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The Night I Spent Hours Going Through My Bookmarks

I have no idea what prompted me to try to reach the bottom of my saved post folder in Feedly, but one day this week I scrolled all the way to the bottom and discovered that I had over 1800 bookmarked posts going back to 2013.

Did I need 1800+ bookmarked posts?  I mean, I clearly wasn’t returning to the really old posts, and most of the new ones were only helpful to keep around for a few weeks.  For instance, I sometimes bookmark an article about a movie or show I know I’m going to see but haven’t gotten to yet.  Once I see it, I read the article, but then I should unsave the post.  And I haven’t.  It is clear, 1800+ posts later, that I haven’t.

So I started deleting.  And here are a few things I noticed.

The Posts You Deleted/Altered Are Still There/the Same

If I bookmarked your post (and this is not special to me; if anyone bookmarked your post), even if you deleted the post, changed the post, or took down your blog, the post is still there.  I know because I saw that the opening lines in the teaser of one post was about how the person was going to remove the pictures in the post within 24 hours, and when I opened the post, the pictures were still there.  But when I clicked over to her blog, the pictures were gone.  The same goes for a person who mentioned they would be removing their child’s name from a post in the future (again, it was in the post in my reader, though not on the person’s blog) and an old post from someone who deleted their blog.  All of it, still intact.

What should you learn from this?  Don’t post anything you don’t want to live on out there.  There will be times when you post and have regrets, and you can’t avoid all of those because you can’t predict the future.  But the times when you intend to remove the information or image in the future — don’t post it at all.

Bookmarking is a Great Way to Create Future Post Ideas*

At least 30% of the posts I bookmarked made me say, “Oh, that would make a great post topic.”  I started creating a list of links to those particular posts and realized that if I wrote about all the posts that I’ve added to the list, I’d have months of posts at my fingertips.  So… if you start seeing me discussing posts from 2013, you know where they came from.

Even more interesting are the posts that predicted how something would unfold.  Now, with the passing of time, I can return to those articles and say, “No, this didn’t happen” or “Oooh, this is eerie, but scientists said this would be the case.”  Retrospect adds a new layer to those discussions.

I Learned a Lot About Myself

Going through my bookmarks taught me a lot about myself.  I seem to have an unusual love of ghosts and haunted spaces.  I wish I had kept track of how many ghost-related/abandoned space posts I had bookmarked before I started deleting, but suffice to say that it would have been a high number.  I knew I liked the topic of ghosts, but seeing the sheer number of posts made me say, “Mel, you really love ghosts.”

The same goes for magic tricks and fun math games.  And posts about the act of writing.  And anything Harry Potter, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Doctor Who, or Lord of the Rings related.  And on-the-go vegetarian recipes; the vast majority breakfast ideas.

Have you ever gone through your bookmarks and cleaned up the clutter?

* Listen, I’m going to challenge you and join the challenge as well.  Once a week, let’s say on Sundays, I’m going to post about a bookmarked article — usually old, but sometimes new.  I may talk about why I bookmarked it in the first place, or simply respond to the ideas in the post.  Go through your bookmarks — in your Internet browser or the articles you saved in Feedly or Pocket or Evernote — and write about one of yours, too.  Bookmark Sundays.  If there is enough interest in this, I’ll post a linky list so everyone can find each other’s posts.  It becomes at least one more post that you have on your blog each week.

Are you in?


1 Jendeis { 01.10.16 at 8:22 am }

Get out of my head! Was just doing the same thing. Right now, I’ve just been prioritizing the saved recipes, going through them and deciding whether to pin or delete.

2 Catwoman73 { 01.10.16 at 8:32 am }

I follow a lot of food related blogs, so I have so many recipes bookmarked, I could probably make a different one every day for several years, and I still wouldn’t have gotten through them all! You’ve inspired me to go through them and at least get them organized, and maybe weed out a bunch that looked good at the time, but not so much anymore.

Aside from recipes, I don’t really bookmark anything. I read stuff, and move on. But I could stand to go through the 10000+ e-mails in my hotmail account. Yikes!

3 Becky { 01.10.16 at 8:45 am }

My bookmarks are mostly people I stalk online, like my daughters or uh, yeah, just my daughters. I’ve got a few other sites bookmarked and for the life of me can not remember why. I should go through my Feedly saved posts though.. that might be interesting.

4 torthuil { 01.10.16 at 10:32 am }

Ha, I clear mine out fairly often, but I still like your idea, if I have time for it.

5 SuzannaCatherine { 01.10.16 at 11:38 am }

Bookmark Sundays. That’s an interesting idea. I love “people stories” which is why I love memoirs. I don’t think I have many bookmarks, but I will check. I do save emails, though – some going back to 2006!! I cleaned out several hundred last weekend and still have over 7,000. I think that makes me an email hoarder. I need to do some extreme deleting.

Love the idea of Bookmark Sundays!

6 loribeth { 01.10.16 at 3:18 pm }

Interesting idea — I’m in! I actually went through all my old browser bookmarks when I was first laid off… a lot of the links were so old they didn’t even work anymore. :p (I had many more on my computer at work — which got deleted at the same my job I did, I’m assuming. 🙁 Oh well… ) Deleted a whole bunch & moved a lot of stuff around, created new folders & subfolders, etc. I actually don’t save a lot of blog posts but I do save news articles. I’ve only recently started saving a few things via my blogreader (Bloglovin) & Facebook (just realized it now has a “save” feature!). Oh yeah, and I do have a Pinterest account, which I will occasionally binge on. 😉

7 Mali { 01.10.16 at 7:07 pm }

That’s funny. As I read this, I was up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, going through my Pocket bookmarks, and deleting ones that were no longer relevant. I have a lot of psychology articles, lots of political/social/feminist articles, travel (of course), and reading/writing.

I’ve been very aware that our blogs stick around, because of Feedly. I’ll often read a post in Feedly, then click to go to the site to comment, and find the post has been deleted. Perhaps a hint – if you don’t want this to be possible, then it might be good to set the blog to only show a few lines, rather than the whole post, before directing you to your blog site.

Bookmark Sundays sounds like fun. I’ll start next week, cos today is Microblog Monday in my part of the world!

8 Jessie Francis { 01.11.16 at 12:01 am }

My dad always says “e-” stands for “evidence” and “eternal.”

I do like this idea of Bookmark Sundays, I’m in!

9 torthúil { 01.11.16 at 1:08 am }

I’m back, here’s my response to the bookmark challenge:

10 deathstar { 01.11.16 at 11:10 am }

I did not realize that bookmarked posts would still be there. I certainly did post a couple of things that I later removed on my blog. Not anything too damning, but you never know when it can come back to haunt you as you pointed out. I don’t bookmark many posts though.

11 Chris { 01.11.16 at 12:47 pm }

LOL I clean out my bookmarks about once a month. I can’t stand the clutter!

12 Kasey { 01.11.16 at 8:47 pm }

The idea that the posts are still there even if they’ve been deleted is right in line with what I’m looking at for my dissertation. I may be bookmarking this post 🙂
I save posts to my reader often, usually articles that I want to come back to when I have more than the time I’m scrolling through Twitter or Facebook. I do delete as I read though, usually every couple of months.

13 Lori Lavender Luz { 01.11.16 at 10:36 pm }

I just checked the bottom of my Feedly bookmarks, and do you know what my very first one was?

From 3058 days ago, it’s “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Farm.”

14 Valery Valentina { 01.12.16 at 3:10 pm }

I….. didn’t even know you could bookmark posts in feedly.
Glad I didn’t because there is one thing less for me to clean up / back up / sort through…
Agree on the eerie feeling of reading something in feedly only to find out the blogger didn’t mean to post it.

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