Ian Singleton

Citadel – a week in

Posted in Boddd by iansingleton on August 9, 2010

This morning I fired up iPhoto at 8.46. Nine minutes later I had worked through another five hundred scans.

The nature of what I’m doing is changing. To begin with, I was creating an archive of things that were of sentimental value. Now, I’m saving also things that are of potential interest and/or value to me elsewhere.

For example, this morning I found an article that I had kept from the Telegraph. I didn’t realise that the UK was the only Western nation that allowed ES embryonic stem cell research. I wonder why that bothered me in the first place and why I haven’t done anything about it until now? Giles Redpath, CEO of Euphony. Why did I keep a profile of him?
And there was an article about creating your own Mediacenter. It had links to two websites – http://www.xpmce.com and thegreenbutton.com – both of which I can follow now.
There was an article from the Observer in 2005 by Will Hutton  about a possible future war between USA and China over oil. the article was written in 2005 and it says that the price of oil has just risen above $60
As this demonstrates, I’m unlikely to wish to preserve everything for posterity. One of the important tenets has been not to editorialise at the ingestion stage. Scan everything. Data storage is cheap enough to be effectively free and if you get the workflow right then it takes very little time to process any particular piece of paper. The result in the overall archive is that the trivial sits next to material that is interesting or important. And sometimes both.
This review process has shown that sometimes the archive hasn’t worked as well as it could have done. For instance, I carefully kept an article from a Sunday newspaper in 2005 about things to do on a tourist city break to Rome. I made precisely that kind of City break in February 2008, so almost three years after I had scanned the article in the first place. But I didn’t take
the guide with me. Or even check to see if it existed. Or find any notifications about its existence.
And sometimes, in reviewing all the material, you come across something – like the newspaper article on the right – and I just think how interesting and how glad I am that I kept this. And without Boddd I would have lost it for posterity it would have been lost. Not for posterity. But certainly from my life. Which is what I’m starting to think that Boddd is really all about.
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