Great reads from around the web on March 21st

by Amy Sample Ward on March 21, 2012

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I come across so many great conversations, ideas, and resources all over the web every day. Here are some of the most interesting things I’ve found recently (as of March 21st). You can join the conversations in the comments, or click through to the original posts to find what others are saying.

To follow more of the things I find online, you can follow @amysampleward on Twitter (which is just a blog and resource feed), or find me on Delicious (for all kinds of bookmarks).

  • Why Your Infographic Is Evil (And Three Ways To Fix It) – “Blogger’s confession: I can spend a couple of hours interviewing sources and crafting a post several hundred words long and get a couple of thousand hits. Or I can write a pithy introduction, repurpose an infographic that has already appeared on several other sites and most likely was created by a public relations firm or a company looking to push a product and service and end up doubling or tripling those traffic numbers. I’ve done both. But I’m not necessarily proud of succumbing to the infographic trend. I’m not bashing infographics. Some of my best friends are graphic artists who design infographics that are eye catching, smart and tell stories better than my words ever could. But this latest visual Internet fad of telling almost every story with a dense infographic is something that I’m hoping will soon be played out.”
  • Red Cross Opens Social Media Center For Disaster Response – TheNonProfitTimes – “The American Red Cross (ARC) has launched a digital operations center and digital volunteer program to coordinate response efforts during disasters, particularly when storm victims are huddled in a basement away from other forms of communication. The Digital Operations Center demonstrates the increasing importance of social media in emergency situations. The launch of a Digital Volunteer program will help Red Cross respond to questions and information from the public during disasters.”
  • Crowdraising | Heath Wickline – “Advertising can be a great vehicle to make a real, emotional connection with our audiences and to raise the visibility of a campaign or organization. But the expense of buying ad space can be a barrier to many nonprofits. Ads aren’t worth a thing if no one seems them, and ad prices are based on the number of eyeballs that will see them. That’s why Super Bowl spots are obscenely expensive while you see ads for local furniture stores in the middle of the night. It’s how the system works and it’s a conundrum. Social media may now provide an answer. A new online platform calledLoudSauce is looking to change that difficult advertising equation by introducing a simple way for individuals to amplify ideas they like.”
  • What can local websites offer the BBC and other public service providers? | Networked Neighbourhoods – “Networked Neighbourhoods has been working with the BBC to test the potential contribution of an alliance of London neighbourhood sites, using the forthcoming digital switchover as a catalyst. With representatives from a number of London local networks and heritage media groups, gathered in the council chamber at Broadcasting House yesterday, we explored the ways in which neighbourhood websites could be used as part of a two-way public service information network.”
  • Facebook Fan Gates Are Dead: How Do I Get Fans? | Brian Carter – “A stunning change with the new Facebook Timeline is that you can no longer have a landing/welcome tab for your business page. Everyone is going to land on your Timeline Page with the big cover photo. You’ll still have apps (tabs) but they’ll be even harder for people to find. Few people were going to Facebook pages already, fewer were clicking on the tabs, and now it will be nearly zero.”