Digital Commonplace

I’ve been having a bitch of a time wrangling things I come across online that I want to save either for later reading or just to snip out and put in some kind of Digital Commonplace book.

Browser bookmarks are easy enough to wrangle. I’ve got a script that collects all the bookmark files from all my browsers on all my machines and sends them in to a central location of “read me” links then purges them from the source. I go through those every once in a while and purge most of them as uninteresting. But that’s the way of things.

Of the ones that contain long form text I want to read, I tend to print most of them out, staple them together and put them in a manila folder that goes in to my (physical) library’s “Read Me” file, which works out really well.

Then there’s a bunch of “ooh this is neat, make this” type stuff as well as a couple other “curiosity” type categories. Those get shuffled off into project idea folders and such.

But the problem comes when someone says something smart on twitter, reddit, or some similar platform. I don’t yet have a reasonably systemitized way of capturing those kinds of things. Yeah I could save links and go through the same process. But I generally don’t want to go through the effort of curating the whole page when I’m trying to grab a snippet.

What I’m wondering is how tough it would be to make a scriptlet (remember those?) that would post it to a local server of mine for catagorization and later library integration. I’d prefer to be able to select a bunch of text then click on a saved bookmarklet of some kind and have it take that content along with whatever context can be gleaned from the page, and pushed over to a server someplace.

It shouldn’t be THAT tough a programming project. Just a couple things I’d have to look up and a bit of (hurl) javascript.

I want to say that this kind of thing was pretty…erm…commonplace back in the golden age of the internet, that being 98-03 or so.

Gonna have to give it a think.