Visualizing Contrast, Medium as ...


The grab bag returns with three random tidbits that squeeze under the communications umbrella.

Here goes.

Contrast as a Storytelling Technique

Of all the storytelling techniques that lift business communications, contrast is one of the easiest to implement.

Old Way vs. New Way

With vs. Without

LeBron vs. Steph (for the NBA fans)

And the list goes on.

I stumbled across a blog that promotes a book that’s underpinned by contrast, “Paris versus New York.”

The levity in the visual storytelling comes through even if you don’t know French.

My three favorites:

Paris versus New York- Bobo vs. Hipster- visual storytelling technique

Patisserie vs. Pastrami - Paris versus New York- - visual storytelling technique

Expresso vs. Americano -Paris versus New York- - visual storytelling technique

To give credit where credit is due, Vahram Muratyan created these visuals.

Can Medium Evolve into a Social Platform?

I’m a fan of Medium.

The platform pays attention to typography and other details that make for a good-looking narrative.

I’ve published a couple stories on Medium for this very reason. If I picked up some incremental traffic, that would be a bonus, figuring it was my responsibility to market my stories.

It turns out that Medium founder Ev Williams doesn’t see it this way. He wrote a post last month titled “Medium is not a publishing tool.” So there (my comment, not Ev’s).

He goes on to say:

These people love writing on Medium, even if they see it as just a tool to create a nice page to point people to from Twitter.However, that’s not the point. Or, at least, that’s not the end. In the last few months, we’ve shifted more of our attention on the product side from creating tool value to creating network value.

I’m dubious about the platform’s ability to deliver this network effect, morphing into a prettier WordPress with social reach.

LinkedIn also preached social reach when it opened its publishing platform to the masses. If any platform has the assets to deliver to a larger audience, it’s LinkedIn. Yet, unless you’re part of the inner circle, like a Richard Branson or a Deepak Chopra, the proposition falls short.

Turning back to Medium, I don’t see how increasing the number of people who publish on the platform automatically translates into my writing reaching more people. If that were the case, WordPress would have won that war.

This is Your Brain on the Internet

Marshmallows - public radio international

Public Radio International ran a story last year explaining that as people increasingly read online, their attention spans erode. As one expert, Manoush Zomorodi, put it. “The problem is that many of us have adapted to reading online just too well. And if you don’t use the deep reading part of your brain, you lose the deep reading part of your brain.”

It reminded me of the piece by Nicholas Carr in The Atlantic back in 2008 “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” If the topic interests you, this is the article to dust off. While the neurological science supporting Carr’s premise is TBD, the logic and anecdotal evidence is sobering.

No one likes the idea of being turned into “pancake people” (you’ll need to read the article for context).


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