Picture the scene: the ardent lead detective questions his team – anxiously huddled close by – about any new information in the hunt for the criminals. He pushes, he prods, he orders, he pleads with his fellows to think hard; time is running out. Now cast your eyes to the wall behind the lead detective, what are the detectives staring at?
Images of suspects or “persons of interest”, significant events in date order, addresses, car registrations, any and every piece of information that will help the detectives crack the case. This is the timeline, an interactive representation of the facts, and from it, if they look hard enough, they may just glean enough information to catch the bad guys and save the day. Of course, this is what we see in films and on TV, but it’s obvious enough that timelines such as these are used by real-life detectives. They could just make lists on A4 paper and discuss their findings this way, but that’s not what they do – why not? Elementary: a visual representation of facts like a Popplet, for example, sets neurons firing and makes for a highly effective investigative tool.
It’s not only law enforcement who benefit from using timelines. Timelines are a useful and even essential tool in many different types of situation:
Studying events – any event can be broken down and its parts placed in the order they happened.
History – any historical event or fact can be visualized on a timeline
Biography – leader, writer, artist…
Projects – from going on holiday to setting up a new company
Autobiography – all about you and the milestones of your life
Process – any process that benefits from the recording of significant events
Books, stories, films – explain and understand what’s going on
Writers use Popplet to create timelines for their work
We don’t just find Popplets lying around on the floor you know! However, due to the absolute deluge of Popplet creativity out there online, popplets are pretty much digitally ubiquitous – just not on the floor!
If you have never seen a Popplet (unlikely) there’s one above. If you are in need of inspiration or if you are searching for ideas then there are plenty of places you can search.
Like all things Popplet, the Popplet Drawing Tool – we wanted to call it the Popplet Colored Pen, but it isn’t really a pen! – is a simple intuitive feature, which does exactly what it says on the box: it draws inside popples! However, in the hands of the Popplet community, the Popplet drawing tool has evolved into a hugely popular and useful feature, which when wielded effectively can add a whole other dimension to Popplet work: a superior visual learning tool, which is a lot of fun to use.
The drawing tool can be accessed by clicking on the circular features button that contains an image that looks suspiciously like a pen…or is it a pencil?
On selecting the tool, you have three options:
colors – a choice of, click to select one
expand – increases the size of the popple, providing a flexible canvas
clear drawing – for when you need to start again
At this point, we suggest that you jump right in and give it a go if you haven’t done so already. Sketch whatever you like and see how much fun it is. Or, if you’re not quite ready to surrender to your creative self quite yet, or if you’re seeking inspiration, take a look at what can be done.
Writing is more popular than ever! Sure, the infamous selfie and the spontaneous snap of a restaurant meal might be getting all the notice, but sharing our prose and poetry is more commonplace than ever before. The Facebook comment, the 140-character tweet, the Tumblr or WordPress blog, and many other platforms offer almost everyone who can write a potential audience numbering in the billions. Never before has so much been written by so many for so many.
In technology-assisted classrooms — and in the wider connected world — opportunities to write, to communicate, to develop, and to grow are now widespread. We took a look at how Popplet is being to put to good use by teachers of writing and how young scribes are shaping up in the digital world. Continue reading →
Visual thinking strategies are fast becoming a necessity for creative professionals, businesses and students. Having a way to organize ideas visually helps create stunning infographics, tell compelling stores, show previously hidden or obscure connections, and better memorize information!
Lately, we have noticed a growing number of film studies students, budding film-makers, and film lovers making use of the Popplet app. It inspired us to consider how starting with a film subject can help anyone develop visual thinking strategies using Popplet.
Adding videos to your Popplets (along with pictures and drawings) helps users enhance their visual thinking. You can create memory boards with video tutorial content alongside research links and revision notes. Thanks to requests from many of our users, Popplet now lets you include videos from Vimeo in your idea maps.
Here are 5 ways you can use Popplet to explore the reel world of cinema and video, and develop new skills for your own toolbox of visual thinking strategies! Continue reading →
Mom bloggers using Popplet get double the opportunities to use our visual thinking and idea management app. At home, Popplet can be used by families as part of language games with kids, while at the home office desk, Popplet can help organize blog ideas and manage content plans.
Maria Grundtvig is one of our many international Popplet users. Her blog “My cousin Maria” – in Danish, Min Kusine Maria – shares her skills and knowledge as both a mom and as a trained speech and language pathologist.
For mom bloggers around the world just starting out, Maria shares her experiences in our Popplet People interview. She talks about using Popplet in language games with kids, organizing her blog ideas with Popplet and building an international blog audience. Continue reading →
Popplet has an embed code function that allows you to paste your popplet directly into your webpages. Embedding popplets into your blog posts and web pages is a great way to share ideas.
Many internet readers scan webpages for the content they need. Having a popplet on a webpage can be a good way to help direct your readers to the information you have to share.
You can reinforce your message and show the net of connections between the ideas you are trying to get across, or summarize the text of your blog in a Popplet, to facilitate the reader’s comprehension.
Here’s some examples of how you can use an embed code to share a popplet and reinforce the key message goals of your content:
Use a popplet to describe your skillset and use connector links to share portfolio images of your work for an About Me webpage on your professional blog
For an article on a historical event, create a timeline using Popplet and include that in your writeup
Show how people are connected to each other in a television show or movie (or to show their career filmography) when writing a review
Use Popplet to share maps, points of interest and itineraries in a travel blog article.
(We’ll be using some of these examples over the next few months, but if you have already used the embed code in your blog in a creative way, please share it with us so we can profile your work here!)
Using the embed code also helps you appeal to a wider range of readers with different learning styles and ways of absorbing information. Popplet helps you present information to appeal to both visual and auditory learning styles (for example, by combining text, images and videos). You can use the embed code in online articles and webpages to provide cognitive maps that visualize the flow of information you are discussing. This can help your readers connect the information you are giving them with what they already know. This helps create a deeper learning experience in which people can convert your information into knowledge they can use.
Your blog posts and webpages can appeal to more readers when you use Popplet as a visual thinking tool to represent your content. It is also a great way to break up the text on your page, making readers linger for longer. There is also an aspect of gamification to how they may relate to your webpage when you use the embed code to share your popplet: Readers are motivated to scan your text and look for clues in your popplet that helps them understand your message and link to key points of information you provide through the text on your blog or webpage.
How the embed code works
You can select the embed function from the share button on your popplet board. Click the symbol:
To embed a popplet, your popplet board must be made public. You will be prompted to do so if it is not already:
Doubleclick on the code in the box “embed it” and select copy (Ctrl+V).
Now go to your blog or webpage. Make sure you are in HTML format. Cut and paste the code into the webpage
You can also use a <p align=”center”> before the embed code and </p> afterwards to make sure your popplet is centered between your margins. (We will be exploring more ways to customize your embedded popplet in a future blog post on advanced embed code techniques – subscribe to our blog to make sure you don’t miss out!)
Save your webpage and preview your work. Voila! You have used the embed code to add a great looking popplet to your blog!
Now, when you update your popplet, it will be automatically updated in your blog page as well.
Why doesn’t my embed code work?
Some of the simpler Content Management Systems that allow you to upload blog content do not allow you to embed code on the page. Up until recently, this including Google Sites like Blogger. This was very frustrating for many users who wanted to embed their popplets into their blog. In the last few weeks, we have started to see some embedded popplets working in blogger pages and on Google sites.
Alternatives to using the embed code
If your blog site doesn’t allow you to embed code into the pages, you can save the Popplet as a jpeg image and insert it into your blog as a picture. This means people can still see the content, but they cannot navigate around and zoom in and out of your popplet work, as you can do with the embed code approach.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you are having difficulties using the embed codes with your website or blog.
Have you used the embed code to share your popplet in a blog or website? Share the address in our comments or tweet us! We’ll profile examples of your work with our readers in future blog posts.
A buyer persona template is a marketing tool used by businesses to describe target segments of their customer market and online audience. Popplet is an ideal online visual thinking tool to use as a buyer persona template.
How Online Environments are Changing Business
The internet and mobile devices have fundamentally changed consumer patterns around the globe. We research and decide what to buy and which services to use by checking our smartphones, chatting in forum discussions, asking our social media networks, and by reading online blogs and reviews… we know that you know what we mean: because we’re all doing it!
As a result, we’re usually about 70% sure of what we want to buy before we even make first contact with some of the businesses on our list of preferences. For anyone in business, this has changed how to go about connecting with potential customers. Media marketing business experts like Nuria Gimenez, Head of Digital Services at GroupM predicts that “By 2016, we will no longer be buying space. We will be buying audiences”. What she means is that more and more often, businesses won’t get noticed by buying advertising space like internet banners or radio spots, but by buying the time and interest of audiences online, who connect with a business and then go on to share their experiences within their wider networks.
The Buyer Persona Template Technique
Internet marketing leaders, like Adam Singer at the Future Buzz, Barbara Gago on Content Marketing Institute and Lee Odden at TopRank all encourage businesses to enhance the experience of customers by really thinking about what customers want. You can use a buyer persona template in your business planning to describe your potential audience segments. This is a technique that can help you describe how your audience connects to businesses online, and what your customers want from the experience.
Above: Buyer personas: definitions and discussion from the experts
Hopefully, using buyer persona templates will mean your business is better able to respond to customer needs. This creates a deeper connection so that there is a personal, ongoing relationship between your brand and the value people get from it.
Singer, Gago and Odden all suggest asking yourself questions that help to understand your customers, and from the research you uncover, you can create a few profiles of different target market segments and their preferences. The thinking behind this is that you can better provide the type of online content for each audience segment if you have a clear picture in your head about who they are, how they move about online, and what are their common preferences and interests.
The Buyer Persona Template in Practice
Globally, many businesses are looking to connect with new consumers in the emerging markets of China, Russia, Brazil and the Middle East. We have used the internet marketing experts’ techniques to describe one of these new audiences. Here’s our Popplet buyer persona describing Russian consumers.
Above: Buyer persona template for Russian consumers using Popplet
For our buyer persona template, we drew from a combination of data sources and categorized our information by using some of the questions suggested by Adam Singer, Barbara Gago and Lee Odden to understand the audience better.
(Behind the scenes, we also filed all of our source materials (including the funky images we sourced from designcollector) in a delicious stack. Our monthly newsletter to blog subscribers will include links to these background tools and source materials. Our first newsletter edition also includes a step-by-step guide on how to build your own buyer persona template, and access to a blank template so you can start collecting data about your market straight away. Subscribe to our newsletter before December 31 to make sure you don’t miss out on these extra goodies!)
You can use a buyer persona template to dig deeper or step back to a broader level and understand your audience better. Our Russian consumer persona, for example, could be broadened into a category like ‘consumers in emerging markets’ or become more focused, for example, ‘Russian women aged 16 – 35’. Collating your information in a Popplet can give you new insights into your audience that improve your business operations and your customer’s experience with your business.
Work Collaboratively with your Buyer Persona Template
Popplet works as a collaborative tool that lets your business discuss who your customers are and what they want. You can share ideas within your business teams by selecting collaborators who can contribute to the popplet. Use the Popplet labs settings to decide who can add to the popplet and who can edit your existing popples.
How do you use Popplet as a business tool? Share your thoughts in our comments below.
Popplet lets you share ideas and work collaboratively on projects. We have developed three levels of permission to let you manage your groupwork using Popplet and will continue to improve these capabilities. We get queries every week to our support email and to our online community page asking for clarification on how to use Popplet collaboratively. (Which reminds us – if you have a question or feedback, please share it with us by email or at our community page!)
Share ideas at three permission levels
You can use Popplet to work collaboratively in three ways:
Share ideas: This level allows you to show your popplet to others. You can email the page reference, embed it in your blog, or share it via Twitter or Facebook. When you share the popplet URL page or embed it in your blog, your readers will be able to move around your popplet and zoom in and out, but they will not be able to alter any content. You can see the choices for sharing your popplet board by clicking on the share button in the right hand top corner. First, you will be asked to make your popplet board public, and after that you can email it, embed it, tweet about it or post it to your Facebook page. (Don’t forget, you can also save your popplet as a PDF or JPEG and send it to people as an attachment.)
Collaborate (add): This level of permission allows you to share your popplet and nominate others in your team as collaborators. They will be able to add to your popplet with new popples and connectors. When you work collaboratively, the name tag function comes in handy: you can see who has added popples and expanded on your original work. Your team can also use the comments function to explain the thinking behind their popple content. Click on the peg people symbol and add your team mates. To work collaboratively, your team mates must already have a Popplet account, or you can enter their email addresses and they will be sent an email and invited to join.
Collaborate (edit): This level of permission lets your collaborators make changes to your existing work, as well as add more popple content. Under the gear cog (settings) symbol, choose “Popplet labs” and “Popplet permissions” from the drop-down menu. Select the option to let any collaborator edit your original popplets and click OK to save.
In 2012, we will be adding more features to help you to work collaboratively using Popplet. Please let us know on our Facebook page how you use Popplet to share ideas, and what additional features you need.
Four Ways to Get More from your Visual Thinking Tool!
Welcome to the Popplet blog: Poppletrocks! This is your resource for getting the most out of your idea sharing and visual thinking tool: Popplet!
You can use our blog in four ways:
1. Stay Up-to-Date With Popplet Happenings
With so much recent news to share – the release of the Popplet presenter tool, our next set of iPad app updates, shared ideas from our twitter feed – we needed to have somewhere to keep you up-to-date with everything we have planned for Popplet.
Our blog is the place to come to find out more about the latest Popplet enhancements.
2. Learn New Visual Thinking Techniques
Popplet is an ideas platform and visual thinking tool that helps you collect, curate and share information. Our blog will provide tutorials and techniques to help you make the most of Popplet.
Our online web app version of Popplet uses flash software inside a browser to allow you to create your popplets. Sometimes this means it works differently in different browsers. Our techniques and tutorials will offer the latest tricks, tips, and workarounds when your browser wants to do things its own way.
3. See How Others Are Using Popplet
We have been amazed by some of the unique and creative ways people are using Popplet. We want to share the stories and experiences of the Popplet community in our blog.
We know you will be inspired with new ideas from seeing examples of how others in the Popplet community use Popplet. You will see things from a new perspective and discover new ways of modeling ideas, whether it be created by:
professionals – like in this workshop summary that Emily Wray recently tweeted to share how teachers thought about using Popplet in her school district
hobbyists – like in the popplet Yasmin shared publicly to show some of the potential strategies available in a game of Street Fighter!
4. Reflect On How We Process Information And Connect With Ideas
Popplet is an idea modeler and knowledge management tool that is also fun to use. When we are compiling ideas and information, we understand that the sum is greater than its collection of parts. Sometimes when we try to understand something, all we see are the colored threads of the idea and not the rich tapestry pattern that it creates when we step back to look at the whole picture. Popplet helps you make connections, share ideas, and visually connect data in new and creative ways. This is part of why we think it is a unique product.
We are fascinated by how the brain processes words and pictures, and how we translate this information into knowledge. When we come across something particularly cool about how our brains work, we would love to share it with you in our blog posts. Sometimes a better understanding of the theory behind the ordering of data, the use of visual tools for productivity, or a deeper understanding of how the left and right brain hemispheres process information, can help us create a more communicative popplet.
Keep Up To Date With New Blog Posts
Stay in touch with Poppletrocks! and let us send you updates when we have new blog content to help you get more out of Popplet. Please share ideas with us about how you use Popplet or what you information you need to make the most of our visual and fun mind map software.