Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Del.icio.us and the Joys of Personalized Metadata

I've told this story before. Prior to Del.icio.us, I kept various file folders of interesting news clippings. I had a file for health related articles, one for foreign affairs, another for cultural news...roughly a dozen of these. Articles too good to lose forever. I'd cut or print them out, highlight some interesting sections, then file them away for later. I had grand plans.

The bookmarks on my computer were already sagging under their burden. Rows of bookmarks. Every so often I'd go through them and weed, separate the wheat from the chaff. Joshua Schachter, it seems, was having a similar problem, losing his way amongst the links. That findability thing. Del.icio.us doesn't need weeding--just feed it tasty links, tag 'em and move on. No more printing, no more file folders, no more overstuffed bookmarks.

I'm still refining my own folksomony, creating an organization system that will be as effectively retrievable as I want it to be. I get a little crazy with all those keywords. On the other hand, the process of tagging an article acts as a nice way to quickly run back through what I've just read, quickly summarizing what I found relevant. I become more attuned to a pieces themes, motifs and how it may be personally relevant. It allows for a dialog between myself and whatever it is I'm labeling. That others may be tagging with similar keywords, leading to articles or sites I overlooked, is like gravy-- a nice extravagance.

My Del.ico.us bookmarks are here. Everything bookmarked for LIS768 can be found here.

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