Tagging thoughts

This post is somewhat related to my previous rant “The mess with notes“.

One of the things that I lost control of are my bookmarks.  At one point in time I decided that my bookmarks are the same as, or rather a part of, my notes.  And I started to treat them the same way.  And they ended up in the mess together with my notes.  But I was wrong.

Bookmarks can be managed rather nicely with one of the many web services out there.  I always enjoyed the way del.icio.us does that and I don’t know what got into me, that I stopped using it.  Actually, no, I know.  I stopped using del.icio.us when I messed up all my bookmarks.  No surprise there.

The thing that got terribly wrong with my bookmarks was tagging.  Tagging is still a concept that many people try to put their heads around, but a few years ago it was even worse.  I like tagging in that it does not require any strict hierarchy.  But my mistake was thinking that tagging does not require strict rules.

Without strict rules it’s very easy to end up in the mess.  In a mess that I am in right now.  For example, I started tagging RSS related pages with “aggregator”, “aggregators”, “feed”, “feeds”, “xml”, “rss”, “atom”.  That’s just too much.  And later I started worrying that I won’t find some bookmark unless I tag it with all of those.  My tags grew like mushrooms after rain.

What I should have done is tag bookmarks with as specific tags as possible.  If the page is about RSS, it should be tagged with “rss”, not with “aggregators” and “xml” and “feeds”.  “blogging” is about the worst tag ever.  It’s too generic.  It should be either “wordpress” or “writing” or “seo” or something like this.

But I’m going to fix that.  I’m removing all bundles, tags, and bookmarks from my del.icio.us account right now (gotta love Perl for things like Net::Delicioius).  They are too messed up even for me to use.  I’ll start from scratch.  And I’ll see where it’ll get me.   And this time around, I’ll try to use descriptions too.  They are much more helpful than I thought or cared for originally.

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