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Business - Written by on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 15:29 - 0 Comments

xtimeline: Adding a twist to the conventional timeline

I was recently scouring the Internet for information about the history of advertising; more specifically I was hoping to find a timeline. Not only are they a great way to visualize key historical moments but they are also a concise format where intimidating amounts of information are summarized into key points and presented in chronological order. Unfortunately I didn’t find the timeline I was searching for, but I did find timelines….and lots of them!

I stumbled across a site called xtimelines, which is basically a place where people can create their own timelines (about almost any topic) and open them up to the public so more points along the line can be added or false information can be altered or removed (in true wiki style). The timeline can belong to different groups (e.g. Starbucks belongs to the fast food and multinational corporations groups) and under each timeline there is space set up like a Facebook wall for people to comment about the topic. Each point along the line is linked to another window which provides people with additional information about the event, for instance, on the McDonalds timeline if you click on the point that reads “Big Mac comes out in a big way” a new window opens and explains all you ever needed to know about the Big Mac (as seen below).

Topics range from biographies, “The Life of Barack Obama” and “The Life of John McCain” are some of the most popular timelines, to historical achievements, “History of the Airplane”, to organizations including the “Timeline of Facebook.com”. The fact that the information is presented in such a concise manner makes it appealing to even the most time sensitive reader. It is at times like this (no pun intended, of course) that I wish xtimelines had been around for me when all those high school projects required me to write a biography or report on a key historical event. Whether you are interested in the history of the Internet, Britney’s latest breakup or Google’s rise to the top, xtimelines is definitely a site worth taking the time (I’m sorry I couldn’t resist) to check out.

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