Strategic Information Arrangement at Simmons in November


Burning Man Memorial Temple

The Temple of Joy at Night by Jim Hammer and Burning Man. More photos by Jim Hammer.

Strategic Information Arrangement: Theory and Techniques

Online CE Course at Simmons College in November, 2010

Instructor:  Katherine Bertolucci

Fee:  $250 (Simmons GSLIS Alumni price $200) for the four week online course.

(Click “Register,” top of the page on the left)

“Strategic Information Arrangement” takes an entertaining look at the building blocks of order, especially arrangement styles for organized information.  These are the skills you need to display information, whether in taxonomy, classification, or structured lists. Understanding these strategies helps you build ordered arrangements that persuade users. Lack of understanding can inadvertently send users in the opposite direction. Since all information has order, even if only random, each arrangement structure you build is an opportunity to persuade or to accidentally dissuade.

Futurist Ray Kurzweil believes “order is more profound than information” because it “fits a purpose.” This course helps you develop profound order with fifteen list structures, six hierarchic methods, and five persuasive strategies. Katherine’s client Snoopy is on hand to explain some of the concepts. Nevada’s Burning Man art festival and the Rolling Stones also make an appearance. You learn how each technique fits a unique purpose and how to persuasively exploit these techniques.

We also review the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme from World War I, each with similar information and goals, yet requiring different name arrangement strategies.  Memorials reviewed by members of the May class are featured in Katherine’s blog post, “Names on a Memorial:  Into the Earth (Memorials Discovered by the Strategic Arrangement Class).”

In the optional assignment, you design a hierarchic structure with provided material.  Assignments are critiqued by Katherine, the only organizationalexpert focusing on persuasive arrangement.  See her Arranging to Persuade series on persuasive technology tools in this blog and at Discover the Region.

Instructor: Katherine Bertolucci is an information management consultant and owner of Isis Information Services in Phoenix, AZ. She specializes in the development andarrangement of subject-based classifications, taxonomies, and other formats for persuasive information presentation. A pioneer in non-traditional classification, Katherine built her first taxonomy in 1978. Clients include poets and transnational corporations such as Procter & Gamble and Thomson Financial. Known for her work with Snoopy, Katherine’s programs are entertaining and informative. She is former Chair of SLA’s Library Management Division and Information Futurists Caucus. Katherine’s essays on information arrangement appear on IsisInBlog. Print publications include “The Future Still Awaits Us: Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity on Wall Street” (Searcher, July-August, 2009),”BeyondFindability: Organizing Information in the Age of the Miscellaneous” (Searcher, February, 2009), and “Happiness is Taxonomy: Four Structures for Snoopy” (Information Outlook, March, 2004). Contact her at

Photo Credit: “The Temple of Joy at Night,” © Jim Hammer and Burning Man. More photos by Jim Hammer at

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Sep 2010

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