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Visual Story Lab
A project of resourcemedia

Interview: Amy Marquis, The Digital Naturalist

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August 4, 2014
If anyone knows about effective film and photography advocacy, it is Amy Marquis. In an effort to help others understand the world of digital advocacy, she created The Digital Naturalist in 2010, a website that examines the elements of what makes advocacy videos go viral or be a complete flop.…

Close your eyes: visualizing energy efficiency

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July 22, 2014
I have an exercise for you. In a second, I want you to close your eyes and tell me the first image that comes to mind when you think about energy efficiency. OK, go ahead. What popped into your head? Was it, by chance, a CFL light bulb? Maybe someone…

What brain science tells us about website design

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July 16, 2014
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span is now just 8 seconds. That doesn’t give us a lot of time to engage website visitors before they lose interest and click elsewhere. Fortunately, the science that is tracking our shrinking attention spans also offers some insights…

Water wins

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July 15, 2014
Here’s the scenario: Washington State, like many states, uses something called fish-consumption rates to set water quality standards. The idea is to start with the average amount of fish people eat, and then figure out how clean the water needs to be in order for someone to eat that amount…

Photo essays that captivate, part 2

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July 10, 2014
This part two in a two-part series on photo essays. Yesterday, I wrote about powerful essays that use just one or two images. Today, I’m going to talk about longer-form photo essays. You probably are familiar with these from online news sites which use slideshows of five to ten images…

Photo essays that captivate

Old man
July 9, 2014
Instant. Emotional. Captivating. Yes, we’re talking about stories. Visual stories to be precise. Traditionally, stories are (hopefully, gripping) text with images to support the storyline. But, what if the story format was flipped to be largely made of images with text included to support the visual story, not vice versa?…

Be your own meme machine

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June 24, 2014
Ever wish you could have a photo editor in house? Someone who could whip up a meme, tweak a photo or put together a fancy graphic for your Facebook page? Or, just help turn a photo from “nice” to “fabulous!” That someone could easily be you! We’re sharing our favorite…

What makes images and videos go viral?

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June 2, 2014
What causes certain images and videos to go viral while the majority wallow in cyberspace never to be discovered by more than a handful of viewers? You may remember how Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign received over 30 million view in a mere 10 days, or how Kony 2012 received…

You want hearts? Show ‘em, then tell ‘em

Mule-Deer-migration-blog
May 5, 2014
Wildlife migration isn’t just for wildebeest and caribou in National Geographic specials – it’s a topic of great concern for wildlife biologists struggling to manage wildlife here in the Lower 48. But most of us don’t think much about animals making their way across the landscape, moving from winter feeding…

A year in the Visual Story Lab

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April 24, 2014
On a stretch of highway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe there’s a billboard. On the left side it shows smiling children in front of an adobe house with a large solar panel. On the right it shows close ups of belching smoke stacks from a coal fired power plant; overlaid…

We invite you to share your own challenges, successes, best practices and lessons learned. If you would like us to showcase your visual story, please email vizcom@resource-media.org. Don’t forget to send us pictures or links to your video!

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