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Archive for the ‘Cognotes’ Category


Cogmap 2.1.2 released! 2.1.3 will have a changelog page.

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

We like telling everyone how fast we are cranking code and we want to make it easier for people to spot when we broke something and tell us, but I recognize that not every change is interesting.

In the meantime, more bugs were fixed and now you don’t have to login to create a chart, you just get in there and start! Let us know if anyone has any problems.

How many people are in Cogmap Organization Charts?

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

We thought it would be fun to do some analysis of Cogmap data and talk about the results.  Specifically, we wanted to see whether being public or private had any effect on map size.  Here is a chart showing the ratio of maps with a given number of people in them to the total amount of a given map type:

The black line represents public maps, the red line is private maps.  The end result is that public maps tend to be slightly larger than private maps.  The median private map has 6 people.  The median public map has 8.  The top quartile of public maps has 18+ people, private maps top quartile has 16+ people.

If I had to hypothesize why this is true, I would credit the larger community at work on public maps, resulting in more data.  Want a better map?  Make it public!

Cogmap 2.1.1 loves IE and SEO

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

As some of our favorite users have mentioned, we have had some horrific trouble supporting IE with the crazy javascript that goes on via Cogmap.

I am happy to say that this seems pretty fixed in the newest release.  If any Internet Explorer users have problems, please let us know so we can get cranking on it.

Additionally, you will notice that we have a new and super-improved clean URL scheme that should send our SEO traffic through the roof!  You can now visit pages using URLs such as: – If someone changes the name of the chart, then visiting that page will take you to the most recent version of the chart still named Google.  Not sure what the best practice is there, but that is what we decided to do for now.

You can access the Directory and Outline version via: &

If you have a private map that you created, you access it like this:<username of map creator>/<map name>

Sweet!  Lots of other bugs were also fixed and we have set up a series of 301’s to get all of the URLs straight.  We think this is probably the most stable release we have had in five or six months, so enjoy and let us know if you have any problems!

Minor metadata bug for last 20 hours

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

For the last 20 hours, there was a database configuration error that caused the loss of historical metadata created during that period.  Any historical versions of charts created in the last 20 hours have the same metadata as the most recent version.  There were database problems every time metadata associated with charts was archived.  This means that while there was probably never a serious data loss (the most recent information for every chart was always displayed and updated), when looked at historically, new “archived charts” created in the last 20 hours may have incorrect metadata (it is the same as the most recent version).

This bug was introduced during database configuration changes made as production systems were prepped for future Cogmap releases.

We apologize for any key data loss, although we hope, given the obscure nature of this bug, that this did not inhibit any day-to-day cogmappery.

Introducing List Builder!

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

The newest feature for Cogmap is here: The List Builder

This is tool for sales, business development, and recruiting teams using Cogmap.  It allows you to search across the people in Cogmap looking at specific fields.  You can easily get a list of CIO’s in the Cogmap database.

The system recognizes private maps that you have access to and searches across those as well, ensuring that you can leverage both public data and your private org chart stores.

Yahoo Search Marketing won’t let Cogmap bid on “Yahoo org chart”

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

So yesterday, as part of work for something else, I signed up for Yahoo Search, to supplement my Google spend.   Cogmap’s approach to buying keywords is indicative of the tiny niche we play in: We buy thousands of keywords that all look like “<Fortune 1000 company> org chart”, “<Fortune 1000 company> organization chart”, etc.  These terms are cheap, my clickthrough rates are near 10%, and my results are high quality.  This is a win for everyone.

First, Yahoo wouldn’t let me enter more than 50 keywords in my first campaign.  Whatever.

Second, and most dumbly, I got a message when I logged in the next day that Yahoo would not allow me to bid on the terms “yahoo org chart” or “yahoo organization chart”.

That makes me laugh…

Cogmap 2.1 – OpenID support, Newsfeeds, XML APIs!

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

This evening we did another code release with several relatively minor but very cool additions:

  • OpenID support. That’s pretty geeky, but pretty cool! Today we only support having one OpenID associated with an account. If it turns out that is an issue, leave a comment or send an email and we will work out that last bit of trickery.
  • MyCogmap has newsfeeds! Now instead of seeing a list of charts you subscribe, edit, and create, we give you, in historical order, the changes that have taken place with charts you subscribe to. This provides a much richer palette of changes in data going on in the site.
  • Consume your newsfeed!<your screen name> returns an XOXO XML document of your newsfeed. This makes it easy to turn your newsfeed into something consumed by other applications. That’s kind of fun! Here is my newsfeed as an example.
  • # of Subscribers to a map – Now we show it on the map. Kind of interesting!
  • A bunch of small fixes, particularly to search. Now search peruses chart metadata and notes in the results which charts are private charts that you have permission to access.

Cogmap offers free online organization charting with private sharing capabilities

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Cogmap offers free online organization charting with private sharing capabilities

Cogmap releases private organization charting features freely available to the Internet

Private mapping, integrated data, and other features create the premier Web 2.0 tool for sharing organizational data with co-workers, your social network, and the Internet-at-large

March 5, 2008

News Facts

  • Cogmap, the organization chart wiki, vaults from offering a public facing wiki of organizational data to adding tools that allow people to build and share private organizational information using drag-and-drop on-line tools and powerful access controls.
  • Coglink widgets allow individuals to embed individual “Coglinks” from Cogmap in blogs, social networks, and web sites to share information about people in organization charts across the Internet.
  • Cogmap offers APIs that allow third parties to mash-up chart data using XML chart information and vCard and hCard data about members of charts.
  • New commenting and “related charts” features show how the network feels about charts that interest you.
  • New indexes are available allowing visitors to explore organization charts geographically, by industry, or simply alphabetical.
  • It is still all free!

Quotes Attributable to Brent Halliburton

“Cogmap’s initial release changed the way that business development, sales, and recruiters used the Internet. With the new private mapping features, they can take all of their knowledge online and create social networks around their proprietary data.”

“Cogmap is the wikipedia of organization charts, bringing information about how the hierarchy of organizations works to the masses.”

“Originally, Cogmap was built to allow people to share information and benefit from the power of a wiki, but feedback from the cogmunity was that some information needed to be protected. With private maps, all of the information you add will only be shared with your social network.”

“Private maps allow a network of people to share organizational data among themselves, empowering organizations to share their knowledge quickly and easily.”

“Coglinks make map information embeddable, extending Cogmap’s value out into the blogosphere.”

For additional quotes, email Brent Halliburton at brent at cogmap dot com.

Screenshots & Logos

Blog RSS feed:

Suggested tags: “Cogmap”, “Org chart wiki”, “Private chart”, “Organization chart”

About Cogmap

With thousands of organization charts and tens of thousands of chart members, Cogmap offers an unprecedented amount of freely available organizational data. Cogmap is a small web site providing user-generated organization chart applications for business people.

Join the cogvolution!

Contact Information:

Brent Halliburton


aim: groupcortexer

Details on some of our new Cogfeatures

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Besides amazing APIs and private maps, what did we do?

In case you were wondering:

  • A new homepage
  • Country, State, NAICS code and Alphabetical listings of all of the maps
  • Double-clicking a person zooms in on that person and exposes editing tools
  • Coglinks! (An example is here)
  • Dozens of bugs fixed
  • Comments! Here is a little about how comments work:
    • Simple, unthreaded comments associated with each chart
    • Comments show up right away but are queued for moderation
    • Upon moderation, accepted comments are sent to map subscribers
  • How do Private Charts work?
    • When you create a private chart, you are added to the access control list. You cannot be removed from accessing this chart.
    • You add email addresses to your access control list. When you add someone, they are sent an email. The chart shows up in their “My Cogmap”. If they sign up using another email address, they cannot access the chart.
    • Anyone who has access to a chart can add or delete people’s access to a chart.
    • If someone goes to a chart that they don’t have access to, they can have an automated email sent to the chart owner requesting to be added to the Access Control List.
  • Related charts was built using Vogoo’s Slope One open source implementation
  • Improved login code pretty substantially.
  • Sped up adding people to maps significantly (so cool and fast, we are actually highlighting it, which is weird)
  • Livesearch works
  • RSS feed more explicitly exposed to audience (via icon on chart page)
  • Dozens of minor bug fixes and usability improvements

Google Open Social seems to open suck

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

OK, that was an intentionally provocative title and overstates the case, but still, I haven’t had a lot of fun with this!

If I was Uncov, I would have to figure out a way to say, “FAIL”.

Google has gotten a ton of coverage for rolling out their Social Graph API. (No link to the original Google post because blogger trackbacks are incomprehensible and I protest them.)

Theoretically, the Social Graph API is a slam dunk for Cogmap.  For each person in charts, I can show their Social Graph, allowing you to explore how you may know people at a company, how they know each other, etc..

Anyway, here are my issues:

  1. It appears inserting URLs with query strings doesn’t work right in the API?  I tried escaping special characters and it continued to puke.  For example, I wanted to set the query string to a Cogmap profile, of the format:  Unfortunately, the Google documentation doesn’t explain what you should do in such a situation.
  2. I know URIs are convenient because they are keys, but I want to be able to query the Social Graph with whatever information I have (in this case, ideally, name, company, title, maybe email) and get results, but Social Graph only accepts URIs and emails.

The result is that Social Graph is kind of weak!  It neither accepts my URIs nor takes other information I have that could be used to generate a Social Graph.


Anyway, I am at FOWA today, maybe I will look for Kevin Marks.

— brent