MindMeister updates include Cross-Connections

Sample map created with MindMeister plus interface
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I’m a big fan of mind mapping.  For years I used MindJet’s MindManager application, but I’ve since migrated to the cloud based MindMeisterMindMeister is not as robust as MindManager, but it allows for collaborative brainstorming without client-side software.  Over the last year or so, MindMeister has grown in capabilities, including offline mind mapping (through Google Gears), but lacked one critical element of useful mind mapping, cross connections.  The latest release now incorporates that critical function, in addition to other features:

MindMeister News – Mind Mapping on Steroids

Graphical cross-connections

You can now add graphical cross-connection between your ideas in your mind maps, which will be displayed as green arrows. This feature is still beta, so please be kind. We’ll add more functionality here in future, such as control points and formatting.

MindManager is still more robust than MindMeister, but the later is quickly catching up. Mindjet has also begun to offer an online solution, but I haven’t had the time to review it. Quite frankly, MindMeister does the job for me.

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Tim O’Reilly discusses web 2.0 and cloud computing

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison tells customers that ...

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Over the last few months I’ve been asked, a lot, by some smart folks on how web 2.0 and cloud computing are defined, and what their impact will be on technology as a whole.  Since both terms are used very loosely, and often times by marketers who aren’t knowledgeable in either field, web 2.0 and cloud computing have somehow melded into one concept for many people.  This, however, is not the right way to look at things.  In a recent email to a friend I put forth my thoughts on the matter, and was busy recrafting a post from that email until I read Tim O’Reilly’s post this evening.  As expected, his definitions are much better than mine.  He also goes on to develop a case for the future impact of both concepts for the technology industry:

Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing – O’Reilly Radar

I believe strongly that open source and open internet standards are doing the same [migrating the point of profit] to traditional software. And value is migrating to a new kind of layer, which we now call Web 2.0, which consists of applications driven not just by software but by network-effects databases driven by explicit or implicit user contribution.
So when Larry Ellison says that cloud computing and open source won’t produce many hugely profitable companies, he’s right, but only if you look at the pure software layer. This is a lot like saying that the PC wouldn’t produce many hugely profitable companies, and looking only at hardware vendors! First Microsoft, and now Google give the lie to Ellison’s analysis. The big winners are those who best grasp the rules of the new platform.So here’s the real trick: cloud computing is real. Everything is moving into the cloud, in whole or in part. The utility layer of cloud computing will be just that, a utility, without outsized profits.

But the cloud platform, like the software platform before it, has new rules for competitive advantage. And chief among those advantages are those that we’ve identified as “Web 2.0″, the design of systems that harness network effects to get better the more people use them.

Read the whole post, it’s worthwhile.

Who will own the cloud?

King Cloud

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A very robust discussion about could computing is going on over at the O’Reilly Radar, associated with this post:

Open Source and Cloud Computing – O’Reilly Radar

I’ve been worried for some years that the open source movement might fall prey to the problem that Kim Stanley Robinson so incisively captured in Green Mars: “History is a wave that moves through time slightly faster than we do.” Innovators are left behind, as the world they’ve changed picks up on their ideas, runs with them, and takes them in unexpected directions.

A solid primer on cloud computing

Cloud Computing

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Dion Hinchliffe, over at ZDNet, has a great description of cloud computing, why it’s gathering steam, and how it may impact enterprise applications in the years to come.

Enterprise cloud computing gathers steam | Enterprise Web 2.0 | ZDNet.com

The days when organizations carefully cultivated vast data centers consisting of an endless sea of hardware and software are not over, at least not yet. However, the groundwork for their eventual transformation and downsizing is rapidly being laid in the form of something increasingly known as “cloud computing.” This network-based model for computing promises to move many traditional IT capability out to 3rd party services on the network.

It’s a lengthy post that I would recommend everyone to read.

Aligning to the right market

Om Malik just linked to an excellent post by Dare Obasanjo in which Dare takes a second look at the market for web 2.0 companies and reminds them that there are substantial differences between the early adopters and the real market that those companies are aiming for. As I’ve said in the past, I think Twitter is a classic example of a technology that may not make the leap across the chasm.