I've written before about the lure of data. In a similar vein, it's been suggested that information triggers the reward response in our brains. Whatever the chemical reasons behind it all, I am a data packrat.
My biggest problem with being a data packrat is organization. It took me countless searches to find the above article at scienceblogs.com, in part because I first combed through a number of my own repositories before falling back on Google searches. Did I put that in Delicious? Is it in my feed reader's history? Repeat that for 20 minutes.
It's revealing to enumerate all the places I might put a piece of data:
- P2 blog
- Google Reader (which offers "share," "like" and "star," as well as custom tags)
- MediaWiki (public)
- MediaWiki (private, mostly a relic from before Google Docs)
- This blog
- Firefox bookmarks (I generally avoid these)
That doesn't even hit possible storage locations for images. I can tick off five of those without any effort. Most of these repositories will become obsolete over time, having fallen out of fashion or been replaced by something bigger and better. Some data moves forward into the new tool, some stagnates out of sight.
I have no answers, here.