I can verify that TimeGlider is easy to use. It could be used by an 8th grader for a history assignment. It is also subtle, perhaps a bit simplistic. However, it is a very good tool to use for documenting the life of an ancestor, for tracking families' migration patterns, or any events in history. Timelines built with TimeGlider can be viewed on the web and can be shared with others, should you wish to do so.
TimeGlider is a data-driven interactive timeline application built on the Adobe Flash platform. You can "grab" the timeline and drag it left and right, and zoom in and out to view centuries at a time or just hours. TimeGlider allows you to create event-spans so that you can see durations and how they overlap.
You do need to sign up to create a timeline but the service is free. (Optional features are available for a fee but I suspect that most genealogists will have no use for the extra-cost features.)
Within a minute of signing up, you can be well into your first timeline. The interface is draggable and zoomable: navigating TimeGlider is similar to using familiar applications like Google or Yahoo maps.
Click on "new event"— or double-click anywhere on the timeline "stage" and the date at which the cursor is horizontally aligned is chosen. You can fine-tune the date using an intuitive date chooser. Then type a title and description, choose an icon, and enter a link to a web page/resource if you want.
TimeGlider allows you to show the time span of events, indicated by a band of color. Simply enter the start date and an end date!
My first timeline was a simple view of my life, showing the places I have lived and the major events in my life. I made this for my own amusement and do not plan to share it with anyone. However, if I wanted to show it to family members, I could choose to make it accessible to the public. I could send a URL to someone else or even use a bit of HTML code generated by TimeGlider to embed the timeline in a web site I own. Having a highly unique URL, your timeline can be shared with only the people you want to.
When your friends or family or the public views a timeline you've created, of course, they can't edit it. They'll first be met with an introduction you've written, and placed at a date (called the "focus date") that you've chosen as a starting point. Double-clicking any event brings up a simple information box.
TimeGlider's basic version is free and will continue to be free.
For more information, or to build a free timeline, go to http://www.TimeGlider.com.