I had a little spare time tonight so I decided to do a job that I’ve been meaning to do for a while… cleaning up my bookmarks collection. (What’s up with that? I can live in a house that’s messy, my desk at work looks like a bomb has hit it, but my hard drive is really well organised… go figure!)
I mentioned recently that I’ve been using Flock as my main browser these days… mainly because it has a bunch of wonderful built-in features that seem really sensible, but I can’t help wondering why the bookmark organisation is set up like it is. One of the many nice things about Firefox, or even IE for that matter, is that you can arrange your collection of bookmarks/favourites into folders and subfolders. This is largely a very good thing, although I did notice I tended to get just a little over-organised at times and I had a large number of folders that had only one item in them, which is perhaps getting just a tad granular.
But I did have a lot of top-level folders with subfolders in them and it was, by and large, quite well organised. So for example, in the folder labeled “Education”, there were subfolders for, say, “Literacy”, “Contructivism”. “Gifted Education”, and so on. The problem was that I often tended to forget what I put in these folders, and that sometimes I would find an interesting site and go to bookmark it for later use without realising I already had a sub folder catergory set up that was suitable. Over time, this led to quite a bit of duplication and disarray.
Flock however, does not support this subfoldering approach. Although Flock can imports bookmarks directly from Firefox, when you go to the bookmark organiser you only get a top-level folder for each category you imported, (including the stuff that was originally in subfolders). In other words, every folder, no matter what level it was when it was imported, now becomes a top-level folder. This meant I ended up with LOTS of top level folders, in fact way too many to be sensibly managed. I’ve been spending some time tonight going through them and realising that many bookmarks have been linkrotted, some are just plain irrelevant, and most can be found quicker on Google than I can find them in my bookmark collection.
I’m finding that Google has changed the need to bookmark everything. If I want to find a site that I am after, it’s usually a simpler proposition just to Google it.
I’m also learning that tagging a bookmark is generally better than filing it, but I must admit I’m still really just starting to get my head around the tagging concept. I mean, I get it, but I’m still figuring out excatly how to organise things to get the best leverage out of the tagging system.
The really big plus for using Flock as my browser is that it has a very seamless integration with del.icio.us, so I can bookmark both locally AND to the web. Firefox can do the same sort of thing by using an Add-On, but I do like the way it’s organised right inside of Flock.. that, and the built in Flickr uploader and web clippings make it a really useful tool.
Edublogs now has a neat plugin tool that lets me embed my del.icio.us feed directly to this blog page. I’ve currently added it as the last webpart on the right column, so scroll down a bit and you can see a list of the last few sites I’ve bookmarked. I’m not sure why sharing my favourite websites with the world is a good thing, but I guess I’ll do it anyway.
Anyway, I’m off to figure out how tagging works!
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