Getting Informed About the Infographic

Infographics, or information graphics, have been around for as long as man has been able to draw. The earliest cave paintings are a form of infographic as they pictorially depict the life and activities of our very distant ancestors. Thousands of years later, we still readily understand them.  The infographic underwent significant development in the 20th Century and an infographic, rather than written or spoken language, has been used in our first communication effort with extraterrestrials! Infographics are widely used in our society, in mathematics, mapmaking, signage, news media, education, travel, medicine, politics and even religion.  No aspect of our lives is untouched by the application of infographics. So why are they so popular? Infographics convey knowledge and advice, even mandatory orders, in a form which the human brain readily recognizes and associates with the information behind the representation. This is known as visualization. Before man learned to read and write, he drew. Modern written language is itself derived from the development of drawings which became standardized into symbols and in turn, into recognizable letters and numerals we now recognize.  Hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt are a good example of an intermediate written language which revolves around symbology and formed the basis for the development of vowels and consonants. Graphical representation renders itself far more accessible and understandable by people; whether they understand the language of the designer or not.  The reason why people accept so much information via infographics compared to text is explained by how our brains have formed over time.  During man’s early development, we were not equipped with language, never mind the ability to read and...

Big Oak Moves to New Offices

Most of walls in our new offices are bare, except for George’s – he has a swanky setup going with mood lighting, and the foyer is empty at this point. We don’t entertain many customers in our office space as they prefer we come to them or else a phone call made, so furniture in the foyer is something for next month. But we are moved in, our FIOS connection is humming along at a blistering 25,000 kbps and it is all our space, so we are a happy SEO company now. I’ve always wanted to have our own building and our sign on the door and finally that is the case. It only took six years to get to this point, but it was worth it. The move went well and we are here for the next three years so we plan to stick around. If you are in Richmond, VA and would like to drop by, please do. The fridge is full of sodas and we have a crushed ice option on the fridge door so cold beverage are available. We are also back in the Richmond proper, so to speak, so our address is once again a Richmond address. Big Oak SEO 3781 Westerre Parkway Suite C Richmond, VA 23233 Just glad to be somewhere  where I control the thermostat....

The Battle for Internet City – RankedHard.com comic

Here is a snippet from our latest SEO comic, Ranked Hard. Please visit the RankedHard.com site to see the comic this month. It is the best one we have done so far, in my opinion. From time to time I use Ranked Hard as my soap box to comment on SEO-related topics such as link buying, SEO Celebrities and Internet spam, but with this comic I decided that I would poke some fun at three well-known Internet personalities: Seth Godin (Founder of Squidoo), Jason Calacanis (Founder of Mahalo) and Jimmy Wales (co-founder of Wikipedia). Each of these web celebs has created a force on the Internet. But have they created a force for good on the Internet? Have they made the Internet a better place? In some ways they have, but in many ways–not so much. Of course the negative effects on the Internet aren’t really their fault. Let me explain. I’ll take each person in order and, since this is my site, I am going to give my opinions. You may disagree, and if so, please post why in the comments below. A good debate is always worth the risk of offending someone. Want to read more and see the comic? Head over to see “The Battle for Internet...

Link Buying Becomes Comical

Our latest Ranked Hard, SEO Comic, is up for viewing. It deals with the concept of link buying and Google’s sporadic approach at curtailing the purchase of link. Take a look at Crazy Eddie’s Link Emporium. Here is an excerpt from my post under the comic. Please visit and read the entire rant on link buying. If you would listen to Google, and why wouldn’t you, you would be led to believe that they are against link buying and don’t reward sites who do buy links. In fact, they will penalize sites that do buy links. Don’t believe me? Read Google’s engineer Matt Cutt’s own words on buying and selling links. They even provide a handy dandy form to report paid links. Find a site selling links? Report them. Find a competitor buying links? Report them. Then, your site, which is honestly gathering links, should rise to the top of the rankings. Right? Wrong. Oh, so very wrong. Google has been caught selling links more than once. So they understand the temptation and financial rewards of selling a link. But the rewards can be much greater when buying a link: higher search rankings, more customers, more sales and more profits. But if link buying is really being stamped out by the big G, then why, oh why, are so many people doing it and dominating the search rankings? Read the rest of...

April Issue of RankedHard.com is live

Please visit RankedHard.com, our online SEO comic and see April’s Ranked Hard comic. This month’s comic deals with the absurdity of the some of Google’s more spammy search results and touches on the sore point of Google rewarding black hat SEO when their own rules say don’t do...

Interview with Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales

When Jimmy Wales launched Wikipedia in 2001, many thought he was laying the foundation for disaster.  Some even felt the whole concept was borderline insane. “A public encyclopedia that anyone can write and edit, even without being logged in?!  And this concoction will serve as the sum of all human knowledge! Madness!” the critics wailed. Today, it’s hard to imagine life without Wikipedia, which has blossomed into the 7th most popular website in the world¹ and inspired the creation of some 2.8 million articles on the English version of the site alone.  Recently, Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales was kind enough to feed my questions about the Wikimedia Foundation’s goals, likely future, and ballooning cultural relevance.  I also gave him an opportunity to respond to Wikipedia’s “professional troublemakers”–er critics. How do you think Wikipedia will evolve as technology evolves?  Can you foresee, by say 2020, a way for Wikipedians to create editable, interactive videos about a topic? I think we’ll see a lot of advances in video.  One of the things I like to point out is that Wikipedia is a social innovation, not a technical innovation.  All the tools necessary to create Wikipedia existed in 1995 when Ward Cunningham invented the wiki editing concept.  Webserver, web browser, database, wiki. What technologies already exist today for collaborative video editing that no one has created the social structures to use? Well, having said that, I will also say that words are far more fluid than video, and always will be.  If I don’t quite like what you have written, I can adjust it slightly until we are both satisfied.  But once a...