Breadcrumbs and Pinboard

I use Pinboard, and I have for some time. For years, I've dumped the occasional interesting article there and then largely forgotten about it. Recently though, I've decided to really dive in and start using the service to solve a problem I routinely have.

I read a lot of articles, as I'm sure many of you do, and I often refer to them in conversation or in a blog post. When I do reference an article I like to cite it, even in conversation, but I often can't find the article anymore nor can I remember enough about it to effectively search for it. I think it's important to cite your sources, even casually, because it helps you recognize your own filter bubble, and it helps to ground you in the realm of facts. It also helps the other people you're conversing with better understand and counter your argument if they can tell where you're getting your information from. Plus, if you can find the original source, you can always verify that you're remembering the information correctly.

In an effort to forever solve this problem, I've started archiving essentially every article I read in Pinboard, and I do this whether or not I think the article was any good. This effectively turns Pinboard into a breadcrumb trail that I can use to retrace my path on the Web and hopefully dig up and verify any information that I half-remember.

A while back, I started taking notes when I read books so I can more easily remember and refer back to information I may need, but I don't want to keep a notebook for everything I read online. Enter Pinboard.

There are a few things that my system is lacking so far. Most importantly, I'm still having trouble finding some articles when I know that I've bookmarked them. It seems that either Pinboard's search isn't working how I'd expect or I'm not giving it enough metadata to search through when bookmarking articles.

Hopefully, as I get more accustomed to this new way of using Pinboard I'll drastically increase the frequency when I can recall some useful fact and also produce a worthy citation.

Filed under: personal, software