How interesting. Lifehacker, den of PIM hobbyists, links to a Fleshbot post asking: How do you organize your porn?. The post currently has 49 comments. Personal Porn Management, a subactivity of PIM.

Don’t click on that last link if you are in a place where it is inappropriate to view porn. Or if you just think porn is inappropriate in general. There are some photos and ads. Of course, given the topic, one of the photos just had to be “a librarian.”


  1. Here is another example of people who are enthusiastic about a topic and/or activity engaging in meta-level information processes: stepping back and thinking about managing the information related to said topic/activity. It is clear from the comments that some people have thought a whole lot about organizing and managing their collections.
  2. Unsurprisingly, you see the same patterns you see in other PIM. You have the save nothing people who delete anything they download after a week. You have the save everything people who build collections.
  3. And when I say they build collections, I mean some really big collections. Several people have collections of hundreds of gigabytes. One person reports a 9 terabyte collection!
  4. You have pilers (I dump it all in a folder) and you have filers (all arranged or accessible by categories).
  5. You see the same kinds of fragmentation problems as in PIM in general: fragmentation by format (image, video, etc) and location (on hard drive, on remote server, on dvds, on hosted photo sharing service, on web and I keep a bookmark to it).
  6. Some of the people who are into organizing their collections are really into organizing their collections. Someone posted their classification scheme. My favorite is the 9TB person, who concludes the description of the elaborate organization system and custom built search apps used (emphasis mine):

    I actually don’t have much difficulty remembering where I’ve put things, even through 9TB of data (that’s 150x more stuff than the guy with 60GB) and even without my little search tool. The whole project of constructing this system has really been an ongoing project to teach myself about Enterprise-level data storage and information retrieval. There’s a whole system of failsafes and backups that I’m not even talking about.

  7. A major difference between PPM and PIM is, of course, some of the attributes of information used to organize collections.

I must admit that once upon a time this did briefly cross my mind as a dissertation topic. I knew what I wanted to study but hadn’t decided what context I wanted to study it in. I have an interest in the characteristics, organization, and availability of sex-related, sex education, and reproductive health information–information fraught with political and moral judgment. I also had a hunch that there was a lot of PIM stuff going on here, some of which is very different from other PIM and therefore interesting. There is a small number of studies around this topic already, but of course they focus on information seeking.

But then I thought about the reality of spending a year or more of my life thinking about people’s porn collections and it seemed rather depressing.

I’m glad to see there appears to be something to my hunches, though.

It took me forever to write this post because I was paranoid about making some horrid accidental double-entendre. I’m sure Simon will find at least one anyway.

And now I wonder what interesting searches will bring people to this post… I don’t think using “pr0n” instead really does anything to help.

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