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?