At The Next Web Conference I was happy to meet Patrice Lamothe (CEO of Pearltrees). He told me about Pearltrees which is a collaborative project enabling Internet users to become editors of the Web, i.e. to visualize, organize and share their navigation. By building their own Web, they collectively build a living map of the entire Web. When I heard it at first, it flashed my mind it could be just another taxonomy, folksonomy or other bookmarking tool, however when Patrice showed me a demo it was clear that it was not.
Pearltrees a great way to cover a subject since it offers context and provides a way to do some sort of storytelling. Besides that you can easily navigate between maps that have one or more web pages in common. A great example you can find on Pearltrees about The Next Web Conference. Why do I think that Pearltrees is such a great tool? It’s quite simple, Pearltrees provides a great visual way of organizing content (and context) about a subject. By creating a map with Pearltrees you can tell a story or explain a subject to somebody by just handing over the map to him. The map itself, and the sequences of the several pearls will guide somebody through the information, any cross references with other maps are highlighted, so it is a great way to spend hours reading about a subject (see an earlier blog post of me on discovering new things).
Another nice feature of Pearltrees is that it has a plugin with which you can record your journey towards information. When enabled it will create a map of your current browser session (for example: you start with reading a wiki page about Web2.0, click though to page A, than to page B etcetera). This map you can reorder afterwards if you like and share to others (for example your peers) to explain a certain subject.
Some other great examples of subjects that are available in maps on Pearltrees: