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A reading list as personal description

Eugene Eric Kim has captured my attention before.

And now he’s done it again a few minutes ago:

What My Reading List Says About Me

I’m a hard one to nail down. I have lots of different interests, and while they’re all form an integrated whole in my head, that may not be as apparent to others. It got me thinking about whether or not I pay enough attention to my online persona. The answer is probably not, but the real question is whether or not I care enough to do something about it. (Again, the answer is probably not.)

So then I thought about looking at other data about myself to see what I could learn. I decided to check my Evernote tags. I’ve been an avid Evernote user for several years now, and it is my primary tool for clipping interesting articles. I’m also an avid tagger, so I have a pretty good emergent taxonomy to use for analysis.

I decided to look at my most frequent, topical tags. (I have a set of tags that I use for internal organization, which are irrelevant for the purposes of this analysis.) I then created a tag cloud using Wordle. Here were the results

He has used his own tagging rather than the tagging of others, but that’s okay. All this data is still cognitively generated, not coming from an algorithm or massively chewing through all the full text of the documents he’s reading. The words come from a human brain, one that is doing the due diligence of condensing and distilling the concepts of what is important, what is relevant, from the mass of stuff it’s reading.

The distinction is key – and I think EEK’s exercise is illustrative of value being revealed with some simple counting and strong placement.

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