231 Erwin Road

My experiences as a Northern transplant down in Chapel Hill, NC, 2005. And now my experiences back up in NYC.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Weak connections

I just had this thought.

I had a website open that I recently learned about and discussed with a friend. I closed the tab and thought, 'Ohh wait, I should have tagged that.' (tag = given it a keyword on del.icio.us)

Then I thought, 'No I don't need to tag that, I've talked about it enough that I won't forget it.' Then it dawned on me, I only tag sites that will be hard for me to recall in the future. I don't tag amazon.com because I'll never forget it. But I would tag the site "You're the man now dog" because I can never remember the URL. I might use the tags "man funny seanconnery."

Then I thought, wow, this is what I do with people, I 'tag' my weak connections. I have an excel spreadsheet that has contact info for my 'weak' connections. Folks I probably won't remember in the future, but I would like to easily recall them by a keyword if I needed to in the future. Let's say I run into you at a party, and you're a cool person, we get along well and it turns out that you're a dog walker and ask me if I know anybody that needs a dog walker. You might give me you're card. Most folks throw this away at some point. I put it into an Excel spreadsheet and tag the person 'dogwalker.' Then in the future if I come across somebody asking for a 'cool' dogwalker, I can seach my 'weak' acquantances speadsheet and email out the info.

Yes this is a little extreme for most people. But what clicked in my mind was that tagging of websites and tagging of people is what allows a person to 'persit' or retain weak connections. If I didn't tag some sites, I would never be able to find them again. So if you ask me for a cool web2.0 calendar, I can search through my tags and see what sites I've taged. Or better yet, you can just search through my tags yourself!



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