I am trying to do something. I broadly know how to do it but I don’t know the exact details. I search for it on Google. Google is a very big name today because it lets you get access to relevant information very fast. But however there is one issue with Google search. There is too much of content. I call this content overload. For example let us say when I search “What is blockchain”, there are about 22,00,00,000 results that are available. How do I know what is good? I really don’t.
But Google does a good job at showing the best results at the top. In fact a very good job at it and that is the reason Google has a market cap of 847 Billion USD. But still I am not happy many times as I can’t figure out which link works for me best. So what do I do? I go through couple of links and then finally zero in on the one that works for me. I follow the steps mentioned in the link and voila everything works.
Great. Couple of days pass and I want to repeat what I did couple of days, weeks or months ago. I wish I had bookmarked that URL that worked for me. But I didn’t. I curse myself.
Does the above situation sound familiar? I have gone through this feeling multiple times in last fifteen years or so after starting to use internet in my day to day life on a regular basis. But I keep finding myself in that position time and again. Why? I think two major reasons are Laziness and lack
How about a personal Search Engine
Any links that has worked for us in the past are a great resource for us in the future. If only we had collected all the links that had worked for us in the past we would all have our own battle tested links which would form a powerful knowledge base for us.
What if you could bookmark and tag all the links that you have ever read and found it useful? Wouldn’t that be a great resource over the time. We have been working on something similar for the past couple of months. I wanted to test run our own product and hence in the last six months I have extensive used our product. I have it installed on all the systems I use. Whenever I read anything online I make sure to highlight the relevant parts. Most of the times I just stick to highlighting as it doesn’t disturb my reading flow. We also have the option of tagging and adding notes in our extension. My reading flow is of almost importance to me. So I generally only highlight the relevant content and keep reading. Once I read the end of an article I click on each of the highlights and add relevant notes and tags, so that I capture the context. Every once in a while I use the search query to find out all the highlights that don’t have tags and tag them accordingly. By doing this I have built a very powerful knowledge
A tagged searchable knowledge repository for myself.
I am really excited about this feature and possibilities it throws up. I have been doing this for the last couple of months and I can already see the value it has added to me. If you don’t trust me just checkout the number of articles I have been able to complete on medium. I generally highlight and take notes using our extension while learning or reading. I use our dashboard to extract relevant content when I am writing a blog. The best thing is that I am able to capture the micro context which I was not able to capture earlier. So whenever I sit down to write an article I don’t need to go back and read the full articles that I had bookmarked. Instead I can just breeze to the content that I had highlighted. This gives me a context of why I bookmarked this page in the first place. This way I have been able to reduce the number of to and fros and this has directly contributed to me writing and sharing more of my learnings.
In most of posts I generally make it a point to link to the relevant blogs and videos that Inspired my learning and understanding. I was thinking it would be great if I could share more notes about my learning process itself when I right a blog. So we recently added a feature to our product where you can share your public highlights. So by combining the public highlights feature and search I will be able to share much more context along with the article. I personally feel this is a great way to share bibliographies of your posts. At learning paths we are betting heavily on search. Once you get a hang of our extension, I am sure you will be amazed by how many highlights you will create in a day. As the number of highlights grow, search will be the only forward. So just imagine this. When I share an article, I share the search query to all my public highlights that were relevant to that article. So now in addition to seeing which all articles I read in the process of writing the post you can also know the following.
- What are the exact parts of the articles that excited me.
- My tags for the selected content and my notes. How many notes I made in each of these articles.
- And let us say that in the search query I gave you, there were too many items. Now you can just improve the search query to find parts that are relevant to you.
In this era of content overload we need micro context. When there is lot of content out there, what we assimilate and digest becomes more important than the amount of content we read. Having tools that will help you capture the micro-context and organise your learnings are crucial. This is the gap that we are trying to fill with http://bit.ly/highlights-extension
Do give it a run and let us know what you think.