The ‘Half-Life’ of Visuals

Posted by on Dec 4, 2012 in blog, Graphic Recording, Visuals


I attended a recent Social Media workshop where author and entrepreneur, Jason Miles, gave a presentation on the power of Pinterest. He pointed out that above all else, “videos and images have the longest ‘half-life’ of all forms of communication.” I was struck by how obvious this is.




Twitter is an endless conversation stacking on top of itself – your tweets are quickly buried within an hour, sometimes within minutes. The same goes for Facebook status updates.





Blogposts are only as fresh as the date they were created – and so much effort goes into a well-written post!







However, great videos will continue to accumulate views on YouTube years after they were posted. Likewise, images can be shared, liked, and ‘re-pinned’ long after their original posting. The decay rate of visuals is much slower than text based communication.



Instead of wasting time with text-based news releases, an organization will have greater impact if it sends out an infographic, video, or an eye-catching photograph. Humans process visual information in a fraction of the time it takes to read text. This is also why graphic recording is such a powerful tool during meetings.



Is your organization using visuals? Have you noticed a difference in the effectiveness? Check out my illustrated videos and graphic recordings for inspiration!



  1. First off, I entirely agree with the visuals are important aspect of the post. I’m not just agreeing with you because it’s your blog, I’m agreeing because I have seen the analytics from many websites that prove the statements to be true.

    The part I disagree with is the blog posts. A well written blog post that has “Evergreen Content” is not “only as fresh as the date they were created.” I have many posts that I have written for my blog that I refer clients to all the time for help on specific issues. Yes the status update and the tweet that I used to initially broadcast the post is long gone, but I know where to find it, my clients know where to find it, and more importantly: Google knows where to find it.

    As there are so many different ways that people digest information I typically will create a blog post, create some kind of graphic, and then create a supporting video. In this manner you have all your bases covered, as well you have cast a wide net to try and capture as much traffic as possible.

    If you can have all your mediums working together to a common goal then in theory the half life of all your content will increase.

  2. Excellent points, Chris. I agree that blog posts hold more worth than maybe I gave them credit for, especially considering Google.

    I think there’s a risk if the most recent post is months or years old. If people don’t have the time to post on their blog regularly, then maybe a video or infographic on their website is more appropriate. But I do think blog posts have more staying power if they include some form of visuals along with well-written, valuable content.

    And you’re right — a combination of different mediums is the best approach.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *