I’ll say it. I hate sharing bookmarks.
Don’t get me wrong, I like sharing ideas, but sites like Delicious, Diigo, Digg and the like aren’t doing it for me. I have a variety of interests. I like punk rock records. I’m fascinated by the idea of 21st century literacies. I really like a lot of things that are Japanese. I like the concept of zen. I may not want to share everything with everybody. Yes, I know that I can selectively choose which items go to the public, which go to a select group, which go to family… it shouldn’t be that hard though.
I manage different facets of my online identity, and in the past I’ve chosen a certain identity (dietsociety) to represent my online life, and other ones (jonk, jon_k) to represent my professional life. Somewhere around 2001, I decided to consolidate under one banner (dietsociety). I liked the connotations of a small world, or a shrinking world, and the fact that it was a double entendre – my first publishing attempt was in the late 80’s (as in 1989) as a punk fanzine, “Diet Society”, which was part social commentary, part music.
So why the hate-on for social bookmarking? I hate that the current services don’t tell me why someone bookmarked it, or in Diigo’s case, underplay the annotation feature – or you can annotate a site, but it interferes with the “flow” of the site – changing the experience of using the web. I hate that I have to manually retag things that in the context of my bookmarks menu, makes sense. I hate that bookmark sharing sites don’t tell me the last time I used the bookmark (which might provide interesting ranking data). I hate that I use a total of 11 browsers (across three computers and one device) and I have to manually sync each one. Never mind the fact that I don’t want work data to be the same as home data. Shouldn’t it be easy to do that? It apparently has escaped me how to do this. I don’t mind sharing, in fact, I love sharing. I just don’t see the popularity contest working. I mean, we don’t go to AltaVista anymore because we recognize that popularity is not the best ranking of information, so why are we paying attention to it on Delicious?