CogMap is a newly launched site that self-proclaims to be the ‘Wikipedia for organization charts.’ The Baltimore, Maryland-based startup intends to make what were previously worth a large sum of money and inside contacts, freely available to everyone: organization charts.
For those who are new to the corporate world, an organization chart contains the company’s management structure — who’s at the top, who works for who, and information of that sort. When you’re looking to make that sale to a company or recruiting and want to see which person was behind what, organization charts are the way to go.
CogMap is basically a collection of these, all AJAX-based (examples: Microsoft, Socialtext, Boeing, Yahoo!), but here’s the twist: they’ve all been created, edited, and contributed by regular people, just like the information at Wikipedia. This is a very cool idea. Where it gets better is when you see a company that doesn’t have one and you know something about it, or if you have your own company, you can simply go ahead and create one within a second.
Unfortunately, the problem with CogMap is the reliability of the information. While I was looking through Yahoo!’s organization chart, I noticed Jerry Yang and David Filo were listed below Terry Semel. I quickly went ahead and fixed it. This could of course, in the wrong hands, be used for the opposite motivation. I could instead move them below Jeff Weiner and it would go totally unnoticed until someone with the right motivation sees and fixes it. In the case of Wikipedia, this isn’t a problem because of its large userbase and their dedication to fight vandalism — things are fixed within seconds. But what happens until a new public wiki gets such traction?
In the end, this is a tool that will prove extremely valuable for small businesses, entrepreneurs, sales people, and such. To guarantee accurate and reliable information, one would of course still be better off by purchasing it from a traditional inside source who is trustworthy and familiar with company matters. Until then, this is a neat way to get a quick idea of things and definitely a step in the right direction.
[tags]CogMap, Organization Charts, Wikis, AJAX[/tags]