To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

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Middleburgh Extreme Bookmarking

Centuries before Ptolomy had signed off on the budget for the Great Library of Alexandria, indeed even before the events recorded in the Epic of Gilgamesh had actually occured, Hur the Hittite impregnated a tablet of clay with his reed stylus (well - his wife had a headache!!). And from this, ultimately we get literature as we know it (Harry Potter and the Call of Gilgamesh), and higher art forms such as graffiti and haiku.

And trailing behind the books, like pilot fish after sharks came the humble bookmark which over time has evolved into the "internet bookmark" as we know and love it.

Two years ago everyone and his mother embellished their blogs with "must have" bookmark graphics, Unfortunately I struggled to get my head round the value proposition. As I saw it there were two types of beneficiary: Antisocial buggers like me who saved bookmarkmarks which they personally would use, and the others who socially shared bookmarks like joints (hey man this is good stuff - try some!!)

When I found a URL which I thought I would/should revisit I just saved it as an internet shortcut on my USB drive etc. I came to the conclusion however when I realised that I had in excess of 2000 squirreled away in various places that I perhaps should use a bookmark manager. I looked at all the usual client and on line suspects and in the end opted to use Furl.I reckon that it will take me at least till end of summer to get them sensibly categorised and tagged - oh what a thrilling prospect!!!!! I am so looking forward to getting all the HK links catalogued.

On the other hand, Social bookmarking is I realised, a specialist subject and the best reference source I found was 3 Spot. The promise that "sharing" bookmarks may enhance the value of the internet is very seductive. The argument goes: If you are doing a search on google etc notwithstanding on how well formed your search arguments are, how effective the search engine is in returning high quality and relevant results you will (based on experience )still have to wade through a lot of dross to find the gems. Probably someone else has been there before you. If he (or she) had bookmarked the most relevent URLs it might have been quicker to simply search his bookmarks, and if "they" had similar interests to you then their other bookmarks may also be relevant to you. Effectively this rehashes the proposition that manually build directories tend to be more reliable than machine generated lists particularly if the reviewer is an expert.(as demonstrated by 3Spot)

Most of the on line bookmarking sites provide metrics to assess the potential worth of a bookmark based on peer group activity ie how may people have bookmarked the same URL or how many people have visited it recently etc. The rationale is that the higher the counts the more likely is the URL to be of "worthy"

Sound good, but in practice I take such metrics with a pinch of salt since they have a potential to be self serving. Something to do with group behaviour, confirmation bias and percieved v actual knowledge. This doesn't mean that I don't look at what others have bookmarked to get ideas and a different perspective; It's just that I do my own searches using different search engines including kartoo (well why not !!)

And for those of you who are wondering about the opening video - It's China's late entry to the the 2008 Eurovison Contest. Ireland's entry has been withdrawn on the advice of the World Health Organisation. Dustin the Turkey has been put in isolation as a precaution suspected as having contracted Avian Bird Flu (H5N1). Eastern European hitmen have been implicated in this and an absence of butterfly's on this blog. The general public is advised to avoid poultry and umbrellas. It should be noted that the same source has reliably advised that Nancy Pelosi is pregnant with the Dali Llama's love child.

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