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Archive for the ‘Cogtips’ Category


Have you considering sponsoring CogBlog?

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

I think it is safe to say that everyone who reads Cogblog is a believer in Commerce and/or a believer in Advertising.  Now you can represent for your beliefs by buying ad space on the mighty Cogblog.  Every weekly or monthly sponsor receives a Cogmug, the official coffee cup of Cogmap.

Let me know if you have any trouble.

Using Screengrab to fix Cogmap printing problems

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Drumroll please!

Oakland A's Org Chart

One of the most common emails we get here at Cogmap Intergalactice Headquarters is that printing huge charts is bad, putting charts in a powerpoint is bad, and doing anything other than playing with them inside Cogmap is bad.

While nothing is better than playing with them inside Cogmap, we have found some solutions! The printing problem, interestingly, is not actually a Cogmap problem. We actually have a fairly nice print.css that renders charts nicely for printers. Unfortunately, web browsers do a terrible, terrible job of printing web pages that are very, very, very wide and they all basically explode trying to print things like Cogmap charts.

Here is what we have found works pretty well:

  1. Install Screengrab in your firefox browser:
  2. Go to the chart you want to print or put in a powerpoint
  3. Zoom to large (this makes the chart show titles)
  4. Press the Esc key (this makes the chart go full-screen in your browser)
  5. Use Screengrab to capture the complete page

Now you have a giant image of the entire org chart.  You can compress this into a powerpoint slide or use how you see fit.  Good luck!

Feel free to post more printing tricks in the comments below.

Don’t forget: RSS feeds on map pages & the escape key!

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Crazy features you may not have tried but should! Go to a chart page and hit the escape key. That is AJAX madness!

Have you subscribed to maps in your RSS reader? You should! Every map has its own RSS feed.

Cogmap adds subscription, metadata, and awesomeness!

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

A wave of new code has been unleashed, incrementing the version number to 11! No question, these are some of the biggest new features since our launch last year.

New features include:

  • Subscribe to changes in maps (You are automatically subscribed to maps you edit) via email
  • Send charts to friends without being logged in
  • Metadata about maps – City, State, Country & SIC Code are now captured. I will do some super fun stuff with that very soon
  • Search has been tweaked a bit

When you add this to the sweet new scoring system, we are creating a simple but broader data framework to let us offer a sweet new wave of functionality.

Update: We have abandoned SIC codes for the 2007 NAICS list (using only 2 and 3 digit codes to keep the file size down).  Is there a better list of industry types that is still standards-based-ish?

New cogscores!

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Just rolled out a new feature: cogscores!  Check out an example by looking at anyone’s cogprofile – for example, you could look at rpeters59‘s cogprofile, you can see that he has made a number of maps, some of which are a pretty good size, and his cogscore reflects his contributions to the cogmunity!  (My, we are feeling coggy today!)

So here we are implementing a bunch of the things that people say make sites more social-ish.  First profiles, now scoring.  LSVP, my site of choice for linking love, has a slew of good posts pointing to other posts on this.

Obviously, there is the potential to game the system to get points.  The initial implementation of this is super simplistic, but we will ramp up the complexity over time to factor quality, popularity of maps, and some other interesting metrics into the mix.  For now, build lots of big maps and you will be a winner.

Our help page explains the awesome benefits of point accumulation: not too much.

Many new features on the way.

What’s up with Cogmap printing

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

I get emails once a week asking about printing org charts on Cogmap and why it is excruciating. Based on that, I wanted to offer up some clarifications on what the deal is:

  1. Most browsers only support printing a certain number of pixels wide of content, so very wide org charts get cut off by the browser.
  2. We do have a very nice print.css that lays out the boxes. The only way we could shrink the width of org charts would be to compress the boxes to the point of illegibility. We don’t do that.

We would love ideas in this area, or even better, send us better print.css files! We know hackers are out there. Thanks.

Cogmap supports hCards

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

Another step in making Cogmap more data friendly, profiles are now hCards.

Go check out a profile: Alex Markson, for example.

If you have installed a microformat detection system like Operator (Mozilla Firefox extension) or Tails (Mozilla Firefox extension) then you have lots of fun ways to look at and download the data on the page.

Props to Kevin Lawver for convincing us that it was worth the trouble.

Sorry we don’t have a more inspiring post, but I am pretty sure that I am meeting Chris Messina tomorrow so I figured we had to get this launched so we would have at least one thing to talk about!

Subscribe to organization charts in your RSS reader

Friday, May 18th, 2007

Have you noticed that there are now RSS feeds on every map page?  That is right, using your RSS reader you can subscribe to maps and be always up-to-date on the latest changes.  Insanely great or just insane?

This is a great example of coding something because it is cool rather than coding something people will actually use.  Our next big thing is focused on email subscriptions, which will be a way to subscribe without having to geek out.


Easter Egg: Try our escape key!

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

We have been up for six months and I bet here is something that no one knew: Anyone tried hitting the Escape key on a map page?  That’s an Easter Egg!  You will go nuts for sure.