The other day after I wrote There is no Web Operating System (or WebOS), I noticed that a few people had bookmarked it in del.icio.us. This is nothing new. From time to time I see people using del.icio.us to save a reference to something I write, maybe jotting down a note or saving a brief excerpt along the way.
But I checked back a day later to find that a number of people had saved it (31 at the moment) and some of them did make a note of some sort along with it. Reading through those notes, I realized that they really fall into a few groups:
- A single quote from the article that the reader seems to think represents the spirit of what was said. For example, several folks quoted me saying "Computers need operating systems but networks don't."
- A statement of agreement or support, such as "Peach it!" or "Right on."
- A combination of those two
- A restatement of the premise of the article in the reader's own words.
Interestingly, the majority of folks so far who've made any notes about the article did so via #1 above. A smaller number did #2 or #3. So far nobody has done #4, but I have seen that reaction to some of my previous articles.
It occurs to me that with a sufficient number of people bookmarking an article and selecting a short passage from it, I have a useful way to figure out what statement(s) most resonated with those readers (and possibly a much larger audience). It's almost like a human powered version of Microsoft Word's document summarization feature.
That's a pretty cool del.icio.us byproduct that I hadn't really considered before.
Posted by jzawodn at August 22, 2007 05:32 AM