained momentum in the early 2000s with the advent of the camera phone.

How many photoblog sites have caught your eye?  Photoblogs.org is a site that helps individuals find photoblogs.  Currently, the site lists more than 40,000 photoblogs.  And, are you aware of Andrew A. Miller’s Top 5 funny photoblogs?

Navigating through photoblogs, such as www.eleventwentyseven.com, can be fun yet time-consuming.

Speaking of time-suckers, have you ventured onto Pinterest yet?

Do you agree with the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words?”  Or, when it comes to blogs, do you prefer words with pictures versus pictures with words?

In this post, I’m including an image of spring, captured earlier today in my front yard.   The roses are of the Knockout variety.  Again, I’d love to know if words or images or a combination of both knock you out from a blog readership perspective.

Blog Images: More than Hunky-dory

Fun For Hunkydory Little Golden Book cover

Fun For Hunkydory Little Golden Book cover

Can you recall a cover image from a favorite book that you read as a child?  One of my favorite children’s books was a Little Golden Book titled, “Fun For Hunkydory.”  After all these years, I can’t forget the book’s cover image of a cute little puppy playing in the grass.

And, consider the popularity amongst adults of the new social network site, Pinterest.  Talk about images galore!

Without doubt, pictures and images within books and media for children and adults convey meaning and can make lasting impressions on readers and users.

But, what about blog posts?  Why should a blog author include images inside a post?

I can list two reasons to include images within blog posts:

  1.  Visual Learning – Many individuals who read blog posts are visual learners.  The visual learning Wikipedia entry cites an Institute for the Advancement of Research in Education study titled, “Graphic Organizers: A Review of Scientifically Based Research,”  which concluded that “visual learning improves student performance in the areas of retention, comprehension and organization.”  If you’re trying to convey a concept within a blog post, including a relevant image will likely help you be more effective in that effort.  Also, including images within your longer posts may help keep readers interested in reading the entire post.
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – After attending a recent SEO workshop sponsored by QIC Learning and led by SEO expert Phil Buckley, I was reminded of the fact that crawling search engines today respond favorably to tagged images on blog and standard Web pages.  Properly tagged images within blog posts can help you optimize your Web site for SEO and increase the chances of your blog content surfacing higher in organic search results at popular search engine sites like Google.  The Digital Graphics Inform post, “The Importance of Tagging Photos for SEO,” provides tips for successfully tagging images for SEO purposes, and, if you’re seeking royalty-free images for your blog, check out DailyBlogTips.com’s post, “Where to Find Images For Your Blog.”

According to Dictionary.com, the word “hunky-dory” is an adjective meaning, “satisfactory. OK. fine.”

When it comes to visual learning and SEO, blog images are anything but.

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