Envisioning Information

July 9, 2007

Envisioning Information

I don’t know why but I’ve decided to call this post ‘Sir Stepen’ for now. Not that he’s old. Although I do not know his actual age, I think that he is wise. I’m honored that Stephen Smith has asked me to look at this subject and put my thought into it. I’ve not been asked to write a post about a post: http://hdbizblog.com/blog/2007/07/08/new-ways-of-looking-at-what-we-know/

Before I jump into it. Let me just say that it’s a brilliant idea. Have your friends, colleagues look at your post! Review a post.

My first response is to go from what I know so far. Initial reading, I’m reminded of two sources. The first is ‘Art of Innovation’ (the second is ‘Envisioning Information’), in which Tom Kelly observed that despite advances into the future of technology we are hinder by our behavioral patterns. A good example was the tooth past tube, used in ‘Art of Innovation’ (AOI). It took the design team a while to go from the screw cap to the flip top. People were just not ready for such an advancement. Even now the flip top is unscrew-table. Inscrutable! indeed, our mind and behavioral pattern can sometimes be inscrutable because we expect our tooth paste tube to be unscrew-table. Okay, enough with the wordplay. Which brings me to the iphone. I figure that sooner or later, every blog of any worth will have a mention of the iphone. The iphone post will then be tagged, digged, and squidooed. Let me tie this somehow from the rambling madness that it can become. Before I do this, I must mention that the second point I was trying to make is that little book call ‘Envisioning information’ by Edward Tufte. That book revolutionized the graphics that we now see on the computer. ‘Envisioning Information’ (EI) argues for a more subtle treatment of color and density. Before this movement, computer screens had a garish and intense hues which hurt the human eye to look at. Let’s jump back to the iphone for a moment. Stephen’s article is far too complex for me to digest it all at the moment. So there are several points I can hook into, harpoon into for a little ride on my skateboard plank on the information highway. The article mention that typing the phone number is an out dated technology. I would have to agree. But we are used to it. Sometimes, I actually dial the number rather then looking it up on the phone address book. The iphone can eliminate this. Well, other phones have been able to do this as well. There are voice activated dialing. Although, I’ve never seen anyone actually using it. People just haven’t the time or the attention required to program into these features. One of the beauty of the iphone I heard about is the ability to access your voice mail to a specific message from a specific person rather then moving through the sequence of voice mails to get to the one that one needs. In away, it’s about getting what you need, when you need it. EI looks at the graphical way to simplified the mass of information and pare it down or organized it in a way that the human brain can grasp. There are examples of the subway maps, topography maps, and visually interesting comparison of the rivers of the world. These essential visual information allows people to navigate the city. Stephen’s post, to me, is about the way we blog, write, and access personal information. I sometimes am willing to risk my private information to a public organizational system just so I can organized and access my private information better. I’ve used Writely before Google gobbled them up. It has a wonderful feature known as ‘tag’. Sometimes, I write on this blog because it has nice tag features and categories. Even with all of the tags and categories, I still can’t find what I am looking for on this WordPress blog. So I think Stephen has started me thinking about this subject. I will probably dip into that particular post from time to time to dig out some nuggets. It brings up some interesting points and made me think about. For instance, I’m not all that technically savy. I’ve been trying to get ‘Dig It’ to work. So let’s just say that the Dig it community is missing out on what I’m saying. I doubt it. But I have a point here, which is if I’m behind in this tag, dig, and squidoo technology, eventually no one can find my post. Meaning, in this Darwinian scheme of thing, technically flat blogs will crawl to the swamp and die. As I’m getting older, I find it is harder and harder to keep up. No matter how good the writing is, you are only as good as your ability to feedburn, tag, and digg, and squidoo or what ever technology that comes up next in the web 2.0. Let’s hope that people out there still dial their phone numbers one digit at a time.

3 Responses to “Envisioning Information”

  1. Paul Lagasse Says:

    In “Envisioning Information” you wrote: “As I’m getting older, I find it is harder and harder to keep up. No matter how good the writing is, you are only as good as your ability to feedburn, tag, and digg, and squidoo or what ever technology that comes up next in the web 2.0.”

    I feel exactly the same way! I’m glad I’m not the only one. I’m slowly learning how to do all these things and it’s a little embarrassing considering that I use my blog as a business tool.

    Have you found a site that explains all these things simply and clearly for people who are trying to learn?


  2. ducly Says:

    Paul, I haven’t found any sites that explain these things for a layman. I think the most useful technocrati tool is in MSN Live Writer. I use it to insert technocrati tags there and copy and paste them into the post. The wordpress post shows the html codes and one can edit or add to it. These codes should work on most of the html blogs.
    Let me know if you find more tips on learning.

  3. […] Did you like this brief introduction? Find out about it in full detail here. […]

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