The invitation arrived from a local community group: would I like to attend their next important event?
It looked gorgeous — it had a frame, the logo, beautiful colours, a ‘handwritten’ script.
But it was really annoying, and not very useful. You see, this was just a picture of text, and you can’t do much with pictures.
When similar text invitations arrive in my e-mail, the software notices the date and time and gives me a link to add the event to my calendar. Not this one: because it was a picture and not real text, my software didn’t pick up the date or the time.
So I had to add the event to my calendar by hand. That’s not such a big deal: just copy and paste. Except, oops! I can’t copy the relevant information and paste it because it’s a picture, not real text! I have to remember the details, switch to my calendar program and retype it all.
Hey guys! I’m busy — unless I’m very dedicated to attending the event you may lose me at this step. And if I mistype the date or time or venue, well, I won’t be there…
I’m a blogger too and would love to pass on the information about the event to my readers. Usually I’d select the text and click a button in my toolbar to send it to my blog. Except, that’s right, I can’t! because it’s a picture, not text. What a way to lose valuable word-of-mouth publicity.
OK, I added the event to my calendar by hand, I decided not to tell the rest of the world about it in my blog, and I tried to click the RSVP reply address. Except — you guessed it — I couldn’t, because it was a picture, not a text link! And I couldn’t copy and paste it — you know why. So again, I had to remember the correct address and compose a whole new email to say I wanted to attend. That’s because the reply-to address was different from the address the email came from.
So here’s an easy rule: if you want to annoy your supporters and keep them away from your events; if you want to throw away publicity from bloggers, then use images instead of real text in your emails and on your web pages.
Or, on the other hand, if you want to maximise potential then do whatever you can to help your supporters. Use text for text things, give people permission and tools to spread the word about your group and its events, supply quality photos bloggers can use. Make it easy and you’ll have more success.
Written by Miraz Jordan for, and reproduced from CommunityNet Aotearoa Panui, June 2008.