One year ago, Faizel Mohidin launched the first mind mapping e-magazine, Using Mind Maps. In only 12 months, it has evolved into a key medium for learning how to get the most out of mind maps and mind mapping software. I recently interviewed him to learn more about what motivated him to create this impressive monthly publication and what’s next for it.
Frey: What was your objective in creating the Using Mind Maps e-magazine one year ago this month?
Mohidin: While this is issue 12, next month is actually my birthday month. The first issue was published on May 6, 2013.
My vision is to be part of a collaborative, vibrant and growing mind mapping community. To achieve this I had the objective of exposing mind mapping enthusiasts to tips, techniques, tools, resources and opinions of leading mind mapping experts. While every expert and software vendor had their own websites, products and services, I saw the magazine as a vehicle for these experts and vendors to collaborate and help build a better and stronger mind mapping community, where we can all learn from each other.
In doing so, a new marketplace would be created, where buyers and sellers came together willingly. When Apple introduced the Newsstand, I saw for the first time a platform that allowed people to experience the convenience and benefits of a real magazine in a new, interactive way.
I use the term “real magazine” for a reason. Let’s think about the features of a physical magazine for a moment. First, it is a finite work, with a beginning and end. It most likely contains articles by various authors. It also just sits there, ready to be consumed. You often read it in short bursts, instead of cover to cover like a book. Many articles are timeless.
The Apple Newsstand made emulating and improving a physical magazine possible. If you subscribe, it’s possible for the latest issue to be downloaded automatically in the background. You simply pick up your iPad and it’s there waiting to be consumed – no downloads, no waiting, just relevant content in a beautiful, interactive format, which is simply not possible with a physical magazine. Also, you can have every single issue with you, wherever you go, for easy reference.
Frey: For those of my readers we haven’t seen this publication, can you give a brief description of it? What topics does it cover? Who is the target audience? What platforms is it available on?
Mohidin: Simply put, it’s a digital magazine for mobile devices. It currently supports the two biggest mobile platforms, Apple and Android. The audience is mind mapping enthusiasts. The purpose is to make you more successful at work, in business, in your education and in your personal life by exposing you to diverse thinking, opinions and software.
Frey: You recently started profiling mind mappers, starting with me. What other new types of editorial features do you have planned for the magazine?
Mohidin: I have a number of well known mind mapping personalities writing for the magazine, and my goal from the beginning was to give them as much free exposure as possible. All they have to do is provide valuable content for readers. This is a win-win-win situation. The authors get great exposure and traffic to their websites, mind mappers get great content delivered to them instead of having to go out and look for it, and I am able to publish an extremely affordable monthly magazine.
Initially, I intend to profile experts with whom I have a relationship and who have been contributing to the magazine. Over time, I would like to profile anybody doing great things with mind mapping. Suggestions are welcome.
I would like the magazine to become the hub for mind mappers all over the world, with the view of building a strong, collaborative mind mapping community.
Frey: What’s next for the development of Using Mind Maps?
Mohidin: People have been asking me to make the magazine available for desktop computer users. A good option has been either too difficult or too expensive to set up. But I believe I am quite close to a solution. So keep an eye out for an announcement in the not-too-distant future.
Frey: Why should the readers of this blog subscribe to Using Mind Maps?
Mohidin: The readers of your blog obviously have a keen interest and a passion for mind mapping software and mind maps in general. The magazine will keep them informed of the latest thinking and developments in the mind mapping world, including mind mapping software. This will help them be more successful at work, in business, in their education and in their personal lives.
Also, in the current online world, there is so much information freely available that it sometimes overwhelms. The magazine curates great, pertinent content that comes to you. Even if you only read one or two articles a month, it can have a profound effect on your life.
Frey: Is this a good publication for people who want to learn what all the excitement is about regarding mind mapping software?
Mohidin: Mind mapping software is just a tool. Learning about the various thoughts, opinions and applications of mind maps will enable them to use their tool of choice better. While many examples use specific software, the principles can be applied to just about any of the software products.
Using Mind Maps magazine is itself software, because it is an app on Apple’s Newsstand and Google Play. Software is needed to provide the features included in the magazine.
Frey: What is your background with mind mapping software? How did you get started with it and what kind of benefits does it provide to you?
Mohidin: In the past 30 years, I’ve progressed from worker to manager to entrepreneur. This growth path was fueled and managed using mind maps and mind mapping software. I’ve been using mind maps for over 20 years and mind mapping software for more than 15 years – and my only regret is that I didn’t start sooner.
I use it for brainstorming, system design, project planning, project management, meetings, writing, idea creation, presenting and much more.
Frey: What has been the most gratifying part of this project for you?
Mohidin: I have an engineering and software development background, with the last 10 years being in project and people management. My passion has always been to implement beautiful systems that work. In the past 12 months I have put together a beautiful magazine, a well-oiled publishing process and an automated platform. This includes automated billing, delivery and handling of returns. But more importantly, it has put me into personal contact with some of the best thinkers and personalities in the world – the authors and contributors to the magazine.
Frey: In closing, how can my readers find out more about signing up for a subscription to Using Mind Maps?
Mohidin: The best place, I suppose, is via the Using Mind Maps website. It contains summaries of all 12 of the issues I’ve published so far, plus links to Apple Newsstand and Google Play, where you can subscribe to Using Mind Maps. I also have a Facebook page and Twitter account, where I post regular updates to make you a better mind mapper.