Cleaning out my list of saved links:

Wow – that was too long. (16 bulletpoints, if my mathematical skills haven’t atrophied.) In a spirit of kaizen, let’s see if we can uncover some underlying process problems.

First, an analysis of what was in my saved links list. (There were seventy-odd entries, now only thirty.)

  • Book recommendations.
  • Music recommendations.
  • Articles that I thought I might want to blog about.
  • A bunch of GPLv3 stuff. (A special case of the previous, but big enough to break out.)
  • Articles containing interesting-looking links that I didn’t have time to follow up on.
  • Articles linking to works in other formats (podcasts, mostly) that I haven’t had time to look into.
  • Articles from Lawrence Lessig’s blog and How the World Works. (Special cases of one or both of the previous two, but big enough to break out.)
  • Stuff from Simon Phipps’ feed.

The last category is most relevant to this discussion: if I’m counting correctly, 8 of the 16 bullet points came from that feed. I was aware of them building up, but I felt bad at not only posting links without adding value myself, but not even being motivated enough to dig up my own interesting links, instead sponging off of somebody else! After all, if that’s what people want, they can just subscribe to Simon’s feed themselves. But, thinking about this more clearly, feeling guilty about that is pretty silly. Some better thoughts:

  • Most of you doubtless don’t subscribe to his feed, so I am potentially adding value by copying a judicious subset of the links. (If you like them, though, I encourage you to subscribe to his feed directly.)
  • The fact that I enjoy reading his feed means that I shouldn’t feel guilty about occasionally providing links with minimal commentary myself. I wouldn’t be happy with this blog if I didn’t spend a fair amount of time immortalizing my own thoughts, but there’s no need to do that exclusively.
  • The fact that I enjoy reading his feed suggests that I should spend some more time browsing for other interesting feeds. (Then again, it’s not like I need to spend even more time web browsing.)

So: process improvements.

  • Once every week or so, make a post of random links, for stuff I’ve seen recently that I want to point out without commenting on.
  • While I’m at it, go through my saved link list; for each link, figure out if I should delete it, do something with it, or postpone a decision for another week.
  • Recommendations can easily get promoted into another list that I keep of books/music/etc. that I’m planning to buy or get at the library.
  • Articles that I’m planning to blog about can get demoted into articles that I’ll just link to.

That should work well enough.

I hope that this post has satisfied your cravings for bullet points.

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