Efficency vs. Happenstance

I don’t often read the news paper, you know the one actually made out of paper? I generally read my news online through feeds or links from the people I follow on Twitter and Google+. Though these are great ways to keep up with things I’m interested in, they often lack the random find or articles off my self-beaten path. I found the change of topics inspirational and puts my usual thoughts into a new context. Ironically, or just happenstance, the night before I was reading an article (online) regarding online discovery methods (search, recommendations and hierarchical) and how they limit the discovery process.

There’s got to be another way to filter through the noise while allowing the chance for random discovery. The efficiency of the current models slowly limit our chances of happenstance by only showing us things of known interest. They never would have provided me with the diversity of information I received by flipping through the Sunday paper. On the other hand, I don’t always have the luxury of time that I did today. Things like this only fuel my quest to find that something in-between.

A few buddies and I have been looking into ways to filter the noise even when it’s within our own bookmarks. I know we’re not the only ones that bookmarked something with the plan of going back sometime and then slowly forget what we’ve bookmarked or how we tagged it. Sooner or later the bookmark collection becomes a graveyard of links and a new system gets adopted. So we’re looking for a way to efficiently find what you’re looking for while providing the juxtaposition of other potential items of interest so the Sunday paper experience can continue in this digital age.

What do you use for discovery? Bookmarking, tags, existing services?

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