Using MindManager to manage your Social Network

This is an old rant of mine prompted by a recent posting in the MindMapping Software Blog on A challenge to developers of mind mapping software. One of the links in this post goes back to September 2006.

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.

mindmanager map of a FOAF file

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 file 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 and then you would get a map like this:

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.

mindmanager map of a FOAF file turned in to a readable social network management map

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. See this post in Ecademy about CAN.

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

About Andrew Wilcox

Andrew is an experienced user of MindManager who shares his knowledge and advice for free here. And provides commercial training and consulting on how to exploit MindManager and other mind mapping software applications in business, organisations and for individuals at Cabre For more information about Andrew please visit his Google + profile.

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