One of the tools that I have and enjoyed is Inspiration. I have used this product since 1989, when a forward thinking local school system purchased it for its teachers and I had to train them on how to use it. I have always been a visual thinker, which is one of the reasons that I loved my Macintosh computers and why I think that tablet technology is an increasingly interesting tool for users. The ability to create diagrams and then simply create outlines, the ability to export a series a diagram into a web site were some of the great innovations.
With the advent of Web 2.0 technologies led me to begin to look for an equivilent solution so that multiple people could work on the same project. Many offered some of the tools and functionality of Inspiration, none of them had the full sets of features available.
At NECC, I heard the rumors that Inspiration was coming out with a web 2.0 edition of their product. I was excited about the possibilities and anxiously awaited its arrival. This morning, while scanning my reader, I saw a post by Kevin Jarrett (Inspiration comes to the web: meet MyWebspiration.com!) and I became excited.
Over the course of the day, I have begun to play with myWebspiration.com. Truly a beta product, it does not have full Web 2.0 functionality. It does have the ability for a group to collaborate, but unlike the Google products that I have been using, only one person can be editing the document at a time. There is not the ability to embed the document. The only way to access the document is to save a copy to your local hard drive and further manipulate it in Inspiration 8.
It does allow for all of the features I have come to love, such as rapid entry and the ability to switch between visual mode and outline mode. From Leigh Zeitz, I hear that this product will stay in beta and available for free for an undetermined amount of time while they are testing the waters.
It is a solid start and I look forward to seeing enhancements in the upcoming months. It is a something to watch develop and grow.