I’ve spent my January 1st systematically beating everyone at Wii skijump and trawling through about a week’s worth of Google news alerts for “Sudan referendum”.  I love Google alerts, mostly because they’re like a pre-programmed text analysis run on the previous day’s news that you can read on your phone in bed in the morning.

I decided to start collecting news from Google alerts in mid-October, and have been archiving – saving web pages as documents – since then, at a rate of about five a day.  I don’t really know why I decided to start: some small quotes I wanted to save, some photos, some rather special Prendergast and Clooney-led I’m A Celebrity Get Me The President stuff.  I just can’t let it go past, and I know I’ll try to refer to something in six months and find out that it’s gone.  I’m only using a selection from a Google selection – hardly representative, biased as I am towards news about returnees to the south and the Referendum Commission’s disarray.

One outcome of this is that I have now got hundreds of news reports.  I am fighting my own disposophobia, like my grandmother’s collection of useful string.  I’ve been warned by friends that the only way to deal with vast amounts of data is to start synthesising simultaneously to collecting – basically, taking hundreds of photos of documents in an archive is great but mindless, unlike the hundreds of hours you’ll then spend staring at bad handwriting on an overbright computer screen.  So resolution number one has been made for 2011: I will start going through these things.  This brings up all sorts of problems, not least with my own selective archiving process as well as analysis of large amounts of mostly irrelevant background information.  If anyone has any ideas about what to do with it all, please let me know.


1 Comment

Filed under Archives, Procrastination, Sudan

One response to “Disposophobia

  1. Tom

    Use Zotero, a free academic add-on for Firefox. One of the things it does is let you save a webpage (automatically registering all the basic info for it), you can create a snapshot (so you can keep what you saved even if it changes or disappears), you can tag and file it, and you can word search the whole thing. It’s just the thing for cyber hoarders.

    Like the blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s