Public interest for Knowledge Design : attractivity of simple visual representations

Posted on August 22, 2007. Filed under: Designers, English |

I just came across a nice blog post that included an image illustrating the web2.0 and it was the perfect example to demonstrate the attractivity (in this case in the blogosphere) of knowledge design. Thanks by the way to that is an incredible tool to encourage serendipity and information sharing, as I came across this blog reading from the tags of another user I shared some tags with (when you click on saved by xx other users you can see who tagged the page and then look at their own tags).

Web 2.0 vs 1.0

While I may not agree to all parts of the illustrations and find it simplistic, it is clean (graphically), leaves place to interpretation on my part, and did get me to blog about it 😉

In Aysoon's blog, this tag attracted 41 comments, by far the most commented post on the blog. The second racked up 13 comments and the third only 2, as described on the blog's "scoreboard" (article à ne pas rater), by the way a nice touch I haven't found on many blogs, as well as the display of how many users have subscribed to the feed. This is probably as good an indicator as we can get of how many people have seen and liked it, and most probably searched and further talked about it. We could use the trackback feature also, or look it up on Technorati for the same purpose, or look at the propagation of it over time using Manuel Lima's tool BlogViz.

Other previous examples of such 'memes' captured in a visual way include :

Some quick lessons to be learned :

  • fuzzy, complex or frightening issues often are opportunities for visual representations (web2.0 concept, statistical analysis, …)
  • such visual representations are prone to quick propagation because of their attractive and ludic nature
  • when they are extreme, they get challenged (attracting comments) but with a mix of rational and irrational comments (thus effectively deepening the adhesion in the target group) as visual illustrations mostly use the language of emotions, the rational using many words and figures

These are some of the reasons why I have often used the help of an information designer in consulting missions when trying to get a team or an organization to adhere to a proposed vision changing some of their habits (see my introductory words on Knowledge Design).

Additionally, this quick propagation potential is a viral marketing bonanza, as well as an influence tool some strategic intelligence or lobbying professionals should consider more closely.


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