6) GMI’s Christmas Page Was Worth the Look

If you haven’t stopped by the Global Mapping Christmas page, it’s worth the look. From what we can see, the offers there still look ‘active.’ Hear a powerful story that pulls together the entire Bible into 3-4 minutes in a narrative you can share with your family, friends and those who don’t know Jesus. Take a moment to listen to the audio of this story or view the entire script and share it generously with those you seek to bless. You can also take a gander at their special Missiographic that shows the global Gospel witness represented on a Christmas Tree. There are even some stocking stuffer books (digital or e-books) to check out as well. Find their Christmas page at…

14) The BackPage: We’re Loving InfoGraphics

A few years ago, an elder and psychologist in a local church actually took the time to come to my office, sit me down, and talk to me face to face. He explained, “Doug, you have so many ideas and they’re so clear to you — but they’re not clear to others. You need some way of illustrating them or explaining them. Otherwise, people misunderstand them and, even if they try to follow the idea, later, if there’s some misunderstanding, they become angry at you because they feel you didn’t explain yourself well enough up front.” At the time, I remember being perplexed about it. He finally go to the point: Could you find some way to illustrate your ideas, so we know exactly what you’re proposing?

I first tried transparencies, using an overhead projector. Honestly, my drawings and my handwriting were horrible and hard to read. So it was a game-changer when I discovered Harvard Graphics (now obsolete), which prepared snazzy transparencies (for a premium price, of course). Then I tried Lotus Freelance (now also obsolete), which was easier and maybe a bit more affordable. The problem was, once the software became obsolete, I couldn’t make any more changes to my presentation — so a lot of my work was locked in the past. Third, I began using PowerPoint. (Yawn. Doesn’t everybody?) Then I happened upon Prezi (which sometimes gives me motion sickness :-) ). But regardless of what I used, I ended up with a digital presentation that was tough for my listeners to take home. They’d ask, “Could I get a copy of your PowerPoint?” If they didn’t own PowerPoint, I could use this “pack and go” deal to give them a PowerPoint viewer, but it still seemed convoluted. And they were always having to look through 20 slides to get my big idea.

So recently, my son, Caleb, said to me, “Dad, you’ve got to try infographics.” Honestly, it has taken me months to get the idea. But I think I’m finally realizing it: Today’s 20-something loves to see the entire “big idea” in one power-packed graphic. “Infographics” do exactly that. I work most directly with a small team of individuals who, among other things, tries to cast a vision of where we can go next. We try to invent the idea — then we begin promoting it. So I challenged one of our team members to take her pick of a half dozen online infographics tools which my son had recommended. We looked at the benefits and challenges of each one and I recommended two or three, but in the end, I suggested Kelsey choose the one she liked best. She chose Piktochart.

It didn’t take long before she started producing these cool little illustrated charts that are, in effect, like an entire segment of a presentation all in one drawing. So whereas before, I would have felt compelled to develop 30 PowerPoint slides, now, I just hand out a single chart or maybe two at most. The audience benefits because now they have a drawing they can understand in one view — and they can take it with them on the go. What’s more, I can’t explain it, but it’s just cooler NOT to have to show a big presentation. It almost seems like the understatement is valued in and of itself. And, as much as I regret to admit it, the audience seems to love the idea that my presentation has gone from a 30-minute PowerPoint down to a 10-minute explanation of the chart. The presentation happens in a FLASH compared to my previously long, drawn-out PowerPoints.

So try it for yourself. Look at Piktochart as a sample, but there are other options too. Nobody’s paying me to say this — but … we’re loving InfoGraphics. :-)

And a good illustration never becomes obsolete. :-)

What’s your take on InfoGraphics and which tool do you prefer to develop them? Just click “Comment” after the online web version of this item, available via the link below.

7) Using Infographics to Engage People on Mission

infographic_Indonesia_v4With so much information available, one of the greatest challenges today is to make information accessible and engaging. GMI recently launched

a new service designed to provide regular infographics to the mission community on a broad range of topics. So far they have covered topics like global church planting, Internet evangelism, online missionary recruiting, orality, the status of Indonesia and mission leadership trends. Twice a month, Missiographics will send out a new infographic on a different aspect of global mission. Sign up here:

9) Infographic: 3 Revolutions Impacting Internet Evangelism

Global Mapping’s new series of mission-related infographics are very helpful. In their latest, they have summarized some vital trends and opportunities for digital evangelism in a ‘missiographic’ entitled 3 Revolutions Impacting Internet Evangelism. Missiographics can be widely shared and reused, terms shown on the GMI site.

7) Instantly Create and Share Visuals,

I like “Easelly,” …

even though it’s not the most secure way to create infographics. It only takes a few moments to learn to use the interface. A creative person would be able to turn boring text into glitz and meaning, lickety-split. Just remember that, even if you mark you’re drawings as “private,” that still only means that no one else can EDIT them. It doesn’t mean no one else can SEE them. Yes, a private infographic will be SOMEWHAT secure (because of security by obscurity), but if anyone ever picks up your link, just remember that your graphic will be visible to the world. Of course, if you’re posting something to the web, you’ve probably already dealt with those questions anyway. And the price is right (free!). You might want to give it a try, if for no other reason than to get the basic concepts of using infographics.

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