No, I’m not stopping my blog reading. I’m referring to the “blogs” bookmark folder that has been sitting in the upper left hand corner of my Firefox browser’s Navigation Toolbar for I don’t know how long. I’ve deleted it.
When I first got into blogging I religiously bookmarked blogs in this folder in three main categories: Read Daily, Read Weekly, and Other. While maintaining my bookmarks today I realized I haven’t gone into this folder on any of the three machines I regularly use in many months. Instead, I’ve been relying on my mix of social bookmarking tools, RSS feeds, and feed aggregators. I just haven’t found it necessary to select a blog from the Firefox browser folder to find “what’s new” — my feed sources perform that function.
So what? I think this is evidence of a couple of things, at least for me.
- Increasing importance of RSS feeds, feed readers, and feed aggregators.
- Increasing use of remotely-stored bookmarks that can be shared.
- Decreasing utility of machine-specific or operating-system-specific data aggregation and access tools.
I have not given up browser specific and machine specific bookmarks completely. They do perform a gateway function for accessing web based research tools as well as a variety of secure links and personal sites I’d prefer not to share openly with others. (Although, if you really want to, you can see my Netflix DVD queue if you know where to look.)
I do still think it’s important to maintain a distinction between my machine and the world at large. I was reminded of this today when I experimentally downloaded the del.icio.us toolbar for Firefox. In setting it up I realized I just was not ready to upload all my bookmarks to that service even though I am aware of the ability to declare certain bookmarks private. So I uninstalled it.
I’m sure I’ll come back to this in the future. I know that one of the implications of this reduced emphasis on a local operating system and local storage and applications is the rise of mobile computing on smaller devices. I’m not there yet myself but I see it coming. I suspect that the “machine specific” things I continue to maintain on my local machines are just going to continue to be reduced and refined.