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January 12, 2007 [ More archived home pages here ]

Evocative Knowledge Objects

This image, Enigma, is also available as a Desktop

Today's song is Crystal Blue Persuasion, by Tommy James and The Shondells, released in 1969.

Right off the bat, here is the definition for an Evocative Knowledge Object (EKO). I discovered this concept while reading the white paper, Towards a Periodic Table of Visualization Methods for Management. That seminal work is very interesting.

I found the reasoning behind their paper very clear and important. Below is one of the quotes from their paper:

"In management the key for better execution is to engage employees. To succeed the communicator not only needs to convey the message, but also needs to tailor it to the recipient's context, so that he can re-construct the knowledge, integrate it and put it to meaningful action. Therefore we see a high potential of complimentary visualizations to engage different stakeholders. Unfortunately in management very few visualization methods are used, and little is known about visualization methods of other domains with potential to management, their requirements, benefits and application areas."

This information is related to the well-known practice of using visual information to convey what words do not. As an artist, I am personally familiar with that concept. As a technical person, I could improve in the areas of incorporating visual representations in my work.

In another section of that same white paper, I quote some interesting guidelines for choosing the right visualization approach.

"The organization principles should also relate to the situation in which the visualization is used (when?), the type of content that is represented (what?) the expected visualization benefits (why?), and the actual visualization format used (how?)"

The authors themselves used those guidelines in the creation of their A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods.

In this world of ever increasing complexity, where conversations are diverse, where email and web pages overflow your bandwidth, being able to convey your thoughts clearly and convincingly should be useful. I hope you will find the information above that way. I did.


I think it's cool that Graham Nash also runs a digital photo printing business. It seems to me that he understands visualization and is an evocative knowledge object himself. :-)


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