Content curation strategies in Refinder: Filtering

A platform to collect and manage large inventories of information is only as good as its filtering tools. Remember the “It’s Not Information Overload. It’s Filter Failure” quote by Clay Shirky.Talking about "filters" or "filtering" in the context of an online application like Refinder addresses all mechanisms, which help you to narrow the information inventory down to a desired and manageable range of results, while suppressing the rest.  Refinder holds a couple of those mechanisms ready, and they include, in the broadest sense, seemingly different features like Search, Tagging or Relating, which all are means to achieve some sort of filtering outcomes. 

In a narrower sense, Refinder explicitly offers its "Filter" functionality in three areas of the application:
  • Filtering in the "Things" view
  • Filtering in the "Collections" view
  • Filtering in the search results view  
These three are Refinder's filtering functionalities, which I am going to examine a little bit deeper in this second slice of my "Content curation strategies in Refinder" series.
Filtering in the "Things" view
The "Things" filter applies to the entire universe of your Things.
Click "Things" in the top menu and find the "Filter" button on the right side of the light-blue area above of your list of individual Things. 
When clicked, the blue area expands and unveils the actual filtering zone, the Filter Panel.
Filtering in the "Collections" view
The second occurence of Refinders filtering tool applies to all Things assigned into a Collection.
Open a particular collection, activate the "Filter & Sort" button to expand the Filter Panel.
Use the arrow buttons to move the entire filter panel to the left or right to gain access to all filters.
 Filtering in the search results view  
The combination of a search process and a filtering process is an extremely powerful way to further narrow down bulky search results.
Perform a search first, followed by calling up the search panel on the search results page.
How to apply filters
The application of filters in the Filter Panel happens consistently in all three situations.
Once the Filter Panel is expanded, you gain access to the available filters. The filters are located in multiple columns, titled e.g. "Owner", "Related Things", "Collection" or "Type".
  • If you want to e.g. filter for the Things of a particular Owner, click on the user name in the "Owner" column.
  • Similar, if you want to filter for a particular Thing type, select it in the "Type" column.
  • Filter by "Collection" to retain only Things available within a particular collection in the filtered subset
  • Filter for e.g. RSS items or Tweets in the "Data source" column
The filtering process is responsive to the filters you set:
  • a selected filter is highlighted through a dark-blue background
  • at the same time, you see the selected filter appear at the bottom of the filter panel
  • all other filtered-out options fade out
  • the list of Things refreshes to display the filtering result 
Combine multiple filters to finetune the filtering result. 
Remove an active filter with the "x" button.
Close the filter panel with the "x" button in the upper right corner. 
Use the "Sort" options to change the order of filtered Things.
A final pro tip
You can preserve a filtered subset of Things with the "Create collection from search results" button.
This function  generates a new collection which contains exactly all the Things resulting from the filtered search. 

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