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March 19, 2008


Andrew Wilcox

There are huge opportunities in the area of social networking. Here are some examples from my favourite social network Ecademy.


Whenever I attend an Ecademy meeting I copy and paste the attendees list to a MindManager map. During the meeting I add notes and actions (Topic Alerts are great for this) on my Tablet PC in ink. The following day I ink to text and review the meeting.

That sounds great doesn't it?

But you get a different result depending on whether you cut and paste from Firefox (my preferred browser) or IE (currently producing the best paste result). But the paste is still a mess. I end up with one topic per attendee containing their name, company, membership level, Skype status, & location.

I would like a topic with their name linked to their Ecademy profile plus subtopics for each of the previous items with a filter option not to include country or Skype status for instance.

I can use a two step process: paste to Excel, delete columns, search and replace unwanted text, paste in to MindManager. With the correct add in I could probably get the cells inserted as sub-topics.

Now Ecademy does have a FOAF file which is an XML file listing all your contacts and some other data e.g. how many messages you have exchanged. You can open this XML with MindManager and it is readable but includes all the field names as well as the data. With this data you could imply other information and add it to the map. For instance their profile photo.

Can MindManager cope with my 1251 contacts and all their associated data?

How can I keep the map up to date with new contacts and contacts whose data has changed? Possibly 10 per day.

If it could then I would use MindManager to overlay information on my social network. For instance marking up my inner circle, my collaborators, my service providers, the good guys, the bad guys, the people I know I should be talking to expand and strengthen our relationship.

MindManager is already the hub of my CRM system. I would like it to be the hub of my SNM system!

p.s. It also needs to do this for Xing, Ning, LinkedIn, FaceBook, and Myspace


I read the post by Brett Bumeter about his difficulty in dealing with large maps in Mindmanager. I was surprised, because I often use very large maps to plan workshops and new businesses. I use Mindgenius, and the key is the outline-style navigator screen, which appears simultaneously with the map. When I click on a topic in the navigator, the map centers on that topic. I can also move topics around in the navigator as well as in the map. This makes it very easy to move around in a large map, whereas without it I can imagine getting lost as Bumeter says he does in Mindmanager.

Do any of the other major mindmapping programs have a feature like this? I have been considering switching to Mindmanager since it seems to be the industry leader and has lots of good features, but I think this would be a deal-breaker for me.

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