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Definition & Some Description: archiving properly is a long-term process, very short outlining in Wikipedia here. It contains different phases such as creation, pre-prosessing, investigation and archival decision or /dev/null. Even archiving different material may be different. In mil, they may use more stricter rules for their EADs while in more casual locations just spontane archival. Now the archiving in SE is surely quite different to traditional archiving with finding-aids, certain conditions and such things. But if you think this a bit it is quite similar: kill repetion, delegate issues (here now over different sites), organize things to few things (because people can concentrate on few things),... now it is absurd to imagine some SE arhieve personnel to really handle this -- and "search engines" will find hard time to spot this kind of links often structured in archieving. Often, only the creator has the necessary info about the material or it requires monotone work by archival personnel. Now I am suggesting here a proactive feature to help this process. It is not surely the only thing but to really come up with some perfect archival tools is absurd, often the best thing to do is just /dev/null when the original info about the material was lost. Now this issue is to some extent just "visualization" -problem but there are surely other things I cannot now see. Not easy thing to do but when implemented with necessary expertise, it could certainly make some better sense to profiles -- perhaps one way to do this spontaneously would be to make linked questions in profile automatically under the header question (and some small sign to unroll it).

Now why to add any "archival" clutter? I think the archival clutter is needed if we really want to face the current problem with accumulating junk, particularly with older accounts. Perhaps the best way to this problem is as the nature works: as the old dies, it will automatically make space for the young. Here, it may mean to kill your old account and create a new fresh account at the same time but I feel this as an overkill. It is not natural and losing things may not be an option to many users.

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This picture is my surrealistic view about the current situation in some sites. A massive amount of clutter that we are supposed to manage with simple next/backward/click -- very unintuitive! It would be cool if users could hide things also in their profiles a bit similarly as in the current landing page (perhaps this is like the Gmail -archival thing but it may also contain other things, it is surely much more clear with worknig demos!). Anyway have fun and hopefully we get this problem solved or I am getting ill to this mess.

Like in physical archiving, it is often hard to justify its purpose before. It is extremely hard to justify it due to the lack of information such as balance sheet. I just feel that better understanding in "proactive archiving" is the way to go, not the "sailing archiving" (perhaps current form in SE, sorry I am not not sure about English jargon here but the onomatopoetic terms should clear to natives). We are just "big family", who cares about the clutter? Now let users to create some order like some people may do with tar-balls-etc while programming and using tree/find -utilities or to let users to act as before? I think it is both, in a way, my suggestion is just a visual thing but in a way also more serious tools against data-management problem. In a way, I am also just asking how you manage your profile things such as favorites?

Personally, I am lost with this thing -- perhaps I will just ask Jeff kill some of my questions but I would like to have some non-slave better way (Jeff and me have surely other things to do than just kill posts), perhaps visual hide mode/archieval thing as suggested in comments, I don't know but I do know that I cannot manage my account for a very long time because there are too much stuff! It is a mess and a very time-consuming process to manage the data to even get some real "information", information is now in quotes because it is hard to speak about information currently. It is a mess and we need some ideas to manage data (perhaps just small visual changes, I don't know -- it is easier to say with working demos). Hope we could get some order to this as partially crafted by this artwork, there are odd labels for all kind of things but if you really look close to things, things are not actually that clear. Pressing and even finding one label is not easy among all king of other junk labels -- and even the stuff under the label may not be well-labeled. Prioritize.

I have a massive list of favorites gathered. It would be cool if there was some $tar -cvzf myXYZfavs.tgz ./Questions/xyz.* property to manage them, perhaps just some visual "to hide" -property (referred as Gmail -property in comments) or some layout/visualization thing? It is important for data management, to filter some meaningful information. Possible?

If there is no need for such, I would like to know how other people are managing their posts etc. Do you download the data dump and work with it or do you do it in some other way?

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I don't really understand what that feature you're suggesting would do. Care to elaborate? –  Mat Jan 8 '12 at 11:41
    
@Mat: sorry I cannot understand what you mean. I find unintuitive to do anything with my posts and favs. It would be nice to get some speed-up UI design, perhaps there are already some app or something -- no idea. Archival is a process and it requires good tools, specifying formats etc. Perhaps, this is with too many bells and whistles hence asked "how other people are managing --"? –  user131971 Jan 8 '12 at 11:46
    
So you want "things to manage favorites", but don't know exactly what "things" you'd like? –  Mat Jan 8 '12 at 11:48
    
@Mat: actually I have a feeling how to do that in EAD etc -- to organize them in a more systematic fashion. Currently, everything is just "datadump" -- it would be useful to process richer information (I know there may be reasons not to do this, to lose users, but I want just some order to my posts and favs etc). Everything is not questions-and-answers but there are links here-and-there, sometimes hard for outsiders to see. Yes, it would be cool to have it over all SE sites so easier to manage things...with many SE -things. –  user131971 Jan 8 '12 at 11:49
    
Are you interested just in a way to shorten your favorite list, or for archival of your favorite questions? –  Time Traveling Bobby Jan 8 '12 at 11:53
    
@Bobby: I think both of the things you mention fall into the definition of "process" in archieval. It needs to be enough fast and easy to do to have some use. When you think this a bit more, you may realize that it may become handy time-to-time to have your controlled "time-machine" to your profile. You are in evolution, you need feedback how you improved -- to get better. This issue surely has no one solution but many small things to do. The bad thing is ofc that SO would become some data-storage but currently it is more than data-storage because it is so dxmn slow to archieve/finding-aid.. –  user131971 Jan 8 '12 at 11:57
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I fear your question is very unclear, can you please reformulate and extend it? –  Time Traveling Bobby Jan 8 '12 at 12:12
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Gmail kind of uses "to archive" as "keep out of sight". Is that what you want? And apart from plain back up, Apple also promotes their Time Machine as a possibility to put one's account back in time; I doubt that's what you're after? Maybe you're simply talking about backup? –  Arjan Jan 8 '12 at 12:52
    
@Bobby: I surely did mistakes in writing the stuff in one go but hopefully you can now get a more sense to this mess. Perhaps, the archiving could be just "to hide" in some visual mode but in normal mode something else such as better bells-whistles to handle the data-management problem. Yes, this problem can be solved by having no change to the current design but to create other layers to manage the info, perhaps a bit like in Vi's modes. Perhaps, this could be down with some app -- and some shortcuts but I am skeptical, anyway some description, it is hard to describe this in a few lines! –  user131971 Jan 8 '12 at 14:02
    
@Arjan: yes perhaps or/and different modes but the goal is probably clear to everyone, less stuff and more relevant stuff -- or/and more accessible stuff or/and visually-pleasing stuff. How can I hide the less important stuff? And how can I manage/process it? No way -- perhaps that is by purpose because it makes information exportion also harder and very monotone buz. –  user131971 Jan 8 '12 at 14:14
    
If this thing is done poorly, it can seriously backfire if people are starting to use SO as "data storage", more about the concern here. But even now it can backfire if people are unable to get junk stuff out when really needed. Also intrinsically this is just about "prioritization" (nothing to do with "data-storage", actually totally opposite in this view), it will surely make things more clear if people could spontaneously prioritize stuff done visually, modularly or some other way. –  user131971 Jan 8 '12 at 14:21

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