Question 350 of 365: What happens when your savings is gone?

Question 350 of 365: What happens when your savings is gone?

I have been saving everything for years.

I have been cataloguing the world around me and saving it for later. I have been tagging it with what makes sense to me and writing myself little notes as searchable reminders of what I had found. I have been littering the the web with my own breadcrumbs so that anyone who cares enough could follow along.

I am a delicious user.

It isn’t just a service that I rely on daily. It isn’t just a way for me to backup all of the things that I find. It is a friend that I have invested a huge amount of time getting to know. In fact, I would argue that if Delicious were a person, she would know more about me than any nearly anyone else. She has seen my interests wax and wain. She knows just how invested I am in finding resources for others. She would even know how I gain access to my W2 files. She gets the little jokes I leave for her in the tags and all of the different ways I come up with to categorize collaboration. She knows when my notes are desperate and when they are freeing. She may even be able to predict what is going to come next and what I will think about it.

Today, is the beginning of my long goodbye. I have exported all of my bookmarks and gotten all of the data that I can from her, but her network of information will never be replicated. She was with me from the very beginning, just as she was for every other person who glommed onto Web 2.0 tools and then became repulsed when the term started to be used a plaything at every new startup. We poured out all our history, for ourselves and for each other. We made connections with those that made sense to connect with and we used common tags because it helped us to build entire libraries.

We made our memories tangible, if even through the simple linking of things on the web. It was one of the first times when I realized how important the stuff sitting on top of the content was. It was one of the first time that I realized that people were more important that any single resource I could have.

Some people are talking about how they have cheated on Delicious throughout the years and so it is okay because they will just move on from their first love. I can honestly say that I never strayed. When others tried to get me to take interest in social bookmarking tools that did more, I pushed them aside because all I wanted was a single space to dump my learning path through the intertubes.

And now that I am forced to be single once again, it makes me consider options like hosting my own bookmarks again. It seems ludicrous to try and maintain things in folders or try and get things to sync together just so I try and glimpse what it was that I had with my Delicious. I am changed by this process, this process of looking for a new place to keep my institutional memory savings.

I know that I don’t want to leave all that I have saved up where it is to wither away with the dead (delicious) and the dying (yahoo). I must forage on and seek out a new partner, to find new relationships and new networks. Nothing will be the same, but now that I am forced to look, I know I will find something special enough to keep me around.

So far, ZooTool seems like it. It, quite frankly, has everything I loved about delicious, nothing that I hate about Diigo (the other competing bookmarking service in the education space), and it is beautiful. I hope she will not leave me too soon.

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  1. I have a friend who has never been out of a relationship. Since her teenagedom, she’s either been in or entering a relationship.
    She doesn’t know who she is outside of a relationship.
    Secretly, I’ve hoped over the years for a break-up that throws her off her game, makes her so broken that she must put the puzzle back together before she can move on. In that putting back together, maybe, she’d look, for the first time, at the picture the puzzle creates.
    What if you did that?
    What if you really lost your savings?
    What if you deleted whatever account and said, “It’s a different world from when I started, and I’m a different user I’m building my empire again – from the ground up.”
    It would be fun, no?

    1. I think that the funniest part is that I don’t look back at my savings all
      that often. I bookmark a lot of things because of the social aspect of
      saving it (it gets sent out on Twitter and elsewhere). It mostly isn’t about
      having things saved, but the act of saving itself. I could probably start
      over, but I would miss the security blanket for sure. So long as I had it
      archived somewhere for safe keeping, I think starting over would be
      relatively easy. Say the word, and we can both delete our delicious accounts

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