Tag Archives: cartoons

Facebook, cartoon avatars, “paedos” and SEO as a public service

A few days ago status updates like this were doing the rounds on Facebook:

“Change your facebook profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same. Until Monday (December 6), there should be no human faces on facebook, but a stash of memories. This is for eliminating violence against children.”

Of course it is. Or maybe not. Today, the rumour changed poles:

“This cartoon thing has been set up by paedos using A registered charities name to entice kids. apparently on the 6th dec you will be kicked off fb if u have cartoon pics. The more folk that… put up cartoon pics the harder it is fo…r the police to catch these sickos!!”

There doesn’t appear to be any truth in the latter rumour. Internet hoax library Snopes has a similar hoax listed, and this seems to be variant of it. ThatsNonsense.com also covers the hoax.

SEO as a public service

Hoax updates do the rounds on social networks and text messages on a semi-regular basis. Remember the one about children being kidnapped in supermarket toilets? Or how about police banning English flags in pubs for fear of offending people?

In both cases the mainstream media was slow to react to the rumours. A Google search – which would be a typical reaction of anyone receiving such a message – would bring up nothing to counter those rumours. (Notably, perhaps because of its public and real-time nature, Twitter seems better at quashing hoaxes).

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is much derided for a perception that it leads news organisations to write for machines, or to aim for the lowest common denominator. But SEO has a very valuable role in serving the public: if searches on a particular rumour shoot up, or mentions of it increase on social networks, it’s worth verifying and getting up the facts quickly.

This is another reason why journalists should be on social networks, and why publishers should be monitoring them more broadly. Whether your motivations are civic, or commercial, it makes sense both ways.

Of course, on the other hand you could always recycle urban myths about councils banning Christmas

PS: If you need any tips on methods and tools, see my Delicious bookmarks for verification.

(h/t to Conrad Quilty-Harper)

Advertisements

40,000 hits: why news websites should make more of cartoons (and infographics)

Blogging cartoon in Romanian

Blogging cartoon in Romanian

Blogging cartoon in Arabic

A couple weeks ago I published the ‘5 Stages of a Blogger’s Life‘ cartoon, drawn by Alex Hughes. It was an experiment to test a theory of mine: that cartoons could be particularly successful in increasing news website visitor numbers, and that news organisations should be doing more with them.

The results? In one week that cartoon got over 40,000 hits, making it the most popular single post ever on the Online Journalism Blog . Continue reading

5 stages of a blogger’s life

Hope you enjoy this. Concept by Paul Bradshaw, drawings by the wonderful Alex Hughes:

1st stage of blogging: play

1st stage of blogging: play

2nd stage of blogging: feedback

2nd stage of blogging: feedback

3rd stage of blogging: community

3rd stage of blogging: community

4th stage of blogging: fame

4th stage of blogging: fame

5th stage of blogging: exhaustion/death

5th stage of blogging: exhaustion/death

Here are some Twitter avatar-size versions too:

.

Cartoons online – what are news organisations doing? (guest post)

In a guest post for the OJB, The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation give an overview of how news organisations are treating cartoons online.

Cartoons have long been an essential part of British newspapers, so why do so many of those publications fail to do justice to drawn content on their websites?

The digital display of the web is a visual medium and cartoons and illustrations thrive on it. Yet many newsprint employers have not been quick to develop the advantages that drawn imagery offers as a digital communication tool and as existing sticky content for their sites and products. Continue reading