Tileplex mashes up product genealogy with Kevin Bacon
String together products with Tileplex.
At some point in life, you've likely been introduced to, or taken part in six degrees of Kevin Bacon, the movie trivia game that puts your film knowledge to the test to figure out who has worked with whom. The result is often impossibly obscure chains of actors and films, and the realization that you've absorbed an unnecessary amount of Kevin Bacon knowledge without realizing it.
Tileplex is a new service that can most easily be explained as a mix between the famous film trivia game, a genealogy-style mapping service like Geni (review), and Amazon.com. Everything is user-generated, and the hope is that you'll be able to see how products are linked up, or where they originate from, assuming knowledgeable people have taken the time to link them together.
The clearest example of where this would be helpful is with something like the iPod. Linking together the various models on Tileplex will give people a tool they can explore, and understand like any other hierarchical chart, along with links to buy said products, or dig deeper if need be. The result is a small network of nodal connections that get their own product pages, and a hit parade of related links.
The only crux of the service? Its building and searching tools, which are slow, and make it nearly impossible to re-order and organize a mosaic once an item has been linked up in a process called "Slinxing" (get it? It's like a link, but it needs a new name). Compared to some of the mindmapping tools we've looked at in the past, along with Geni and Amiglia (review), when the core functionality of a service is linking, it shouldn't be so hard to go back and make changes, which is unfortunately where Tileplex falls flat.