Monday, May 7, 2012

Interactive mind map with ThingLink

Innovation can be as simple as combining two tools such as iMindMap and ThingLink which were not initially designed to work together. Discover how to turn your mind maps (or any other image) into attractive, interactive and sharable online content using rich media tags from ThingLink. I was looking for an easy way to embed sound and video in my exported mind maps and make them more interactive on the web. My preferred mind mapping software has not feature this option (yet). But recently, I discovered a very simple tool to do it on top, just in a few clicks. It's straight forward, it is called ThingLink and I wanted to share it with you. Let me explain you how to turn your mind maps (or any other image) into attractive, interactive and shareable online content using rich media tags.

Think outside the box
People are often asking me how many different tools I’m using to draw my creative mind maps and how much difficult it is. I might surprise you with my answer but actually I’m using only a few and it is easier than it seems. Indeed, innovation can be as simple as considering two tools such as iMindMap and ThingLink which were not initially designed to work together but once combined, offer you a new dimension to explore and create. I have already addressed this subject in my previous posts  Beyond limits of software and Creative mind maps are also possible with computers. Most of the time the solution is not in one application. We are living in an open world. Open your mind, be curious and go outside the box which is imposed by your software. (R-)Evolution is somewhere there.

About the tagging tool
ThingLink is a Finnish-American provider of in-image interaction tools. It’s a tool that makes it easy to add clickable tags to any image on the web and share them on social networks. When linked with a URL to one of the rich media enabled sites, a tag (bubble) is created for the related content. These tags will then be revealed every time a viewer scrolls their mouse over the uploaded image.

ThingLink technology changes how people engage with photos by transforming them from a static image, into a navigational surface for exploring rich, relevant content that enhances the viewer’s knowledge and experience. It's free for the first 50 images you tag.

ThingLink’s exclusive Rich Media Tags feature popular media players, apps and websites -- from YouTube, Vimeo, TED, SoundCloud, Google Maps, Spotify, FlickR, Instagram, TwitPic, ImgurWikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, iTunes, Etsy, Mailchimp, ThrillCall, Eventbrite and FanBridge (visit ThingLink blog for most recent information and updates). Marketers can also create links inside images to anywhere on the Internet and build custom, branded tags using ThingLink’s smart app developer tools. ThingLink tag supports the Open Graph API, enabling publishers of newspapers, magazines and blogs to feature content as rich media tags on interactive images. For web sites using Open Graph, ThingLink Smart Tags automatically convey a story post with a post title, image and source. 

Interact with the mind map
Mouse over the picture here below and discover an interesting way of interacting with a mind map. You will find various pieces of content I selected from my personal library and from some of my peers. Who knows? You might have been tagged! Check it and share it.

Interactive mind map with ThingLink

Click here if you want to access a larger version of the interactive map.

Add tags in a few clicks
Here are very simple steps you can use to turn your mind map into an interactive one:
  1. Create an image file of your mind map;
  2. Identify and collect the URLs of the different rich media enabled sites you want to embed (all URLs are supported but not all will reveal a rich media tag);
  3. Sign up for ThingLink. It's free!
  4. Upload your mind map image (from your drive, Facebook, FlickR or from a URL on the web);
  5. Edit your tags. It is as simple as clicking the image at the exact place where you want the tag to appear and paste the associated URL. You can also add a description that will appear inside the bubble;
  6. Save your tagged image on your dashboard;
  7. Share your image with your network. You can also track the traffic it generates;
If you need more information about the type of tags that are supported, there is a presentation about Rich Media Tags on SlideShare or this video on Youtube. The support section on ThingLink website is also providing very good information and explanations.
I hope I could unlock some creativity blockers you might face. I'm sure you are now ready to achieve new things with your mind maps and bring them to a different level. Would you have examples you want to share, do not hesitate to post here below. Your feedback is appreciated. It's a very important support for going further and give you more articles like this one.





Innovation can be as simple as combining two tools such as iMindMap and ThingLink which were not initially designed to work together. Discover how to turn your mind maps (or any other image) into attractive, interactive and sharable online content using rich media tags from ThingLink. I was looking for an easy way to embed sound and video in my exported mind maps and make them more interactive on the web. My preferred mind mapping software has not feature this option (yet). But recently, I discovered a very simple tool to do it on top, just in a few clicks. It's straight forward, it is called ThingLink and I wanted to share it with you. Let me explain you how to turn your mind maps (or any other image) into attractive, interactive and shareable online content using rich media tags.

Think outside the box
People are often asking me how many different tools I’m using to draw my creative mind maps and how much difficult it is. I might surprise you with my answer but actually I’m using only a few and it is easier than it seems. Indeed, innovation can be as simple as considering two tools such as iMindMap and ThingLink which were not initially designed to work together but once combined, offer you a new dimension to explore and create. I have already addressed this subject in my previous posts  Beyond limits of software and Creative mind maps are also possible with computers. Most of the time the solution is not in one application. We are living in an open world. Open your mind, be curious and go outside the box which is imposed by your software. (R-)Evolution is somewhere there.

About the tagging tool
ThingLink is a Finnish-American provider of in-image interaction tools. It’s a tool that makes it easy to add clickable tags to any image on the web and share them on social networks. When linked with a URL to one of the rich media enabled sites, a tag (bubble) is created for the related content. These tags will then be revealed every time a viewer scrolls their mouse over the uploaded image.

ThingLink technology changes how people engage with photos by transforming them from a static image, into a navigational surface for exploring rich, relevant content that enhances the viewer’s knowledge and experience. It's free for the first 50 images you tag.

ThingLink’s exclusive Rich Media Tags feature popular media players, apps and websites -- from YouTube, Vimeo, TED, SoundCloud, Google Maps, Spotify, FlickR, Instagram, TwitPic, ImgurWikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, iTunes, Etsy, Mailchimp, ThrillCall, Eventbrite and FanBridge (visit ThingLink blog for most recent information and updates). Marketers can also create links inside images to anywhere on the Internet and build custom, branded tags using ThingLink’s smart app developer tools. ThingLink tag supports the Open Graph API, enabling publishers of newspapers, magazines and blogs to feature content as rich media tags on interactive images. For web sites using Open Graph, ThingLink Smart Tags automatically convey a story post with a post title, image and source. 

Interact with the mind map
Mouse over the picture here below and discover an interesting way of interacting with a mind map. You will find various pieces of content I selected from my personal library and from some of my peers. Who knows? You might have been tagged! Check it and share it.

Interactive mind map with ThingLink

Click here if you want to access a larger version of the interactive map.

Add tags in a few clicks
Here are very simple steps you can use to turn your mind map into an interactive one:
  1. Create an image file of your mind map;
  2. Identify and collect the URLs of the different rich media enabled sites you want to embed (all URLs are supported but not all will reveal a rich media tag);
  3. Sign up for ThingLink. It's free!
  4. Upload your mind map image (from your drive, Facebook, FlickR or from a URL on the web);
  5. Edit your tags. It is as simple as clicking the image at the exact place where you want the tag to appear and paste the associated URL. You can also add a description that will appear inside the bubble;
  6. Save your tagged image on your dashboard;
  7. Share your image with your network. You can also track the traffic it generates;
If you need more information about the type of tags that are supported, there is a presentation about Rich Media Tags on SlideShare or this video on Youtube. The support section on ThingLink website is also providing very good information and explanations.
I hope I could unlock some creativity blockers you might face. I'm sure you are now ready to achieve new things with your mind maps and bring them to a different level. Would you have examples you want to share, do not hesitate to post here below. Your feedback is appreciated. It's a very important support for going further and give you more articles like this one.





13 comments:

  1. Mohan NarendranMay 7, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Great mash-up of tools. Wonderful to have kids quickly competent with independent contextual thinking, mind mapping, rich media (drawings, calligraphy, photos and videos) and Web content (eg Wikipedia). Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you to you for your interest. Indeed ThingLink is a quite interesting discovery. I will investigate further how it can be used in the classroom.

      Phil

      Delete
  2. Great idea! I was also using ThingLink on my tumblr blog but have not really implemented its power. May I ask what Mindmapping Software are you using? I use Xmind so far but this image looks as it was done with a different tool

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm using iMindMap from ThinkBuzan. It's indeed one of the most flexible software for creative mind maps (more example in the creative gallery
      http://www.drawmeanidea.com/p/creative-gallery.html ). But you must also know that the final image is produced using some easy and built-in features (background, shadow, ...) from Microsoft Powerpoint.

      Delete
  3. Refinement of a not.so.new idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ben, thanks for your feedback. About the new idea, do you mean for ThingLink or for the multimedia mind map?

      Delete
    2. Phillipe, hello - sorry lag; I didn't subscribe to notifications ... my bad.

      I meant it's a refinement ... very neat. As for the "not so new", I've been following graphical approaches since, well, heh, since before they existed. (I did my own attempts using VRML.)
      The 3 that come to mind in the moment are Compendium, cMap, and Rationale. I know there are others, but I haven't followed them so much. After my own work I concluded that the graphical approach is ... well ... gets you there fast, but doesn't get you very far!

      regards
      --ben

      Delete
    3. About the mind map itself, I agree. But is it possible with the tools you mentioned to access on-line resources and use all of them without leaving the page/picture/map?

      I was more considering the evolution and novelty at this level. But it might already exist as well and I'm interested to have other references of such services. Thanks.

      Phil

      Delete
    4. Indeed, "without leaving the page/picture/map" has to be a key design concept. I can't speak for all those different systems, of course.

      enjoy!

      Delete
  4. Excellent to combine those tools to something new. There's a lot to explore

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I hope we can explore somehow together and conitnue to share discoveries. I looked at your blog which seems very interesting but my dutch is a bit limited :(. I'm happy to be in contact.

      Phil

      Delete
  5. Fascinating: going through bookmarks I came across this page, years after having commented.
    Strangely, I found a notification in my email that someone had added a comment. Alas, it was SPAM.

    Sad that threads just peter out rather than reaching some resolution. HeyHo

    best to all
    --@bentrem

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry about that Bernard. Unfortunately, I can't prevent this to happen. Google is chasing them and remove them automatically but indeed it is too late for notification which are sent. Spammer knows why they do that.
      Phil

      Delete