rhino milk and collaboration tools

For class I need to make a thesaurus (not thesaurus-like-Roget but thesaurus-like-library-science; it’s a vocabulary structured with term relationships (including hierarchical), preferred and non-preferred terms, and lots of nitpicky formatting). We also need to present (some of) the data in some more fun way.

I used as my corpus-of-terms my daughter’s vocabulary at 18 months (yeah, I’m the nerdcore mom). In thinking about how to present this, I used this super-awesome map of collaboration tools — it covers document sharing, private social networking, mind mapping, video conferencing, screencasting…all kinds of good stuff. I ended up using the mindmapping tool from the same site (MindMeister), because it looked pretty and the first three hits are free. In some ways it’s easy to use (actions often did what I expected, help was easy to find, looks like it is leveraging the web in some slick ways like automatically suggesting images if you want); some features frustrated me (limits on depth of tree, typing + zoomed rather than inserting a + sign in the text, don’t see how to embed HTML which makes attributing flickr photos properly a pain in the butt — seriously, internet, make it easier for me to do that already).

Anyway, it also gave me an embeddable version a link(wordpress, do not inexplicably hate on my copy/paste html!). This is only a small fraction of the entire thesaurus — it’s much more time-consuming doing things this way than in text form — but it represents the terms that my daughter would have found most important (certainly this category was the plurality of her corpus at that age).

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