How would you like to find stuff quickly on your computer? If you have the latest version of Apple’s operating system (i.e. ‘Tiger’) you can. Spotlight is fast. I can see that I’m going to have to rewire my brain to get used to how efficient this search tool is. A few minutes ago someone asked me a question and I knew that my email program had an old email with the information I needed. I pulled up spotlight and typed a few words and ‘bingo’ there was the email I wanted.
Windows users have the Google Desktop and other similar tools to accomplish the same thing. I’ve used Google Desktop but my email program at work isn’t compatible with Google Desktop so it isn’t as stunning as Mac’s Spotlight. As Clay Shirky points out in his new post Ontology is Overrated, the obvious trend is to let information live in ‘messy data sets’ and then parse them as you need to. Laboriously cataloging your digital information is not only frustrating but also a waste of precious time.