I don't talk as much about social bookmarking as I used to. Even for me, it's in the shadow of those few lumbering social software giants. In my own defense, it really is hard to tear your attention away from the headlines -- to stop slurping the kool-aide-of-the-day. It's an artifact of the dark side of the social force.

Of course, I've never stopped bookmarking. I could no sooner do that than I could go without my browser. It's fully integrated and completely automatic. Still, just a couple of days ago, I received an email that reminded of how potent a tool it remains.

Here's the deal...

I received an email from a colleague. She'd uncovered a post, a little over a year old, called Community ROI. When I opened the page, I had to smile. Kathy Sierra. Been a while. Like almost every other post ever written for Creating Passionate Users, it contained some great advice.

I'm certain I'd read that post before. Positive, in fact. But I'd forgotten about it. I'd forgotten some of the advice it contained. I began to wonder what else I'd forgotten. So I visited one of my social bookmarking services (I use several), and began to browse my own collection.

Wow. I have to do that more often. Really.

It became clear that I retain only a fraction of what I read. And, that I don't always read everything I tag. Anyway, exploring my older tagged material was far more rewarding than I would have imagined. Aside from an engaging few hours of nostalgia, I (re)learned a thing or two I'll likely be putting into practice in the near future. Below are some of the pages I turned up. Be warned, my tastes are my own, your mileage may vary:

Sure, some of the information, and most of the opinions, were dated -- already. But there was much that was not. Perhaps more importantly, I think there are ideas throughout that were never even tried, or were surfaced poorly, or were just too far ahead of their time to succeed. Remember, a winning idea is rarely such due exclusively to properties of its own. Winning ideas have to be recognized as such by the people in the context in which they're offered. Seeds don't grow just anywhere.

Next Saturday morning, I'll dig a little deeper into what I used to know, or almost knew, or might have known, and see what other gems I can unearth. I may have to make a habit of it.

Should you find yourself mining your own collections, please feel free to share...