MindMeister brings real-time collaboration to mind mapping
Prior to its public launch MindMeister underwent a thorough private beta test lasting almost three months and by the time of release had over 10,000 subscribed users.
The application is at the forefront of the current trend in computing to replace the traditional Desktop with the so-called Webtop, where productivity applications are no longer installed locally on each computer's hard drive, but are just accessed online - thereby avoiding tiresome compatibility and update issues. The documents - in the case of MindMeister the mind maps - are securely saved online in each user's home folder, and can be accessed and modified from anywhere in the world through the Internet. Where Google Docs is helping users do their word processing online, and collaboratively, MindMeister is doing the same for the world of mind mapping and brainstorming.
"The killer feature of bringing mind mapping to the web is certainly the real-time collaboration facility" says Michael Hollauf, co-founder of MindMeister. "As soon as two or more users have opened the same map in MindMeister, they are in Brainstorming Mode. Every change a user makes is immediately replicated to the other user's screens and marked with a color-coded effect, so users see who contributed what idea. We’ve integrated Skype so that mind mappers can talk to each other while brainstorming. This is the Internet at its best, allowing people from different places to work together in real time without having to board a plane."
MindMeister is free for all basic features including collaboration and import/export, but also offers a Premium subscription model with advanced functions such as export to MindManager and Freemind. Community features such as tagging and change notifications - also via Twitter - are available in both versions.
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