Some of the frequent readers of this blog will know how much I loved Geni, the family tree creator/community/social network. Following a very similar path is WriteMaps, but in a whole different ball-game: WriteMaps enables you to create and share sitemaps.
How It Works
Currently a free tool, signing up is a easy process with WriteMaps. Takes a couple minutes to register and active, and you’re on your way to creating a sitemap (for those who don’t know what a sitemap is, it’s sort of a hierarchical mindmap diagram that helps web developers, designers and creators plan websites). The creation tool is AJAX-based, unlike Geni which is all Flash, and shares two types of views: map view, resembling a mindmap, and outline view, the not-so-fancy hierarchical type brother.
Adding a page on WriteMaps is like adding a family member on Geni, and the process is completely manual (the tool is intended more for planning than doing other things; unlike Google Sitemaps). Once you’ve got together a plan, that’s all there is to it. The tool automatically saves your modifications on each step, and if you’re on the web development department of a company with international employees, it’s an easy web-based way to plan and keep track of things.
I love WriteMaps, the tool, but I think they’ve made a big mistake catering to such a niche. It seems like they have the technology to re-invent the world, and the only use they could think of was letting a limited amount of people create sitemaps. Such a technology could have other more forward-looking uses in my opinion. This a case, I think, where the technology is much ahead of the actual idea — yeah, we’ve got something that could go places — but where to take it?