Flowers for Socrates

Color images spear deadly dull blog topics. Simple sentences focus the blogger’s point. But first, the pictures.

Consider the graphics of the graphic: where does it go? what does it do? and how big is it anyway? It needs to go as high up and be as big as it needs to be to draw the reader’s fleeting attention into the article.

Blog screen layouts (themes) typically have a narrow text column width, perhaps 800 pixels wide, often less. The main point of the picture is to point the reader toward the point in the post.

Search engines can’t “see” the picture; they read it’s file name caption and alt tag (if there is one) — and that’s nearly all the benefit the picture contributes to SEO. But your blog needs SEO and a high place on the screen to put its keywords and snippet phrases. Yet the reader needs to see the picture in a high place on the screen. So, what to do?

The thumbnail or small detail pix seems to work best. Checkout Gizmodo or Wired to see how they fit both thumbnails (perhaps 135px x 135px) and craft supremely well written snippets into the headline and excerpt. The “full size” photograph appears either further down, “below the fold,” or on the continuation page, like this.

death of socrates by david BDSCF0657--3

So there’s David’s picture of Socrates dying yet again. It’s not my picture, it’s in the public domain and I got its digital file royalty free from Wikipedia images. That database makes available to us several million images in the public domain, and of course there are many other sources of free images.

Well, what about using your own photographs or images. If you’re good at it, go do it. Avinash Kaushik does.

He takes accomplished photographs of flowers and uses them to illustrate his blog (Occam’s Razor), the ultimate authority on Web Analytics. You know, numbers, graphs, charts — all that nerdy stuff — starts with flowers.

Peter Neibert

Peter Neibert's work in progress is He appointed himself Webmaster (he really likes the title) and lays-out site and page design, flower and flower arrangement photography, photo editing and copy writing, as well as print brochures. He takes pictures of Marin County California landscape and wildlife, prints some, and publishes some on the web, including his new blog Story Pictures


  2 comments for “Flowers for Socrates

  1. September 19, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Yours is an ingenious perspective on photo-use in blog posts, Peter!

  2. September 20, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Thank you for an interesting topic. I hadn’t thought that much about the placement of my photos in my blog or for the ones I ghost write for. You have given me information to digest and think about for future posts. Thank you.

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