Bookmarks as metadata

,Number of bookmarks of my website that included given tag, examples/treemap.html

Every time we bookmark a website we not only save it for later but add a piece of information to the page itself. Each bookmark can be treated as a 'Like' and every folder can be represented as a Tag. All that information can be used to extend the meaning of a bookmark as it was to be - a collection of urls in menu bar of the browser.



When rumors started that Yahoo is closing delicious.com I was one of the people that panicked a bit and quickly moved to best existing alternative - Pinboard. Right now I have 5277 bookmarks and they are very important to me. First, I treat it like a personal database. Do you want know what are the animation frameworks for JavaScript out there? Maybe, CSS tutorials? Or who is doing generative art projects? It's all there, to serve me when I need it or when somebody ask me to help him find something.


I don't stop there, and I don't store only links to websites. At some point I started using the bookmarking services as a tool to add annotations to websites. From simply tagging videos I watch on YouTube, rating movies I see on IMDB to saving quotes from articles I want to reference in the future. This way I don't have to create yet another account or Like something on Facebook, and the data stays free and open.

Meta links

To be honest I don't really know how to know this type of usage so I will use an example. During my thesis at CIID I decided to collect reference materials and documentation of the process. The problem was that they were all scattered in several online services: images at vi.sualize.us, links at Delicious and photos at PicasaWeb. Because I wanted my thesis advisor to be able to track my process I built a small script called stream that pulls items tagged with ciidthesis label and displays all of them on one page. This way ciidthesis tag become something more than just a binder holding items from one service together but also a cross link between different services.

,CIID Thesis Stream,http://marcinignac.com/stream/ciidthesis/

Metadata about my website

Few days ago news arrived that Delicious found a new owner. Marshall Kirkpatrick from RedWriteWeb has a nice article why you should opt-in to move your data to the new service (there are also negative views on that). I totally forgot about some of the features of Delicious as I didn't use them that much, so I decided to go back and play with some of them while learning a new JavaScript visualization library d3 along the way.

In the examples on the top of this post and below I used data from url lookup page that lists all the bookmarks of http://marcinignac.com to see which tags people use to describe my website. You can click any of the images to see SVG version of the image along with the code.

,Number of bookmarks of my website that included given tag. Data is the same as in the treemap above - only the representation is different.,examples/bars.html

,Top 6 tags throught time,examples/timeline.html