Infographics: Powerful to Use, but Consider Your Audience

Infographics are a powerful way to get your message across, and they are being increasingly use to do so in contexts where quick & effective communication is essential: social websites, presentations, and other more fleeting media environments.

However, to be effective a number of factors need to be taken into account: including size of the graphic, the speed of your server, the design of the graphic itself, and finally the amount/depth/range of information that has to be conveyed in the individual graphic.

The graphic below fits most of the criteria: except one. Can you guess what is wrong? I’d suggest trimming the length of this monumental piece of infographic overload (1.2mb and 7600 pixels in length!). This will not play well for most purposes, including sharing on social media, displaying on your phone or even reading on your PC.

Clearly the persons creating this graphic have abilities and are showing off what they can do, however from a user’s point of view, it fails because it doesn’t motivate or make it easy for you to get to the end. I’d strongly suggest trimming the size, the length, the excessive verbiage, in order to make a much stronger IMPACT.

What do you like about this infographic? What do you think would be improved? If you’re interested, why not check out the sponsor of this graphic.

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Additional (overlooked) Tips on Internet Security

Recently two of my accounts were hacked from Turkey while I was asleep. I’m not sure exactly what was looked at, what was copied without my knowledge, or what additional damage there was.

Ever since then I’ve become a tad paranoid about online security, Edward Snowden’s revelations notwithstanding. But there are a couple of steps that I’ve taken since then to increase security; and make certain kinds of hacking more difficult.

2-factor identification

This might seem silly; but many companies, Facebook, Google, banks, etc. are now looking at the mobile in your hand as the next two-factor identification device; and it’s a very reasonable thing to do. If you can, turn on 2-factor mobile identification on.

It’s not always easy to use yet, and there can be odd consequences such as locking yourself out of an account because your phone is out of battery! But worth considering.

New phone number

I’ve been giving out my old mobile phone number willy nilly for years; but because many companies now require SMS verification, that number is logged in my profile as an ID verification tool, even without 2-factor identification.

One of my accounts was hacked because the person hacking knew: my email address; my old password; and my phone number. He was able to get into one of my accounts just with that information alone. He didn’t even need two-factor identification.

Given that many passwords were published online a few months before, I was shocked that a major corporation hadn’t considered that as a line of hacking. In fact, they made it easy to do. And changing your password didn’t help because the hacker already had everything needed.

I suspect the hacker had all three pieces of information from some recent hacking of popular sites; though I’m not sure which is responsible. So I got a new phone number to be used for this, one that wouldn’t be published online anywhere, unlike the old number!

Email alias

If you’re using Google Apps (not a regular Gmail account) or any private hosting company, you’ll be able to create aliases that act to forward email to your actual account. For example, if I have an email address called, I could create any number of aliases, such as secondary@, etc, that would redirect email to the primary address.

This is very neat if you : never tell anybody your primary email address; you create lots of aliases instead. This will reduce the risk of someone trying to login to your account successfully. The aliases cannot act as login ids.

The aliases you create can be unique to each account you need to use an email address for. So, for example, if you have an account at Wells Fargo and an account at Bank of America… you can create two different aliases.

Google Apps does allow you to change your old email address, and sets up your old address as an alias. If you use your Google Apps to login automatically to sites, you cannot use aliases to login like the primary login. It’s better to start fresh, if you can.

Social Media

I also had people trying to hack my Social Media profiles, by pretending to be Facebook or Google and asking for an email to disclose all sorts of personal information. I use an alias for Facebook that only Facebook knows. I have never used it elsewhere or sent email via that address before; it is completely private. Using the aliases has helped solve that issue.

The only other thought that I had was that changing the back up email accounts was a good idea too to prevent password recovery from only known information.

On a separate note: who answers undisclosed telephone numbers these days? I know I don’t. I just the answer machine pick those up.

Needing a little inspiration!

I’ve become a fan of Pat Flynn’s podcast at So I thought I’d write him a letter as a way of finding I hope a little inspiration!

Dear Pat,

Been listening to your podcast and reading your website. I’m in a bit of a quandary… let me explain.

I built two popular websites but each in turn was decimated by Google’s rankings over the years. I first built a Blog that was based on WordPress. Though I wasn’t wildly successful, I managed to keep it going… learning WP all the time! But because I was earning some $$$ from blogging by doing paid blogs and advertisements, I got slapped around by Google ages ago. This was before I learned about keywords, etc.

Then I built a new HTML site for coffee, and thanks to Google built up 50K pg views a month, before the current Penguing/Panda shenanigans killed off my site, and took away many good pages and rankings. It earned some good money, hundreds of dollars, too.

Now I’m kind of not sure where to turn or what to invest in next. I’ve become fearful of doing anything online, but I love running websites, writing stuff, and sharing my own (perhaps unsophisticated) insights… The fact that I’m back to writing stuff is helping me alleviate three years of frustration, and opportunities have come in from other areas as well.

But I lack focus, am fearful of Google, wary (and weary) of putting too much precious time into something that doesn’t work. Pat, do you have any suggestions how I can bootstrap myself out of this situation? I’d love to have your insight!

Best Wishes