People, Upgrade Your Slideshows

Tedx Kyoto hosted a fascinating talk by Garr Reynolds about professional speaking. Professional speaking is crucial in many fields, and it turns out that most people just aren’t very good at it. Reynolds emphasizes improving your speaking skills by focusing on having compelling, useful visual communication, and presenting as much of your information as possible in the form of a narrative. Slides as we know them now are horribly weak, and presenters who rattle off lists of facts without any human context are sure to bore. Towards the end, he also links to a few great examples of other Ted talks that fulfill these goals magnificently.

He doesn’t always follow his own advice particularly well, but the talk is definitely still worth a watch or a skim.

Speech Bubble Street Art

Spiting rhymes and making beats, spinning mix tapes and freestyling wasn’t enough for the Hip-hop culture. Hip-hop introduced graffiti and blasted their messages to other artists on the street. To some, graffiti is a form of art and communication, but to the law it is considered vandalism. Neatorama introduces a young artist who is making a positive difference. Artist Aiden Glynn found a creative and hilarious way to respond to the art on the street. Aiden’s art project shows him writing messages to other street artists in speech bubbles.



Become A Master Editor In Just 7 Minutes, Advice from Hitchcock

Ever spent hours collecting material for a video presentation, then to realize it will take another three hours or more to cut out unnecessary footage.  Alfred Hitchcock offers a seven-minute video on how to become a master in editing. He explains that there is much more to cutting, it goes much deeper and there are different cinematic approaches to consider when producing the perfect “final version” of a film. If you’d like to behold more of the editing prowess Hitchcock commanded, visit Open Cultures collection of 20 Free Alfred Hitchcock Movies Online.

Unique Mugs For Your Rare Personality


Source: Nice Cup Bro

Do you have a favorite mug that sits on your desk or follows you everywhere and keeps you company everyday? Mugs no longer hide coffee or tea, it has become an artistic expression. What’s the story behind the colors, lines, shapes and text on your mug when you settle your lips on its edges to take a sip or raise it to say hi? Now, for the many coffee lovers who haven’t found the mug that speaks to them check out “Nice Cup Bro.” Make a sip of coffee or tea rock with unique mugs from around the world. Visual News has put together a slideshow of a few of the best mugs form “Nice Cup Bro”. Take a scroll and pick through hundreds of mug design and find the one that says, Hello.

Be Proactive Not Reactive

Don’t have time to read a two hundred-page book on how to be proactive? No worries, the comic strip below gives the perfect strategy to completing a task by thinking and acting ahead of the anticipated deadline, homework assignment or simply as holiday shopping. Being proactive is a great tactic for avoiding more work down the road. We have the tendency to take the procrastination route and not plan for the future, instead of making life easier we make it difficult. Cartoonist Stephan McCranie gives advice to “Be Proactive Not Reactive,” which doesn’t include reading a book. “Brick by Brick” are comics by Stephan that nourishes the mind in a creative and interesting way on improving bad habits. Explore and find comics like the one below. If “Be Proactive Not Reactive” is beneficial check out, “Planning For The Possible.

P1P2 (more…)

Subcompact Publishing The New Revolution


Source: Smashing Magazine

The digital realm has established virus like symptoms. New innovative ideas continue to grow and spread throughout the web precipitously. There is a new trend in publishing that is quickly spreading throughout the web this very moment. “Subcompact Publishing” is a form of micropublishing that puts focus on text-based stories while avoiding rich-media add-ons to help bring an expansion to the way stories are told and sold.

Subcompact publishing was first introduced by a few seminal articles written by former Flipboard designer Craig Mo. Subcompact publishing brings the notion that people are cagey of flashy websites and apps, they are more interested in something that works and delivers with out add-ons to use certain apps.  Subcompact and long-form publications don’t reject photography or illustration, their approach leans more towards written pieces over photo essays and videos. The elements of subcompact publishing are what clutch users attention. These elements include flat hierarchy, scrolling, minimalism, 7-inch tablets and typography. With elements like the ones listed above user-friendly and user engagement isn’t too far. This will help resolve the usual issue of people leaving webpages before exploring the entire page.


Source: Smashing Magazine

There are many journals and magazine such as The New York Times’ “Snow Fall,” The magazine, Quartz and Epic who have adapted to subcompact publishing style. The article “Recent Trends In Storytelling and New Business Models For Publishing,” published on Smashing Magazine by Jose Martinez Salmeron not only highlights the spread of subcompact publishing, but also raises an important question about the future of print journalism. Check out the article to get the full details. But for now, are you going to get affected by the digital virus and incorporate subcompact publishing as the format for your blog or webpage, the next time you have a story to tell?

Visual Outlines By Famous Writers

As a writer, metaphors and plots come to mind at random moments. I have to grab anything around me to write them down or else by the time I sit down and write, I have forgetten. Stacks of napkins and sticky notes is how I strategize my next story idea. How do famous writers plan their next novel? Open Culture reveals how popular writers visually outline their novels. One piece of advice to future authors, instead of staring at a blank page grab a writing utensil and start planning wherever and however. Remember, “Every great novel—or at least every finished novel—needs a plan.


Source: Open Culture

SumoPaint: Free Web Based Image Editor

Sumo Paint is a web based image editing website, a robust and FREE alternative to Photoshop, even allowing users to easily upload their own images to work on. This is one of my absolute most valuable online resources and I am so glad to be able to share it during this Week of Free here on the WRAC website!

Sumo Paint’s interface functions very much like Photoshop circa 1998, which is not a detractor, rather a bonus because it doesn’t get bogged down with all the bells and whistles of Photoshop. I use Sumo Paint when I’m on the go and  need to quickly edit or create an image, and when I don’t have access to a computer with Photoshop. I can also imagine this being a fantastic resource for folks who are new to image editing software.

Sumopaint screenshot

Sumo Paint interface – tools on the left, menu on the top, workspace in the middle, colors and layers on the right.