Alex Steer

Better communication through data / about / archive

Yesterday's brand new is today's brilliant

327 words | ~2 min

Whatever you do, don't read my Delicious links. It's just a massive pile of stuff I think is interesting and I might need again. It's like reading the source code to my brain.

Yes, Delicious. And pretty much all the links are culled from Google Reader (thanks to the really handy Delicious extension in Chrome). Two technologies that were the Shiny New Thing a handful of years ago, and that people in the know now seem to have decided are dead. RSS and social bookmarking. I'm so 2006.

And they are brilliant. Brilliant because I don't feel I have to bother obeying any protocol. I rarely add notes, and I never tag or star items. I just use Reader to skim through over a hundred RSS feeds, really fast, and throw anything I want to keep onto Delicious. Retrieving it relies mainly on my own memory and my ability to use the simple search form.

In other words, it's exactly like my desk. Untidy, but useful, and mine. My disordered desk only makes sense to me. My mind happens to be quite ordered, which means I can find stuff in all the heaps of paper and scribbly writing.

Delicious now is the best version of the semantic web. Underpinned by strong semantic organization, but searchable (and therefore mess-about-with-able) on the surface.

I'd love to be able to shuffle my Delicious links around like notes on a desktop. Even things that emulate desktops (like Windows) never really feel mess-about-with-able. They feel rubbish for notes and work in progress - like you have to finish everything off so you can file it away neatly. I want an operating layer where I can leave stuff lying around, doodle on it, then either file it or throw it away.

In other words, I want a version of a filesystem that only really makes sense to me, with the upside being that it's completely intuitive. Hmm.

# Alex Steer (29/10/2010)