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Social Media Portal interview with David Wallace at Infographic Journal

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 21 December 2011

Profiled - InfographicJournal.com - The infographic directory and blog


An interview with  David Wallace the chief editor at infographic directory and blog InfographicJournal.com



InfographicJournal.com logoSocial Media Portal (SMP): What is your full name and job title at Infographic Journal?

David Wallace (DW): My name is David Wallace and I’m CEO and co-founder of SearchRank, a search and social media marketing company based in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States. My role for Infographic Journal, a blog that focuses on the Internet’s best Infographics, is chief editor.

SMP: Briefly, tell us about Infographic Journal (for those that don’t know), what is it and what does it do?

DW: Infographic Journal is a blog that focuses on featuring the very best in infographics and data visualizations. In October of this year, I was searching for places to submit infographic work and the results were scarce. There is Visual.ly of course, which is also pretty new to market, and a few additional blogs, but that is about it. So we decided to launch our own “infographics-only” blog and did so right around the beginning of November.

SMP: Who are your target audience and why?

Photograph of David Wallce, chief editor of the InfographicJourrnal.comDW: Our target audience is really anyone that loves infographics and data visualized. Because we do not focus on any one specific topic, but rather a wide array of topics, Infographic Journal has the potential to reach a large audience as the infographics themselves cater to many interests.

And because we accept free submission of infographic work, that target audience would include infographic designers and marketers as well.

SMP: How did you initially attract users to Infographic Journal, and how do you do it now?

DW: Initially I reached out to friends and peers in the community of which being in the search marketing industry since 1997, I have amassed quite a number. We created a Facebook Business Page and then I personally invited everyone who is following my Facebook business and personal profiles to “like” the page.

I’ve also worked to get specific “pieces” that I felt were really good in front of the eyes of many social media users, utilizing at first a network of peers to “jumpstart” the process of sharing and then allowing the nature of social-sharing take its course.

We are still in the very initial phase of promoting the site and will very likely do some more aggressive marketing in 2012.

SMP: What are the low moments of what you have been doing so far?

DW: There really hasn’t been any “low moments” as of yet. I suppose the fact that it will take some time before the site becomes popular could be a low point. However, having conducted online marketing campaigns for over 14 years now, I’m fully aware that it takes time to gain exposure and recognition, that is unless you have a huge advertising budget or get lucky and can attract the attention of someone on the scale of a CNN or similar.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far?

DW: For me personally, seeing all the great infographic work that is being created has been a fantastic high. I was unaware of not only the quality but quantity of infographics that are being generated on a daily basis. Even with four authors posting content to the site, it’s hard to keep up with what we come across on a daily basis.
 
SMP: What do you see as your biggest challenges and opportunities?

DW: First the opportunity here is to establish Infographic Journal as an authority site in its niche. The challenge of course is that it often takes time to accomplish this so unless one has a bottomless advertising budget, it involves a lot of hard work initially and ongoing patience. I believe that in time our efforts will pay off and not only will we amass a great collection of infographics ranging from a variety of topics, but the site will additionally attract advertisers and even generate business from those who need infographic design work and/or marketing of infographics.

SMP: Why has there been a rise in the use of infographics?


DW: Let’s face it – we are in an age of mass data overload. Many of us were thankful when RSS came out which allowed those of us who follow many blogs and news site to receive updates of new content rather than have to go look for it manually. Now with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and others, there is so much data and information going out at any given moment, that it has become difficult if not impossible to keep up with all of it.

The beauty of an infographic is that it presents information in way that is quickly digestible and often times visually stunning. The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” comes into play here. Not to take away from well written blog posts and articles, but infographics often present data and information in a way that can be consumed more rapidly than reading through a bunch of textual content. That and the fact that we like things that are “pretty” or “visually stunning” make infographics very popular.

SMP: What are your top tips in creating a great infographic?

DW: It all starts with a great idea. If the idea (pardon my lack for a better word) sucks, then most likely the infographic will not be well received. So, it all starts with a great idea and then needs to be followed with good research. Finally, having a well qualified graphic artist who can create an aesthetically pleasing data visualization is equally important.

For additional information, check out “A Quick Guide To Infographic Marketing” which provides an overall guide on infographic design and marketing from start to finish.

SMP: What’s the next big step for social media and networks?

DW: Not quite sure how to answer that one except to say that if I was a social media site, I’d want to continue to innovate so I can provide the very best experience for my users. And that doesn’t necessarily entail making as many changes as Facebook has over the years but rather listening to user feedback and working to provide the best experience for them.

I would also add that I believe social media sites will continue to explore ways to make is effortless for users to access and share on mobile devices.

SMP: What’s going to be the most interesting aspect regarding social media / technology throughout 2012?


DW: For me personally, to see how Google+ and Facebook will battle it out for the social space. Even though they are different animals, it will be interesting to see what Google continues to do to try to be a “social network” and what Facebook’s (who is a social network) response will be.

Also as a search marketer at heart, it will be interesting to see how social media will continue to play a huge role in organic search, especially now that Google is moving more away from the link graph to looking at social signals in how they rank organic search results.

SMP: What are the next moves for Infographic Journal in terms of social media?

DW: We want to of course continue to increase the number of those following our Facebook and Twitter accounts, but at the same time gain presence on additional social media sites where there are people who not only enjoy infographics but enjoy sharing them as well.

Social media provides an excellent way to share content so we certainly want to continue to utilize this median to attract users to the content that is published on Infographic Journal.

SMP: Best way to contact you and Infographic Journal (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn Twitter, YouTube etc)?

One can contact us via the web site at http://infographicjournal.com/contact/ or if submitting Infographics for consideration to be published, http://infographicjournal.com/submit-infographics/.

Our Facebook Fan Page is located at http://www.facebook.com/InfographicJournal and we are also on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/IGJournal.

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

DW: I eat infographics for breakfast every morning! Not really but it is one of my first duties of the morning now that we have launched Infographic Journal - that is to line up what will be published for the day and even coming days. I like to get this out of the way before moving on to actual client work which takes priority at this point.

SMP: What’s the last good thing that you did for someone?

Hopefully it was to touch my wife and tell her that I love her. The day always goes better when I remember to do that. ;-)

SMP: How many hours to you work a week?


DW: Too many, but what can I say… I’m a work-a-holic. In my defense, at least I can say that I enjoy my work.

SMP: If you weren’t running Infographic Journal what would you be doing?


DW: I have many duties – mainly managing the affairs and clients of SearchRank, but also managing additional web portals that we own and operate. So, if Infographic Journal did not exist, I’d continue to do what I have been doing for the past 14 years – running and managing successful Internet marketing campaigns as well as managing our own internal projects and web portals.

SMP: When and where did you go on your last holiday?

DW: In November, the wife and I did a week in Las Vegas in conjunction with PubCon Vegas and quickly followed this with a 2 day trip to Disneyland Resort in Anaheim with the grandkids who are 2 and 3 years old. Not sure I’d call the latter a “holiday” or “vacation” as it was more work than anything else, but fun all the same.

SMP: What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

DW: Coffee is the first priority. This is followed by checking email and RSS feeds.

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?


DW: If I could have any superpower, it would definitely be the ability to fly like Superman.

If you're interested in doing a Social Media Portal (SMP) interview, get in touch.








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