Yesterday was the first 'Unplugged' event hosted by Biggerplate. For the first time, mind mapping software developers, practitioners and users came together to discuss the current and future positions of mind mapping and mind mapping software.
The main themes of the day are best summed up by the three topics considered in the panel discussions:
- Introducing Mind Mapping: how is it presented and marketed - is this effective or does it alienate potential new audiences?
- Barriers to Adoption: what prevents wider adoption and how may they be overcome?
- What Comes Next?: what's in the future and what actions can we take?
One simple yet possibly powerful idea that arose is to consider first 'what is the purpose' of mind mapping and mind mapping software. One way of looking at this is to consider the outcomes, where either:
- the Map is an End in itself .... or ...
- the Map is a Means to an End.
Maps that are an end in themselves are typically for individual or personal use. However they may also be used in collaboration and communication if care is taken to present the content in a way that best helps others understand the content. Such maps may be important for learning, recording, thinking, organising and planning.
A map that is a means to end is just one tool in a set that helps to undertake a task or to produce something else. The map is often discarded once it's purpose is served. Such maps may be important for idea generation, collaboration, facilitation, 'design' and analysis. Integration with other software packages is critical so that relevant outputs may be passed to the next task in the process.
Click on the image below to an expansion of these thoughts.
These are just first impressions and ongoing debate may come up with something that helps to better inform the presentation and marketing of mind mapping software .... to help a new audience see the potential it offers them in their context.
Getting back to the event overall, it was a great success. Organised and delivered with great energy and enthusiasm, the audience owe a big thank you to Liam and Biggerplate. If you want to keep up with what follows on from Biggerplate Unplugged don't forget to follow the Twitter hash tag #BPUN. Next stop Paris!