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Checkthis! and other postery stuff

Posters tell stories economically.  And there is no longer a need to share them with thumbtacks.

I fell in love with Smore last spring (see Postering with new tools).  We now use it to promote library activities, to create marketing campaigns for sports and club events.

Our students return to it often as a visual communication/storytelling platform. They’ve used it in their multimedia explorations of Hamlet themes, health advocacy efforts, and to publish PSAs relating to global issues.

Recenty, my student volunteers created Smore posters for our upcoming OneBookOneSpringfield event and our Poetry Slam.  I love that we can share, embed, turn comments on or off, keep track of visitor analytics and see when our posters trend.  (And they have!)  Posters may be Private, Public, or Super–optimized for maximum visibility.

(We’ve explored quite a few infographic options, but that’s a story for another post.)

This week I was particularly excited and curious when we discovered CheckThis, a social postering tool that looks remarkably like Smore.

I had student intern, Jordy–an infographic platform expert–do a test drive and a comparison.

Jordy noted that the platforms are indeed VERY similar.

Essentially, they are equally easy to use and have most of the same properties.

Checkthis gives you a couple abilities that Smore does not.  Within each theme (color scheme + font), you have the option to alter the colors to be whatever you want. I like that, and you can’t do that in Smore.

Checkthis also gives you the ability to create a poll to put on the flyer, which is pretty cool. You can also input your own background image instead of using the limited library of backgrounds offered in Smore.

However, Smore still has things that Checkthis doesn’t. You cannot create an event, which is something in Smore that is super useful, especially for a flyer.  And you cannot create a gallery of images.

Both tools assign your posters urls and allow you to embed them on other platforms.

CheckThis users may upload pictures or embed content with automatic connection to Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Twitter, Google Maps, Vimeo, YouTube, Instagram and Instagram, and then automatically share posters on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.  In addition to the polling interaction Jordy noted, the Apps function also also users to embed PayPal purchasing.

After your CheckThis poster is published, a real-time timeline appears on the right side of the screen, sharing views, likes and comments.  Twitter posts automatically appear in the timeline.  This may be a benefit, but I can see some users preferring that their posters show without the distraction of this timeline.

I just discovered which looks like another very similar, very cool strategy for building media-rich posters projects.

You may also want to check out these poster tools:

  • Smore (create and share modular posters with a variety of media elements built on templates)
  • Phoster looks like a similar poster tool for iPhone and iPad
  • Poster My Wall (a handy basic canvas with attractive backgrounds and collage options)
  • Art Skills  (less social, more kid-friendly)
  • Muzy Thoughts (backgrounds for sharing inspirational text and creating classroom posters)
  • Posterini (movie poster-style templates)
  • BigHugeLabs (image generator goodies and several poster templates)
  • Zeen (create media-rich, Tumblr-style online magazines of unlimited length)
  • Thinglink (for adding interactive links and annotations to posters)
And for making infographics:

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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