Saturday, January 16, 2016

There's really no need for more of the same

Another thought blog by Visual Mapper

There's really no need for more of the same

As I survey the landscape of what we call mind mapping software/services; I'm astounded as to the sameness of ALL the offerings to date. This sameness is a uniformity that has strangled, constrained and pigeon holed the Mind mapping arena as fringe.

I've harped on about this before, and so I don't wish to repeat myself unnecessarily but here I go again. Fringe has placed the mapping arena outside of the norm of accepted and permitted mindsets. And as much as the enthusiasts, developers, professional users and thought leaders use and expose the tools and methodologies; it's still fringe.

The answer may lie with the reality that we live in a capitalist business model for the most part and everyone has the right to capitalize upon opportunities for financial gain and capturing markets. But why the heck are we seeing a continuous flow of products that look just the same as the leading mainstream products and are undoubtedly plagiarized clones of the original leading developer.

The auto industry is a typically analogous with what we are seeing within the mapping arena. We see developers producing software that does the same as their competitors with very little variation. And thus price point is the capital gain for mere sales numbers.

Of course we've seen mergers and acquisitions over the years associated with a leading developer, but competing developers kill them with their parity of functions and capabilities and of course price point.

The format war was a pseudo war; with ALL competing products offering a read, import and even export to and from the (at that time) leading Mind map file format. But IMO this is even irrelevant to the furtherance of this arena. When the Xmind product, developed in China showed it became the probable dominant mind map file format; that definitely changed and shook up the mind/visual mapping developers world.

What we may see with the Internet of Things approach to visual information management, is the development of product that offers a wholistic approach to how we create, manage and exchange data, information and knowledge comfortably across a wide range of devices. Files and folders still rule.

Maybe we'll see a departure from the mold of the mind map and experience a shift towards a neutral graphical approach. I believe we have that already with a few notable products. And we must not forget the most noble attempt at infusing this approach by MindSystems (Australia) and the work of John England and team. Their AMODE product was a breath of fresh air to the arena that alas was a glimpse of the future for knowledge mapping that was sadly way too before its time. The failure of knowledge handlers to recognize that graphical framework was IMO an indication to the malaise that has infected the mind/visual mapping arena.

Yes of course; I just vented; AGAIN lol

As a knowledge mapper I always end up with resting at the place of most stability and of future potentials for the Information Economy. It is of course and undoubtedly a relational database approach, and yes; I harp on about this a lot and probably will until I'm told off again.

So the established mind mapping developers were successfully usurped by the price point of developers who basically cloned the functions and capabilities of the leading product, and in turn changed the affordability of mapping products. This may turn out to be the death of the leading products, or may force a creativity and innovation evolution that takes us in a direction we probably should have been on some years ago.


So please; no more of the same. We need innovation that transports us to a place where the needs and wants of the end user are listened to and acted upon. Mere mind mapping has had its day IMO, and we look to and deserve to have innovative developers who have tuned into what lies beyond.

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