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Worth a 1000 Words ?????

As It Turns Out, a Picture Is Not Worth a Thousand Words

re-post of Paolo Gaudiano in Wired

The Internet — ...

… — has revolutionized the way we publish and consume information. One of the most noticeable innovations ... was the ability to mix text with other media such as pictures and videos, ... where would Amazon be without product images?

However, it is easy to overlook the fact that text still dominates online information exchange. The vast majority of activities we do online are still fundamentally based on reading text: social media, news, search, e-mail, product reviews and many others. It has been estimated that more than 80% of the activities we do online are text-based. While many of these online activities are enhanced by multimedia content, the bulk of the information still comes from text, and that’s unlikely ever to change.

We as humans don’t do very well with large amounts of text. Reading is time consuming and can easily overwhelm us. It’s no wonder that 92% of Google users click on a link on the first page of results: scrolling through long lists of text is hard and time consuming.

There is a saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but in reality there is a fundamental difference between looking at a picture and reading. ...

... from the point of view of how we process information, there is a fundamental gap between text and images.


Ian: Allow me to add a tangent right here:

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words

July 14, 2011

by Fred Shapiro

"The Yale Book of Quotations".


“People often say ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’ I believe the original quote was actually ‘A picture is worth ten thousand words’ as stated by Fred R. Barnard, of Printers’ Ink, 10 March 1927. Which is correct?”


The Yale Book of Quotations, ….. has the following information:

“‘The picture is worth ten thousand words.’ So says ‘an old Chinese proverb.'”

Washington Post, July 26, 1925.

There appears to be no basis for the Chinese attribution.

An earlier version, “A look is worth a thousand words,” appears in a real estate advertisement in the New York Times, May 16, 1914, where the words are followed by “say the Japanese.”

This proverb has long been credited to Frederick Barnard, who used a “look” version in Printer’s Ink, Dec. 8, 1921, and a “picture” version in the same periodical, Mar. 10, 1927.


Ian: an interesting little extra:

The YBQ also cross-references to:

“The drawing shows me at a glance what would be spread over ten pages in a book.”

Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons (1862) (translation by Constance Garnett)

Ian: Bottomline - Words still Rule, but Why Not Enhance them with Pictures.

And Try writing for the Modern Reader.

here’s the picture for the day:


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