Deep in architectural thought

posted by Jeff | Monday, June 8, 2009, 11:33 PM | comments: 0

I spent much of my afternoon looking at all of the in-progress stuff I've messed around with in the last year, and it's, well, a mess. I guess I'm not surprised, because it's that scatter-brainededness that has been the source of so much inaction in the first place.

But it has to be cleaned up for this next big project. If there's one thing that I've learned from CoasterBuzz and PointBuzz, it's that it's easy to organize your content poorly. You get into a trap of having a database for this, a database for that, and it gets difficult to connect it all in a meaningful way.

What's funny about this is that it's a problem that the print world solved a long time ago. At the back of books, they had something called an index, and in that index, there would be an alphabetical list of important words and phrases that pointed you to another place in the book where you could find those important terms.

Today we call that tagging, really, as it achieves largely the same thing. The only down side is that it rarely applies to different kinds of data. Search engines index everything without a preference for any data type, but they don't have the accuracy that comes with a person who says, "This photo here is about elephants, and this news story is about antique bicycle kickstands."

And that is what I've been thinking about. Categorizing and organizing stuff isn't as straight forward as it should be, but since everything on my sites is custom built and not random free (crap) ware thrown together, I have an opportunity to get it right. That's what keeps me up late.


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