Link Finders

The latest episode of Reply All is all about online scams: #78 Very Quickly to the Drill. As a balance to all of the scamminess mentioned, they talked about a service called The Ring Finders. It's an organization that lists people with metal detectors across the country who will help find lost wedding rings. It was a great way to end the episode, and a good reminder that lots of people have the impulse to help—and people can get problems solved with that help.

That train of thought led me to the idea that there should be a website called The Link Finders. There's nothing more frustrating than knowing you've read a certain article or seen a certain piece of information that you can't find again. I wrote about some strategies for finding lost sites in 2006: Finding Lost URLs. It's a recurring theme in MetaFilter's backchannel, MetaTalk. There are two of those types of post on the front page as I type this: someone read something on MetaFilter somewhere, they've tried their personal searching bag of tricks, they come up empty, and they need assistance finding it.

Seeing that process in public is satisfying. Someone has a specific problem, others chime in with suggestions, and most of the time the person finds their bit of info. If the information is also of interest to you it's even better. You get randomly referred to a link you might not have seen otherwise and you get a sense that there is justice in the universe.

Lazyweb, go!

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