Just recently I had my reading students use Bubbl.us to create a mindmap of a non-fiction text. They did a really great job and totally enjoyed using Bubbl.us. I had them set up their own account, which involved entering their email and creating a password (which I made for them). There was no email verification needed.
I was impressed with the newest features in Bubbl.us 2.0.
Here is an example of a mindmap from one of my students. To take a closer look, just click on the + and - . Click on the background to move around.
The only feature that we didn't use with Bubbl.us is the ability to collaborate and work together in real time. In order for us to work with a partner or in a group, we first have to create and add contacts, which could be a bit tricky for my students. I may have to go into my students accounts and set this up myself.
Another option is to use a different web 2.0 tool that allows for easier set up to collaborate with others. One such tool is called Slatebox. Slatebox is a lot like Bubbl.us, but it has a few extra features. One is to share the link with others to collaborate. Another is to create a presentation mode that will play your mindmap like a slideshow.
Here is an example from Slatebox.