Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Virtual Post-It-Boards-Slatebox

At times it seems as though there are too many choices when it comes to online services but each one has their unique, individual options in order to serve a particular user's unique, individual needs.  Slatebox is a web 2.0 application for mind-mapping. 

Individuals can sign up to use Slatebox for free.  Registration requires a username, email address and password. Upon completion users are immediately taken to the Slatebox Canvas.  Beneath the canvas is a link to a YouTube video that simply explains the steps to begin using this application.

In the center of the canvas is the first node.  This node, as well as the screen, can be dragged.  In the corner is a bird's eye view of the canvas.  On the left side is a tool for zooming in and out.  When you mouse over the node four icons appear, settings, detached node, attached node and resize, going clockwise around the node.

The settings icon allows the user to change the shape of the node and its color.  An additional five icons within that option allow for connecting to a node, deletion, editing of text, embedding an image or adding a URL link.  Each time the detached or attached node icon is clicked the additional node will mirror the changes made in the shape and color of the original (parent) node.
(Note:   If you go back and change the parent node's shape and/or color the newer ones will not change.)

Across the top of the Slatebox Canvas are buttons representing the creation of a new canvas, opening a previous canvas, getting the HTML embed code for the current canvas, exporting the image to your computer, choosing to have the Slatebox creation to be searchable on site or allowing/not allowing collaboration on Twitter. 

This free, web 2.0 application is so easy to use it should be placed in your toolbox; it has been added to mine.  I found the adding of images to be outstanding as was the adding of links.

This is the canvas of a very simple Slatebox that I designed; exported to my computer as a .PNG file.  I did have trouble embedding the canvas HTML so it would appear correctly, I could not get the nodes to appear; only text and connectors are visible.  It might work better in one browser better than another.  I have IE 9.  Four of the nodes also have links to websites which can be viewed when moused over if embedded in a website or blog.

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