Eliminating Folders: Progress or Hindrance?

Insdie Google points to Lee Gomes’s article “Folders That Now Seem So Yesterday May Be Very Handy Tomorrow” in today’s The Wall Street Journal arguing that Google and others, revolutionizing individual computing by eliminating folders, are actually making things less useful, not more. Gomes admits that while folders and subfolders, arranged in a neat hierarchy, don’t work very well for the Web, they still contain utility when organizing e-mails or files on our own computer.

The money line is “Like a hammer seeing everything as a nail, Google seems to see everything as a problem to be solved by search.”

The counter-argument for this maintains the utilization of Google’s search interface allows you to find more or less anything on your hard drive without knowing the precise name or location, freeing us from what Tim Berners-Lee has described as the “straitjacket of hierarchical documentation systems.”

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