As we each work our way through piles of links trying to find those that our worth our time, outstanding content really shines. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the most most important thing is actually what you thought about it. The second most important thing is sharing it with others who would be interested. The third most important thing is the link itself.
After spending several minutes on something, it’s certainly worth taking a few seconds to jot down your concluding impressions. Here’s how that builds value, along with a few writing tips.
What’s memorable? Value to you.
Your memory latches onto what made an impression. Long after you’ve forgotten the source, title, and other information, you still have some of your own impressions left. Now that quick line of text you wrote describing what was most notable becomes a memory extension hook for quick access. Searching your own impressions directly enables easy recall, without having to wade through expanses of information ocean.
Memory amplification can also happen when you search by impression and uncover not only what you were vaguely remembering, but other matching links you had completely forgotten. When that happens you were able “recall” with the combined capacity of past-you and present-you. All because you jotted down what was most memorable at the time.
What’s memorable? Value to others.
Whether you are maintaining an ongoing interest theme, or a putting together a quick searchable reference list, your note on why a link is memorable provides vital contextual information. For most reference situations, “why” is missing or implicit, and there is not much info on how things are being endorsed. By reading what you thought was memorable about a link, your audience can quickly grok the relevancy to themselves and what they are looking for. Your comments help them filter and focus.
Describing what is memorable also builds trust. Your audience develops a strong feel for your approach from reading your notes, and since those notes were posted for your own use, it’s not a sales pitch. Personal notes are highly direct information communication. When I describe why something was important to me, you can quickly figure out if it will likely be important to you.
Don’t compose, just make a quick note for yourself.
If the default “What’s memorable” prompt isn’t doing it for you, consider “Why am I keeping this link”, or think about telling a friend why you are sending it to them. Why was it worth the time you just spent on it?
The key is to write something. You get used to it pretty quickly.
Membic is optimized around having a sentence or two noting for yourself what was memorable. The beginning of the text is displayed in the condensed summary, and clicking on it shows the rest.
Sometimes it is helpful to write more. For example you may want to include a few notes, a quote from the abstract or other info. You can do this by starting a new line with a label (e.g. “NOTES: ” or “ABSTRACT: “) and those sections will be collapsed separately in the condensed display.
If you want to write more than a half page or so, you might want to consider writing a blog page, then either post a link to your page or reference the page in your description of the link.
Starting from your impression
Occasionally, you might find yourself starting from your impression rather than from a direct link. For example you might want to note what was memorable about a physical object, a place, or something from a paid service. In these cases, the recommended approach is to do a general search for an appropriate link. In order of preference, Membic encourages links to:
- Dedicated public references (e.g. Wikipedia, ImDB).
- A dedicated source site, publisher, or manufacturer.
- Retail, search or map links.
Regardless of what link you choose, be sure to write a short note about what you thought was most memorable. That’s the most important part.