20 Sep 2009

Shiny things and tasty little morsels.

September 20, 2009 501A, assignments Comments Off

I have a very bad habit. (Lots, actually, but that is many, many other posts.) This one really comes down to being what I like to call an intellectual magpie: I’m interested in lots of different subjects and ideas, and like to think, read and talk about said subjects and ideas, and often connect them in different ways.

This drives my friends nuts, because I tend to say things like “I read this REALLY FASCINATING article which pertains EXACTLY to this conversation we’re having RIGHT NOW but not obviously, and I’d link you but I can’t remember where or how I found it/what the headline was/who wrote it. BUTYOUSHOULDTOTALLYREADITRIGHTNOWGO.”

You see how this would get annoying.

Enter Delicious.

(A side note: I love the word delicious. If it were a wine, I would describe it as having good mouthfeel. Say it; say it lots of ways. d’LISHous. DEElicious. deliciousssss. deliciousdeliciousdelicious. Mmmm.)

I must confess I tried the site several years ago (maybe … 2004? I think it was still del.icio.us then because I remember finding that little hack of ICANN’s naming system really amusing. I’m lame.) and didn’t quite see the point. Sure, you could find interesting things to read and look at, but that’s kind of what the Internet itself does. And yeah, you could bookmark things, but you can do that in your browser instead of taking time to log into another site and copy and paste that link. And of course, you could share things, but you could just as easily email or IM someone a link instead of making them search through your Delicious bookmarks.

Except that I forget to bookmark stuff. And I never think “Hmm, maybe Friend would find this interesting too” until it comes up in conversation with said Friend. And then I’ve forgotten where I read or saw whatever it is I think they should see. I kept reminding myself to restart my Delicious account.

This blog was the final straw. Because I use the blog as a way to synthesize and play with ideas, I need a way to keep track of all the things I kind of stumble across as I may or may not be doing things on the Web that relate in any concrete way to my immediate needs. Things which do not get bookmarked in my browser because they aren’t long-term, regular visits.

Sooner or later, everything is relevant.

Image: J. Cooper

Image: J. Cooper

I may not be ready to build a nest, but I like to have a nice little stockpile of shiny things. That way, when I get around to building the nest, they’re all there and I don’t get frustrated remembering whether I saw that pretty ribbon at that odd house on Oak Street or at the big center on Grove. Metaphorically.

Delicious is that stockpile. Yeah, sometimes I won’t remember why it is I bookmarked whatever it is that I bookmarked because it takes me too long to get around to needing it. Yeah, I don’t really tag things thoroughly.

But that little button at the top of my browser window really makes it easy for me — maybe that’s what was missing in my first go-round, as it negates that separate-site-login-copy-paste hurdle. (I had no problems with installation, BTW.)

And that way I can easily find something when I’m reminded of or need it later, like the site Informationisbeautiful.net, which I’m currently telling everybody about because I think it’s really awesome. And apparently, so do nearly 2,300 other Delicious users.

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