I don’t know about you, but since the dawn of social networking sites, I’ve managed to put a great deal of information about myself on the web. I have posted status updates on Facebook, tweeted, shared my location on FourSquare, instagrammed photos, pinned art to Pinterest, put my resume on LinkedIn and so much more. To sum up, I’ve generally managed to probably overshare a great deal of my life, and now that information is there and waiting for the next time someone searches my name.
With this tendency towards oversharing having become the norm, a growing number of sites are popping up which allow us to create and protect our overall online presence or “brand.” Vizify is a relatively new (still in public beta) site which allows you to create an interactive and visually appealing infographic landing page. The site connects with the social networks of your choosing in order to summarize and showcase the best of your (appropriate) online presence. Stay with me after the jump to learn more about this exciting new service and what I think about using it.
The profiles created on Vizify are customizable down to the small details. If you so choose, you can complete your profile completely from scratch, choosing from the blank pages provided by Vizify. You can add custom text, change headings, colors and more.
Unfortunately, that approach requires a good deal of work on your behalf, so I recommend just going ahead and connecting any appropriate social networks. Vizify supports Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and FourSquare at this point, though I’m sure more sites will be added with time. I recommend connecting as many sites as possible. Vizify seems to do a pretty great job of choosing work appropriate information to include, so have no fear. If something innapropriate is included, it’s quite easy to delete and/or replace any offending information.
Once the apps are connected, Vizify pulls relevant information from your social networking sites. LinkedIn, for example, fills in career and education pages, Instagram provides images and quotes are pulled directly from Twitter. Vizify fills in a great deal of pages by default, so next let’s take a look at viewing your page and the many different page types available.
Viewing Your Page
By default, profile viewing starts with the overview page. This page contains the main infographic, boasting links to the other pages as well as a profile picture. Additionally, a brief bio, name and other elements are present on the page. It’s from here that you can navigate through the profile, either via the links within the infographic or via the navigation elements to the side of every page.
In fact, go check mine out. Give a go, and see what Vizify has to offer. Then come on back and we’ll keep going.
As you navigate through the pages, you will notice a number of different page types and templates. Some page types only appear once. These tend to be more biographical elements, related to your career history and such. Single use pages encompass the education, career, links, locations and words pages.
In addition to these one time use pages, a few other page types are available. These page types are unlimited in use (as far as I can tell) and serve to add a bit more fun and personality to the page. These page types include images, quotes and factoids.
Editing the Elements
Once you’ve examined exactly what Vizify puts up for you by default, chances are good that you’ve found a change or two you want to make. Like everything else on Vizify, adding and editing pages is incredibly simple and intuitive. Simply click the edit or add page button at the top of the page.
The edit menu defaults to the options available for the particular page you are editing. You can change images, text, headers and more dependent upon the particular template that you are utilizing for the page in question. Don’t forget to treat the home page as an individual content page as well – you can change your bio, profile pic and more from the very first edit page.
In addition to changing the content on the individual pages in your account, you can also make overall changes to your whole account. These options are available from the edit menu on any page. From the edit menu you can always change the order of pages, connect and disconnect services and even change the color scheme of the overall account.
Can I Share?
So those are the basics of what Vizify can do. You simply connect social networks, let Vizify fill in a biographical infographic on your behalf, make the appropriate edits and then publish the page. Once your page is up to snuff, it’s time to share. The share button, found on every page of your profile, allows you to share the page in many ways. You can utilize Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr and even just plain old email.
In addition to sharing via traditional outlets, Vizify also just released a new tool. Now, you can turn your Vizify profile into a simplified version to be used in an email signature. The signature includes your picture, name and a colored representation of the pages in your profile. Clicking on the image links to your Vizify profile. For more information on how it works, check out this page.
Does it Work?
Vizify is an incredibly refined, well-designed and well thought out site. Clearly the site makers took a great deal of care when putting together the site. The site has an amazing interface. I spent a lot of time putzing around, playing with my profile and only once did I ever struggle to find something – and it was a brand new feature, so that probably explains it. Vizify presents me to the web world in a great way, with a fantastic looking, intuitive and easy to understand profile. It is professional, user-friendly and so much more. I could rave about it for a good long time, I think.
Even with all the good, there are still a few things I hope Vizify fixes as the site grows. First, connecting to additional social networks will be nice, and I’m sure it’s something they have planned. Along that same line, I hope eventually you can pull more from the social networks. For example, I can’t currently pull any photos from Twitter. Given that I don’t use Instagram regularly, instead choosing to tweet images directly, this was a bit frustrating. I’m sure this will all happen with time.
I’d also like to see a few more page types. I live and work in Hollywood, so a lot of my portfolio work is in my reel. I’d love to be able to upload a video to my page – I’d be fine with keeping it limited to just one video. I think video is a great tool – whether you put up a reel, an introductory video or whatever else you choose, I think it would be a great page type to incorporate. I also hope to see a contact page at some point – I’d love to at least provide a way to get in touch with me via email after seeing the page. RSS feeds are the last page type I’d like to see included, though I’m not sure of the best way to implement those pages.
The last issue I had was the lack of ability to reorder information on the pages. For example, on my career page I have two current positions. I write for Appstorm and I teach robotics classes. I wanted my Appstorm position to be the one that shows up on my main page, but because I started writing for Appstorm earlier than I started working for the teaching position, I cannot put the Appstorm position up. This occurred a few other times, on the words page for example. I wished to rearrange my words, to change which one showed up on the main page but this isn’t something that you can do. It seems like it wouldn’t be too challenging, so hopefully Vizify gets that fixed soon.
I’m sold on Vizify – even with my complaints, everything that they offer at this point is well thought out, beautifully designed and quite easy to use. Sure, I want to see more pages – but in the mean time, I’m quite satisfied with what they have offered so far. I’ve put my email signature in place, and I think Vizify might become my new page that I link to. I’m certainly going to continue to utilize Vizify after this review, and that doesn’t always happen.
Vizify is just one of many sites that aim to help you create a landing page of sorts. I prefer Vizify to the other sites I have tried, but what do you think? Have you gotten to try Vizify? Do you have a site you already use instead? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Create your own personal biographical, interactive infographic with Vizify. Include pertinent information about career and education history and liven it up with fun quotes and images.9
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