Squidoo: How did you decide what to make your lenses about?
Dave: The world is getting more and more complex, and it's getting harder and harder to communicate clearly amongst all the noise. Visual thinking is an ideal way to get your message across -- a picture is worth a thousand words.
Visual Thinking School needed to happen for many reasons -- if there had been no Squidoo, I would have had to figure out some way to do it. Lucky for me Squidoo arrived just in time -- and it seemed like the perfect way to get these ideas in front of a wider audience.
Squidoo: Do you maintain a web site or blog otherwise?
Dave: Yes. I have a blog called Communication Nation, a blog on communication, management and visual thinking. My company also has a web site.
Squidoo: What have you done with your lenses that you can't do elsewhere?
Dave: While a blog is an excellent publishing platform, there is no easy way to organize your posts. A lens is a great way to organize the information that's in your blog, so people can find things more easily.
I also find the Flickr module fascinating. I choose tag words for concepts I want to illustrate and watch what Flickr picks out for me. I have made several new friends this way, probably because common tags means we may be thinking along the same lines already.
Squidoo: Could you explain the idea behind your interlinked grouping of visual thinking-related lenses?
Dave: Initially, I tried to make Visual Thinking School work with just one lens, but it became too difficult to organize. The first time I directed people to the lens, they told me it was difficult to navigate.
So I came up with the idea of having a "table of contents" lens. Each lens is like a module or chapter of a book (I called them "mini-courses," and the "table of contents" lens is a way to organize all the chapters together into a cohesive whole.
If one of the "chapters" starts to become difficult to manage, it can be broken down into multiple lenses. This kind of hierarchical approach ends up making your lens infinitely extensible -- it can grow to accommodate as much content as you can think of or imagine.
Squidoo: What do you think of the visual opportunities offered by Squidoo?
Dave: I love them. I'll say it again: I love love love them. As Squidoo grows, I hope you will add even more visual tools and options for how images are displayed.
As I said before, a picture is worth a thousand words. By using Squidoo's visual functions, you can make your lens communicate more deeply and powerfully than you ever could with words alone.
Squidoo: What advice or ideas would you offer other lensmasters?
Dave: Follow your passion. Have fun and enjoy yourself. It's contagious!
Photo by Riaz, XPLANER (I think!).
Here's a link to the interview (You'll need to sign up as a Squidoo lensmaster to read it)
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