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Demise of NoteMap

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Posted by Stephen R. Diamond
Apr 12, 2017 at 12:52 AM

 

I don’t think this has been noted here: (Lexis-Nexis) Notemap is no longer offered or supported. Discontinued in 2015.

(If they don’t want to sell or support it, why not at least release NoteMap into the public domain?)

 


Posted by Hugh
Apr 12, 2017 at 07:49 AM

 

I am sorry to learn this. When I used Windows, NoteMap seemed to me to be one of the then-few fullish-strength outlining tools around. Not as powerful as the now almost legendary “classic greats” of that era and earlier, but still very useful for planning long-form documents.

 


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Apr 12, 2017 at 12:48 PM

 

I am sorry to hear this as well, though certainly not surprised. I had a lot of hope that NoteMap would evolve into a reasonable GrandView replacement. I had even had contact with one of the people who worked for the company that originally developed the software, and he implied a lot more was in store. That never happened, of course, especially once the company was acquired. Software that doesn’t continue to improve is destined to fade away, I’m afraid. RIP.

Steve Z.

 


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Apr 12, 2017 at 06:55 PM

 

Come to think of it, the company representative I referred to used to contribute to this forum back when it was hosted by Dave Winer. For kicks, I searched the old text archive and found a few of his responses to the group.


“Thanks for the positive comments and the constructive criticism.  I think you’ll find that we’re EXTREMELY serious about enhancing NoteMap’s functionality over time.  Though our other tools (CaseMap and TimeMap) may not be programs you would use in your line of work, I think they demonstrate our commitment to having solid products, enhancing them over time, and supporting the heck out of our clients.”


And then this:

“Hi!  Thank you for your input on NoteMap.  We’re planning on adding the features you’re discussing (columns of various types) as we go forward with future development of NM.  These features won’t be in 1.0 put that should appear in the 2.0 version we will release next year.  Sorry they won’t be available sooner!”


And this:

“We’re VERY serious about enhancing NoteMap over time—we’d like to think it’s a very solid tool now, but we definitely don’t think it’s anywhere close to perfect.  We plan on releasing major new versions of NoteMap each year.

I invite your suggestions here and would also apprec1ate your direct e-mails (gkrehel@casesoft.com) and calls (904.273.5000x233) with ideas on how we can make NoteMap a better tool. 

You can download a trial version of NoteMap from http://www.casesoft.com.  Some of you may also be interested in our other tools—for example, TimeMap is a tool that makes it super easy to create chronology graphs.

Our business is quite healthy.  I hope you’ll find that we’ll be here hard at work on NoteMap Version 12 ten years from now.  (I’m proud to report we just sold 15,000 copies of our CaseMap and TimeMap products to the U.S. Attorneys’ Office and hope to sign them up for NoteMap also soon.)”


That was all in the heady days of 2001. Then, four years later:

“I’m very sorry that we don’t have NoteMap 3 out the door and to report that it’s going to be a fairly long time before we do.  Though I can understand why you would scoff at my saying so, I remain an outlining addict and use the heck out of NoteMap everyday.

So what happened to turn me into a liar, failing to deliver on my promised goal of getting out ongoing releases of NoteMap?

The number one thing that happened is I’ve learned that the market for outliners is a small fraction of what I had expect it would be.  My expectation was that we would sell tons of NoteMap licenses and that our many NoteMap users would become prospects for our other software tools.  The reality has turned out to be just the opposite.  We sell very few NoteMap licenses each month, far fewer than we sell of our other more expensive/more complex offerings.  And rather than NoteMap driving sales of CaseMap or TimeMap, it’s turned out that CaseMap and TimeMap are responsible for most of our sales of NoteMap.

Now, you could certainly argue that if there was a better or perfect NoteMap people would beat a path to our website.  And you could also argue as you have above that we don’t want to risk a better NoteMap hurting sales of our other tools.  But I’m afraid both arguments don’t hold water.  Despite the fact we haven’t released NoteMap 3, I believe NoteMap remains a terrific outlining tool.  Moreover, I don’t see some other outlining tool that’s outselling NoteMap and proving the existence of the market I thought was there and demonstrating that some different version of NoteMap would sell like hotcakes.  Regarding our being fearful that NoteMap 3 would hurt sales of our other tools, that just isn’t the case.  The bottom line is that when NoteMap 3 is done we won’t sell many more license than we do of NoteMap 2 and it certainly won’t dent sales of our other products.  If there was a real chance that would happen, wouldn’t we pursue NoteMap with vigor?  It’s all sales to us and only a matter of devoting our development resources to the products that generate the most demand and revenue.

So what’s put the wrench in NoteMap development?  The fact it contributes about 2% to our revenues and, as such, we’re logically investing our scare development resources on new versions of the tools that contribute the other 98%.

Given the lack of interest in outlining, we’ve ended up giving away as many licenses as possible to schools and universities trying to revive interest.  Our biggest give away was 25,000 licenses to a public school system in IL.  We also gave this school system licenses for our TimeMap timeline graphing tool and I’m sorry to report that we’ve had much greater interest in TimeMap than in NoteMap.  Again, you could argue that this is because NoteMap is missing key feature X or important feature Y.  But you would be wrong.  The sad truth is that you and I are among the .0000001% of the population that gives a darn about outlining.

Well, sorry to run on.  I’m sorry that I broke my promise.  And I’m sorry that NoteMap 3 isn’t out and is yet to be the primary focus of our development efforts.  Despite the very few licenses we sell and the small install base for NoteMap, we do expect to bring out NoteMap 3, probably by late next year.  However, I don’t expect that we’ll be making dramatic changes in the product as I don’t believe making dramatic changes will result in any meaningful sales.

For those of you who are NoteMap users, I hope you find great value in the current version of the tool.  If you purchased NoteMap in expectation of it becoming something dramatically different than it is, please let me know and I’ll arrange to refund what you paid.

Finally, if you know a school system or other organization where we could advance the cause of outlining by giving them unlimited free licenses to NoteMap, please let me know.”


That was pretty much the last we heard from him. I have no doubt about his sincerity to make NoteMap a great outliner, but the reality of the market place wasn’t conducive. Then they sold out to another company. The end.

 


Posted by Hugh
Apr 12, 2017 at 07:19 PM

 

Hope abraded by reality. However, his sincerity does him great credit.

 


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