I’ve had the timeline of my life….

Some time ago (like about 2 years or so) I had this great idea for an ePortfolio manager that would use timelines and playlists to organise ones life experience and be all superduperly web enabled and so forth. I even gave it a catch name and registered a domain for it: Mofolio

I posted up my mockups and then did absolutely nothing with it! Shame.

Anyway, this idea has been re-surfacing in my mind of late and if it’s not too late to pick it up again I’m going to see if I can make some kind of push into actually building it in the autumn.

The timeline component was something I always though really important to give people a visualisation of their work and experiences and today, while reading Alex Little’s blog I saw his post entitled Time for Timelines where he tries out two tools for doing just this; Simile which is a timeline-generating javascript widget from MIT and the intriguing Dipity which looks like it has beaten me to it in many respects. Dipity takes a bunch of feeds (rss, flickr, blogger, twitter etc etc etc) and turns them into a timeline. You can then add more stuff or remove things or make other timelines about the history of Spacerock in the 1970s or whatever floats your boat. Here’s mine – it took five minutes and for some reason wouldn’t accept my workblog feed. Ho hum:

My dipity timeline
And it wouldn’t embed a live version in WPMU… Click to see the real thing

Anyway this all gives me pause for thought – Mofolio also needs to do much of this, but as I had conceived it, needs to do a whole load more too. Reflection, playlisting, organising of earlier educational experiences, organising of local resources (rather than just webstuff). Oh and it’s got to be prettier and have swimlanes rather than just everything muddled together.

Dipity and other such general timelining tools doubtless also have their classroom use potential. Great for teachers who want to have students build reflective timelines of their learning experiences or timelines representing the rise of the roman empire or whatever it may be. Then again there are always big bits of flip-chart paper and sticky notes.

3 thoughts on “I’ve had the timeline of my life….

  1. I like the idea of Mofolio – great name! – and I can see how useful a swimlane notion would be in Dipity to accomodate feeds of very different categories.

    I’ve been exploring Dipity over at http://carolshergold.blogspot.com/2008/05/dipity-finding-structure-in-time.html, and musing on how useful it would be for producing a dynamic CV.

    Currently thinking about the kinds of data a university would need to produce to support students using Dipity to support CV-writing.

    Keep us posted with progress on Mofolio!

  2. Check out the stuff the MyPlan people are doing at Birkbeck/London Knowledge Lab… this looks like a very similar idea.

    Mofolio is a *much* better name however.

  3. Another one to add to the list: Swurl does the same kind of thing in an ever-expanding vertical format and actually manages to parse feeds properly unlike dipity. It’s nice.

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