Images OR Words?


A picture is worth a thousand words” – Napoleon Bonaparte

 A very apt and concurrent thought, that struck the great French Emperor in the early nineteenth century, can easily be understood in the light of the communication practices employed today in the twenty first century. When was the last time that you read plain text without feeling that it lacked something?

Social Networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest, Tumblr and Flickr and the like have made it big into the market because of their pictorial appeal amongst people. This post is not place one form of media over the other, but instead to dig deeper into the trend of socially accepting images, pictures, colored font, animated messages, graphical representations of information over plain and descriptive narratives. Everyone’s busy lives only allow them to dedicate a certain fraction of their time to social media, in which they aspire to learn as much as they can within minutes…who then, would prefer reading a 500 word essay on the austere conditions of certain pockets in Africa over a poignant image of the same which speaks volumes for itself? – A brilliant point driven home by Matt Cunningham in his blog. He also strongly believes,

“It is the images that make reality real. Images leave very little room for interpretation. We see it, and it happened. Instantly, the situation that surrounds us becomes believable.”

 Facebook keeps changing every week! With more emphasis on pictures, through the cover page, profile picture, FB graph search, enhanced space dedicated to photo album grids, etc, it appears more cheerful and colorful to the human eye. These features attract attention to pictorial and graphic details. Every action of a Facebook user is represented through his/her icon rather than the name. Instagram, Pintrest, Tumblr and Flickr  have cashed in heavily on this recent change in preference.

Images speak for themselves with the cooperation of the viewer’s psychology. They look how the viewer wants to see them and hence transgress the boundaries of lexical communication. This is perhaps the underlying secret of social media being global and glocal at the same time. Imagery and colors have no language. They appear, as they are perceived. They can either be endlessly thought provoking or just a pedestrian and insignificant image…determined by individual discretion. To illustrate my point, here are some similarities and differences between images and plain text:


On a similar note, some images in social media are universal, such as the one below.


In conclusion, it would not be wrong to say that images have stepped up the trend of electronic communication in today’s date. Their ability to speak volumes and convey multiple messages is effectively facilitated by various social media platforms. Like every coin has two sides, images sans text on social media have their disadvantages which can be misused by a miscreant mind, but that is an whole another chapter in itself


Email Marketing versus Social Media Marketing


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There has been an ongoing debate about the role of email in this social media dominated world. It is true that the latter has taken over the world at a much faster rate than did the vogue of emails, but the bottom line of sending personal letters online via technology is undoubtedly still the preferred choice as against social media communication. As quoted by Tedd Wasserman, Keren Gottfried, the research Manager at Ipsos, strongly believes that, “…It shouldn’t be surprising that we’re using a digital version of sending a letter. But the fact that a majority of people are using [the Internet] for social networking is a paradigm shift; there’s no equivalent in the offline world.”

Shea Bennet pictographically and efficiently analyzes the pros and cons of social media and email marketing to further buttress Jonathan Bennet’s view that the latter has always been more popular and widely used than the former. To briefly summarize the main points of Bennet’s argument:

• Email provides a level of privacy and professionalism
• Email inboxes provide a one stop-hub for tasks and one-to-one communications
• There’s not the worry about privacy issues with email as there is with social media
• Email works across all platforms and applications
• Email has become more than just a two-way communication tool
• Social media does not provide a professional online space for business one-to-ones
• Social media has a major issue with ownership

It is thus not surprising that all the social media websites have realized the importance of personalization of messages and inculcated the email features within their design. To interact on a public platform may be a technological advancement and a step encouraging the global village system to bring people closer, but, each individual still likes his/her own personal space and privacy where they can have full control.

Youtube – a shortcut to success

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Gone are the days when upcoming and struggling artists had to rely on expensive means to showcase their talent to the world… because Google has gifted Youtube to the universe! If you excel at something and want to be seen and heard across the globe, for no penny spent in promotion or advertising, social media is just the right platform for you! Just to give you a brief glimpse into what this post is going to be about, spare a few minutes to watch this artist balance wooden sticks in the air with perfect ease!

MySpace used to encourage musicians and also housed bands and upcoming artists, but it couldn’t gather the momentum that Youtube has managed within years. Perhaps because the latter is not eclectic and welcomes each and everyone whole heartedly…whether you are students who have just graduated and have a knack for singing, dancing or acting like the Wong Fu Productions or just want to try your hand at acoustic cover songs like Shankar Tucker with other budding artists.

Youtube videos are well compatible with other websites, and easy to embed in posts, tweets, etc too. They are easy to deal with and do not involve too many complicated procedures. A visible growth of followers, conversations with fans and shares of one’s videos motivates the upcoming artist to keep striving hard till he reaches his peak of popularity. It is no secret that David Choi began in this virtual world of social media to rise to fame and finally perform internationally!

The multilingual aspect of social media enables us to access wonderful artists from remote parts of the world. For example, had it not been for Facebook, I would have never learnt that such talented dancers also exist! Watch the video below and experience the hair-raising performance, which would have probably never crossed your path, were these artists involved in local and physical performances!

For many, this platform is a blessing in disguise as it is a gateway into the world of various Arts. You could be a sand artist, a painter, a musician,  an upcoming band, an amateur production group, a singer, a dancer, or anything that deserves an eye or an ear…and social media has the answer for it all.  With its vast outreach and huge potential circumference to engulf each and every person on the planet,  it is not difficult to be noticed.