samedi 24 mai 2014

Why I keep public bookmarks (and where you can find them)

Well, the finding them bit is easy. They are here:

a brief explanation

About 5000 8000 web things of various kinds are there, all tagged by subject in my own folksonomic classification of about 900 1000 terms. Each is also accompanied by an evocatext of similar length to an abstract, designed not to summarise the content of the text, but to evoke its memory. This might be a conventional summary (if one was easily available to copy) but it is more often a key passage in a text, or a bit that was funny or sexy or violent or grotesque (because that kind of stuff is more memorable). Evocatext* is a neologism. Sorry about that.

a short history of my bookmarks

The arrival of family life in 2009 meant I started to have fairly generous swathes of time available before a computer screen, and no particular ambition in mind. My complete break with my former life as a jobbing GP in London town by moving to France had left me agreeably free of an obligation to professional reading that had become increasingly tedious.

I was using the internet a lot for my French studies, and decided to open accounts on all of the social networks to play with them and better understand them. I've labelled monitoring these accounts "being on general internet patrol," and I quickly realised the frustration that comes from reading something online, then being unable to find it even a few days or weeks later. Social bookmarking seemed to be the answer: I was happy user until it was taken over and trashed by its new owners. At that point I discovered I am extremely tightfisted when it comes to paying for online services, but founder Majiec Ceglowski has convinced me of the need to dob him $25/year, and I find maintaining my collection there useful and satisfying. My annual fee also pays for personal copies of pages to be archived, which means if you hit a 404 from there, I may be able to help.

examples of tag collections

French > English, English > French resources
Open access advocacy and information
Readings in agnotology, obscurantism, and attention

Note that in selecting one set of tags, associated tags open up on the left right of the page, enabling selections such as 'openaccess' + 'funny', 'peerreview' + 'reputation', or maybe 'sex' + 'drugs' (which will lead you to a Paris Review interview with Beatriz Preciado entitled Pharmacopornography).

If you find stuff you like there, and you'd like to follow my curations in future, pinboard has a really cool RSS feature that makes that easy: simply place any pinboard address navigate to the Pinboard view you'd like to follow (up to three tags deep), then use the RSS button top right to receive alerts in your RSS reader: the next time I classify something I've just read using those tags, up pops a link in your reader. Fellow freelance translators might enjoy my translation business stream for example.

  a modest caveat

My own experience of following other users' bookmarks on delicious and diigo  was that following all of an individual's bookmarking is just too random to be time-efficient. Pinboard's ability to follow subsets by tag may mitigate this somewhat. Those bookmarks are up there first and foremost for me, but if they're in any way useful for anyone else, I'd love the feedback (to dougie_DOT_carnall_ATT_gmail) or in the comments here.
* A short (~80-150 words) text selected or composed to evoke a longer text. Evocatexts do not aim to summarise the longer text as a whole, but to represent the most memorable parts of it to enable later recall by digital searching. An evocatext would aim to reproduce the parts of the text that were, for example, funny or sexy or violent or grotesque (because that kind of stuff is more memorable). See also: keywords, abstract, summary, précis, publon.

"Yeah, he's got a really nice collection of tagged public bookmarks, each with a high quality evocatext to assist later recall."

Update 09:24, 19/1/15. Amended RSS instructions to something that might actually work.
Update 07:05, 11/4/16. Updated N° of bookmarks and corrected minor error in navigation help.