SMMOC Meeting Highlights – March 3 2012


My friend, Ron Siegel, asked me once if he could watch over my shoulder as I make one of these mindmaps during our meeting.  We haven’t yet been able to connect on that, but Ron was my inspiration for capturing a screencast of the notes I took from yesterday’s SMMOC meetup.  The video above was captured using Ron’s inspiration, Camtasia for Mac, and then sped up about 5000% using Final Cut.

Mindjet Mind ManagerTo view the actual mindmap notes from yesterday’s SMMOC meeting — and which is featured in the video above — click the image below.  And, in case you’re wondering what software I use to make my mindmaps, it’s no secret: I use MindJet’s Mind Manager to make all of my mindmaps.  (Tip:  Make sure and click embedded links in the mind map to click-through to related resources, people, images and places.)

smmoc mindmap meeting notes - March 3 2012

(Click to view in a new window)

Why Mind Manager?

While there are many mind map software packages you can get easily enough–some of them for free–I’ve grown accustomed to MindJet’s tool as I’ve used their products since version 1.0.

BUT, more than just it all being a loyalty thing, there are some very practical features of MindJet’s tools that you won’t find in many others.  Some of these benefits include:

  • The ability to easily share mindmaps in various formats — including the interactive one you see above — in a way that doesn’t require the recipient to own a copy of the mind map software themselves
  • The ability to download many free templates
  • Rich features that include a stock of icons and graphics that you can easily embed into your mindmap in click-and-drag fashion
  • An active online community with many users sharing tips, tricks and more templates

There are more benefits, but those above are the highlights.


If you have any questions about how I produce my video screencasts, the effects I use, about any of the tools and services you see on my site, or if you’d like to suggest a future topic, let me know: just post a comment below or via one of the many social networks you’ll probably find this in.  🙂


If you found this helpful, feel free to share it.  You help me; you help your friends.  Thanks in advance.

Mastermind Meeting Highlights and Mindmap – February 18, 2012

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Interactive Mindmap Meeting Notes

(Click to launch the mindmap)

A mind map is a pictorial representation of ideas related to some central theme.  Mind mapping software can be very useful by allowing you to quickly jot down ideas and concepts in a kind of stream of consciousness while allowing you the flexibility to group and organize related ideas during moments of reflection.

The advantage of mind mapping software is, among other features, the drag-and-drop flexibility it affords you when grouping and organizing ideas into related branches.  As you’ll see in the mindmap above, there are also rich formatting, linking and image embedding and sharing features that allow you pretty much unlimited uses for mind maps.

Mind Mapping Software

There are many mind mapping software programs available, including these free versions: Freemind; Freeplane; Xmind.

But, at the end of the day, your choice of software will depend on the features that are important to you and your goals for presenting to — and sharing your ideas with — your audience.

Mindjet's Mind ManagerFor my part, I’ve pretty much standardized on Mindjet’s Mind Manager software.  (If your’e interested in this technology, then you may want to download the free trial of Mind Manager.)  My choice was largely dictated by the fact that I’ve been a long time user of Mindjet’s software (since version 1.0), as well as the interactive sharing features it has.  For example, in addition to allowing you the ability to create and share interactive mindmaps like the one above, you also have the flexibility to create an interactive PDF that you could otherwise make available for download.  Your audience can interact with your mind map without the requirement of having to install mind mapping software on their local computer.

What do you think?  What kinds of tasks could you envision using mind mapping software in your projects?

SMMOC Highlights and Mindmap – February 11, 2012

smmoc whiteboard notes

On the heels of last week’s SMMOC meetup, today’s discussion topics were no less charged.  I have to hand it to the always awesome Bob Watson for keeping our herd of cats well-facilitated.

There was lots of interest in “fringe” topics like machine learning (thanks Eric Stegemann!), voice recognition and implications for privacy, as well as some grounded gadget and business/marketing discussions related to: Pinterest, iPad3, FourSquare (thanks John Chow!) and Siri.

But!  Today’s SMMOC discussion was also filled with a bit of controversy.  (What do you think about Pinterest?)

Pinterest controversy and more discussions at the SMMOC meetup on February 11, 2012[Stay current. Subscribe to the updates.]

Click the interactive mindmap above.  Then, expand the mindmap branches under Shiny Gadgets and then Pinterest.  There you’ll see some of the notes I took about a bit of controversy in discussions that ensued around the growing social pinning site, Pinterest.  Specifically, there seemed to be some differences in thought about the approach Pinterest has taken in monetizing their social network.

Should Pinterest Disclose Their Skimlinks Relationship?

Most–if not all of us–I think, didn’t seem to be opposed to the idea of Pinterest choosing to monetize user activity and user content (we all have to put food on the table, after all).  Rather, the controversy seemed to revolve around the degree to which they have been transparent (or not) about using skimlinking (I know, that’s a new term for me, too – thanks Daniela Bolzmann!) to attach affiliate marketing links to certain content that can be affiliated.

Related articles:

Some in our group thought it was perfectly fine.  “It’s their site, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to use them.”

Others of us seemed to believe that disclosure was necessary if only to maintain transparency and user trust.

I went a little further.

When someone suggested that Pinterest may be modifying affiliate links posted by some users who have affiliate marketing relationships to offsite vendors (note: it’s not clear to me that this is, in fact, happening), I suggested that I would consider that practice to be unethical.  This raised a vocal objection from my friend Steve Zengy.  Which brought on a lively debate in the meeting.

My love of debates notwithstanding.  Let me ask ya, what do you think about the whole Pinterest approach to monetization?

You should join our meeting sometime

I’m tellin’ ya.  If you’re anywhere near the Orange County, CA area on any given Saturday morning, you should drop by and join us.  Except for bringing a measure of enthusiasm and interest, attendance is otherwise free.

If you do decide to join us, please let me know.  I’d love to say hi in person.  In the meantime, here’s the link: