Socialtext – Enterprise wiki/blogging tools go open source

Socialtext is another enterprise level vendor of wikis/blogging tools that belongs on the same short list as Traction Software. Both have been serving the market for several years. Socialtext started from the wiki end of the spectrum. They have just made the strategic decision to open source their toolset.

Socialtext Open

Socialtext Open

I’m pleased to announce Socialtext Open, an Open Source distribution of our flagship wiki product. Available for immediate download on SourceForge, this is the first Commercial Open Source wiki and weblog offering on the market. It’s been a long time coming, this change in our business model, a way to strike a balance between freedom and profit motive.

Socialtext Open changes everything. Including the way we are going to communicate, with nothing to hide and sharing our Public Roadmap. While Open is still in Beta and we don’t know the full impact this release will have, my hope is it fulfills our goal of wikis everwhere and cultivates a broader developer community.

So, go get the code, and tell us what you think.

Traction Software – Enterprise Blogs and Wikis

A reminder from Bill Ives about the folks at Traction Software. They aren’t quite as visible in the general blogging market given their origins and focus on the enterprise market. Their tools, however, are robust and nicely bridge the fluid capabilities that make blogs and wikis such powerful tools for supporting knowledge work and the relevant management and security features that enterprises will generally require before deploying new tools and platforms.

If you are looking at enterprise blogging, Traction has to be on your short list. Regardless, if you are tracking issues of knowledge work in more general terms, you should definitely be monitoring their corporate blog.

Traction Software

More new tools for knowledge work from MindJet

I’m beginning to suspect that the folks at MindJet have a secret plan for world domination. MindManager is rapidly evolving into a platform for doing the hard part of knowledge work and this is one more example.

I’ve lately found that I am spending more and more of my ‘think time’ working inside of MindManager. I’ve always been a fan of mindmaps in general and of good outlining software. As I continue to invest time in becoming more comfortable and adept at using MindManager the payoff in terms of quality thought feels as though it is going up even faster. I suspect that adding OPML to the mix will just accelerate that process. Nice piece of work.

Mindjet Labs unveils OPML Editor.The Mindjet Labs has just released a new Mindjet MindManager Pro 6 OPML Editor. The Editor enables users to open, edit, and save Outline Processor Markup Language (OPML) files in MindManager Pro 6. The editor also reads and writes the Simple Sharing Extensions to OPML introduced by Microsoft under a Creative Commons License.

Originally conceived by Dave Winer, founder of Userland Software, OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) is, according to WikiPedia, “an XML format for outlines. Originally developed

Case-based learning and mindmaps

Some interesting thoughts on how mindmaps can work in the context of case-based learning.

I'll admit to long-term biases in favor of case-based learning properly
done. I come by these biases having worked all sides of the experience;
case method student, case writer, and case-based discussion leader.
Doing it well can be exceptionally powerful. Doing it poorly is also
much more immediately evident than doing other forms of teaching poorly.

One of the keys to success in case learning is active engagement with
the material and active engagement in the discussion process.
Developing a path of inquiry and analysis that leads to an action plan
is the goal, not finding the hidden “right answer.” This can be
immensely frustrating to students indoctrinated to believe in right
answers, but ultimately is hugely useful in a real world that
rarely contains right answers.

I certainly would have loved to have something like MindManager back in
my b-school days. I did use them from time to time as study tools, but
the process of generating them by hand didn't lend itself well to the
time constraints of three cases a night. More recently I did make
extensive use of MindManager and mindmaps as a tool to organize case
discussion and review when I was teaching knowledge management at
Kellogg. As a case discusssion leader I found mindmaps more useful than
powerpoint. This was because a dynamic mindmap let me more easily adapt
to the flow of the actual discussion. If I can find any in my archives
that look interesting I will post them here later.

Case Study-Learning with MindManager.

MindManager maps can make the life of business school students much easier.

Harvard Business School first opened its doors in 1908, the “case
method” was just an idea of the School’s first Dean, Edwin F. Gay.
Today, the “case method” is the heart and soul of how business is
taught at HBS and has been widely adopted by many other leading
business schools in the world.

“It’s action learning,”
says HBS senior lecturer Michael J. Roberts, executive director of case
development. “As professors, we have to distill the realities of
complex business issues and bring that into the classroom. Students, in
turn, want to extrapolate from that narrow experience to the world at
large. So, we have to pick good examples and maintain the relevance of
them.” Roberts believes that the case method continues to be the most
effective teaching technique because of its applicability to real
management situations. “Those who practice business are in the real
world making decisions that have real consequences,” he says. “The case
method is intellectually engaging for students because they acquire the
knowledge, skills, and tools to deal with the kind of problems they’ll
encounter in their careers. Because they go through this inductive
reasoning process to arrive at answers, the learning process is more

Mindjet MindManager
amplifies the benefits of this “action-learning” model and follows the
exact same logic that case studies do: capture, organize, and then
share information. With MindManager, learning groups can distill
complex issues into manageable “business topics,” chunks of information
that can be easily re-arranged and interconnected in the way they make
most sense to the students.


Have you ever used MindManager for case studies? Send us your maps and we will exhibit them in our map library.

Tim Leberecht, Senior Corporate Communications Manager

[The Mindjet Blog]

BlawgThink: Powered by MindManager

This is an exciting addition to the upcoming BlawgThing conference. I've been using and advocating mindmaps
for years (I have one 26-year old hand drawn mindmap near my desk that
I used to organize my studying for exams at the end of my first year of
business school). MindManager was the first, and in my view still the
best, tool I found that made mindmapping on a computer a useful and
productive practice.

Jack Vinson and I have
already been exchanging MindManager mindmaps as we develop our session
for Blawgthink and will likely use it for anything we choose to present
as part of the session. I'm definitely looking forward to having the
tool and the technique be a core part of the experience.

Mindjet is excited to announce the first “Powered by MindManager” conference. BlawgThink 2005,
to be held Nov. 11-12 in Chicago, will be the first large conference to
use MindManager as its central organizing principle. Breakout sessions
will be run with MindManager, conference “scribes” will take notes in
MindManager, the main conference room will feature a large map of all
the thinking going on, and there will be presentations on using
MindManager in the legal field. The event organizers plan to use
MindManager’s External Linker” (available for free in the Mindjet Labs)
to instantly pull information from the breakout sessions into the main
conference map. And they have a lot more ideas in mind on using
MindManager to create the perfect conference environment.

you have any interest in how MindManager can be used in the legal
arena, this one conference will probably tell you more in two days than
you would learn in two months. Go to the BlawgThink site for more information on this first-ever “Powered by MindManager” event as the date gets nearer.

please let us know if you have any thoughts on how MindManager can help
improve the value and quality of conferences. Think of BlawgThink as a
bit of a test lab for using MindManager to build the perfect large
interactive event. How would you do it?

Details of my Windows/LAMP Environment

I posted something recently talking about how I am using my laptop as a test bed for various Web 2.0 ideas ( Experimenting with Web 2.0 on my laptop ). Several people have asked for more details on that environment.

Here is what I am running today:

Hardware: IBM T41 with 1GB of memory and a 30 GB harddrive


  • Windows XP Pro (SP1 plus selected elements of SP2 as determined by our IS
  • Apache 2.0.53
  • MySQL 4.0.24
  • PHP 4.3.11
  • Active Perl
  • Python 2.3.5
    • mod_python 3.1.3
    • pywin32-204

I also have a variety of other libraries and utilities installed as part of larger applications I am using or experimenting with. Installing these in a Windows environment such as that above is generally pretty straightforward and well-described in the installation documentation I have used so far.

I configure my various Web 2.0 applications to use localhost as their host. Apache is configured to listen only to requests that are local. Recently I have begun to set up virtual hosts using Apache and entries in my hosts file (in windows\system32\drivers\etc) to map the virtual hosts to localhost.

I have had to learn a bit about how to configure Apache and tweak the configurations of the packages above. Most of that has involved backups that you trust and a willingness to read through installation documents and notes that

WordPress Theme Toolkit

WordPress Theme Toolkit.
Here’s a nice little toolkit. If you’re not the best PHP programmer in
the world, then this might be for you. It simplifies some things that
might be hard for a PHP novice. From the author’s mouth: Adding an
admin menu in your theme ensures that end users can customise things
without editing source […] [Blogging Pro]

Dowload of The Day: BartPE

BartPE is a free utility that lets you build a live CD-based copy of Windows XP that can be used for data recovery.

Bart's PE Builder helps you
build a “BartPE” (Bart Preinstalled Environment) bootable Windows
CD-Rom or DVD from the original Windows XP or Windows Server 2003
installation/setup CD, very suitable for PC maintenance tasks.

will give you a complete Win32 environment with network support, a
graphical user interface (800×600) and FAT/NTFS/CDFS filesystem
support. Very handy for burn-in testing systems with no OS, rescuing
files to a network share, virus scan and so on.

Update: A reader writes in about a useful extension:

Even better than BartPE is “UBCD for Windows”.
It uses Bart's PE Builder to create not just a bootable Windows CD, but
a bootable Windows CD with many useful tools included — antivuris,
browsers, PDF Reader, CD burner, drive backup/cloning tools,
diagnostics, recovery tools, etc. See the full list here.

[posted by D. Keith Robinson]