Wield Some Del.icio.us Mojo

I quite enjoyed “Become a Del.icio.us Power User” over at Web Worker Daily; especially the power tip to use a “review” tag for stuff you want to look at soon. I’d add a power-power tip: use the tag, then subscribe over RSS to your own reminder tag.

The review+subscribe combo is a lot like what TagMindr does, which I wrote about previously. I think of either method as my way of implementing a quasi-tickler file for my bookmarks.

One tip in particular, though, stood out as unnecessary:

For those in horticulture, you know that you have to prune the dead twigs of the plant so the living twigs can flourish. This also applies to knowledge management. Take a few moments to review your links occasionally to ensure that they are still relevant. You can add more tags as time goes on to improve organization.

I’ve been tagging pages with del.icio.us since February 2006 and I have 600 links. Should I remove stuff? I don’t think so. As long as del.icio.us isn’t limiting the number of pages I tag, I see no reason to remove them.

Sure, I understand the argument: clearing out the junk means you’ll be able to find your own “good stuff” better. That junk will only get in the way. The problem is, the junk metaphor implies that space is limited. It’s not. The horticulture metaphor implies that the good stuff in my del.icio.us is being stunted by the bad stuff. I don’t believe it is.

Just because I’m no longer interested in sky diving*, for example, doesn’t mean my links in that tag aren’t still useful — especially to the rest of the del.icio.us community. While pruning is good for plants, I won’t use it on my del.icio.us.

* I’m not now, nor have I ever been interested in sky diving, it was only an example. I’m way too afraid of heights to jump out of a plane!

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4 thoughts on “Wield Some Del.icio.us Mojo

  1. Hi,

    I authored the del.icio.us article you cited. I’m glad you got value out of it, but I want to address your disagreement.

    Remember that my article addressed knowledge management. It’s true that space is not a factor, but good knowledge management involves–not just capturing knowledge–but ensuring the knowledge that you do have is pertinent and useful. I believe you can suffer from “information overload” and in one sense the old/useless links can inhibit the use of the good links (and please keep in mind it was an analogy which all fail in the end).

  2. I see your angle (now that I’ve read your email and had some time to think about it). Yes, from a KM standpoint, the pruning makes a whole lot more sense. On the one hand, I’ve never had trouble locating a link in the jungle that is my del.icio.us.

    Two issues came up recently that suggest users apply your pruning analogy:
    1) What about dead links? A fellow teacher asked me that last week. Pruning dead links is incredibly important.
    2) Out of date information can be far more damaging than no information. Some of my software links are for older versions of software and no longer apply — I should prune away.

    I think I may have to soften my stand on pruning. So, thanks for the feedback!

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