Chapter 7. Hunters Gather

Collecting can be a way of achieving personal identity and a nurturing hob-by to make one feel good, safe and loved. Collecting can provide a method of predictability and bring a sense of security to one’s life. When people collect they have a sense of belonging to something, days look brighter and they feel more important.

Sheldon S. Greenberg


One of the inherent human activities is collecting. Whether it’s photographs to remind one of an experience, or physical objects, such as stamps, books, or figurines of owls, most people collect something. This behavior has translated easily into online spaces.

People will share what they find or have collected, and, like a trophy case in the home, they will display those collections for others to see, envy, and borrow. Eventually they have conversations around them.

Collecting can be divided into a few related activities: Saving, marking Favorites, Tagging, and Displaying. Saving and Favorites are similar in that the user action involves saving a URL or visual pointer to an item on a website. The difference lies in whether the host site (the repository) is also the owner of the content being saved. Favorites are generally markers for content on the site hosting the item, whereas Saving involves being able to save anything from anywhere to a third-party site or widget. An additional distinction that may be made between Saving and Favoriting is how integral the collection is to the site. In many cases, Favorites ...

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