Relevancy in a life’s worth of data 21:16 on Friday

The Wayback Machine
The Wayback Machine
Originally uploaded by Newell the Jewell.

When you can store all your data from the duration of your whole life, how does it change what data is considered relevant?

First of all, a huge amount of data will require an interface based on search, either free text search or maybe a directed search, such as tags presented as a hierarchy.

With tens of years of data, how does relevancy change by age of data?

Should the search be limited only to the most recent data by default?

How often do you think you would need to change the age limit of relevancy? What kind of user interfaces could support changing the limit effortlessly?

Or should the limit be a “soft limit”, in a way that older, less relevant items would be less obviously presented, yet still present in search results? And how would those look “less obvious”?

I would hate to see a list of tens of thousands of items each time I searched for something, even if I knew the relevant items were at the top.

It’s the dilemma of the desktop terabyte.

Update: More on the same elsewhere: what happens when your life gets lost?

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