Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Who knew? Another timeline.

So, less than a week ago I wrote about Timefo as a timeline building alternative. A week before that, I covered xtimeline. And it was in that post that I wrote, in supreme confidence,
Timelines are not, I'm afraid, going to go viral in the near future.

While I still don't think that building timelines will be all the rage, it appears that building tools to help others build timelines is.

Today, I came across TimelineIt. Like Timefo, it's based on SIMILE's Timeline script and uses a simple forms interface to allow you to add events to a timeline that you can scroll through.

Advantages of TimelineIt:
  • Dead-simple interface.
  • Very smart inclusion of tabs that let you shift the scale of the timeline from days to weeks, months, or years. Zoom buttons let you get closer to events without changing the scale so radically. Look at the upper left and right, respectively, of this image, which is too large to host effectively on Blogger.
  • You can use all the basic HTML coding that I use in my spreadsheets. This means you can use it to create italics or links within item descriptions or to host YouTube videos.
  • A much better name than "Timefo."
Disadvantages:
  • Lack of tags means that you can't group events into types or relate them in any way.
  • No way to build timelines as a group.
  • No way to "publish" timelines. I'm unable to show my timeline to others unless I pull it up for them while logged in to my account.
  • Dead-simple interface means no explanation of how to use the tool or how to take advantage of HTMLing things.
  • No photos or video (without already knowing how the Timeline script works).
  • No mapping (which Timefo does very well).
Overall, I can't recommend TimelineIt at the moment over Timefo or xtimeline. It's got a very nice innovation as far as the tabs and zoom buttons go. But that's about it. Let's hope they take that innovation and move forward in other ways.

1 comment:

JBJ said...

FWIW, timeline-related searches have displaced "Oliver Twink"-related searches as my top source of one-off blog traffic.

(People looking for wiki stuff tend to come from links.)