60 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. FluentFelicityOp · 12hBrilliant... I must ask you to share a little of your story. What brought you to have learned this much history and philosophy?

      I've always had history and philosophy around me from a relatively young age. Some of this stems from a practice of mnemonics since I was eleven and a more targeted study of the history and philosophy of mnemonics over the past decade. Some of this overlaps areas like knowledge acquisition and commonplace books which I've delved into over the past 6 years. I have a personal website that serves to some extent as a digital commonplace book and I've begun studying and collecting examples of others who practice similar patterns (see: https://indieweb.org/commonplace_book and a selection of public posts at https://boffosocko.com/tag/commonplace-books/) in the blogosphere and wiki space. As a result of this I've been watching the digital gardens space and the ideas relating to Zettelkasten for the past several years as well. If you'd like to go down a similar rabbit hole I can recommend some good books.

    1. The goal of Quartz is to make hosting your own public digital garden free and simple. You don’t even need your own website. Quartz does all of that for you and gives your own little corner of the internet. https://github.com/jackyzha0/quartz

      Quartz runs on top of Hugo so all notes are written in Markdown .

    1. There's apparently a product that will turn one's Roam Research notes into a digital garden.

      Great to see a bridge for making these things easier for the masses, but I have to think that there's a better and cheaper way. Perhaps some addition competition in the space will help bring the price down.

    1. An example of a digital garden.

      One of the missing pieces for many of these is a starting point for entry. Notice that in this example he has a link to his Junk Food article to get people started.

      Tables of contents can be a useful or important UI feature that is sometimes missing in these.

    1. There is no pressure to publish a perfect post in digital gardens as notes grow over time just like plants in a garden.

      There is no "theoretical pressure", however it still exists. The goal is to minimize it, to move beyond it.

    2. Publication Dates are not important to Digital Gardeners. Posts are connected via references or common themes.

      I would argue against this. Many digital gardeners use publication dates and even last updated dates on their posts. Time in particular can be an incredibly important datum with regard to providing useful context to one's content.

  2. Jul 2021
    1. Which makes them similar to “commonplace”: reusable in many places. But this connotation has led to a pejorative flavor of the German translation “Gemeinplatz” which means platitude. That’s why I prefer to call them ‘evergreen’ notes, although I am not sure if I am using this differentiation correctly.

      I've only run across the German "Gemeinplatz" a few times with this translation attached. Sad to think that this negative connotation has apparently taken hold. Even in English the word commonplace can have a somewhat negative connotation as well meaning "everyday, ordinary, unexceptional" when the point of commonplacing notes is specifically because they are surprising or extraordinary by definition.

      Your phrasing of "evergreen notes" seems close enough. I've seen some who might call the shorter notes you're making either "seedlings" or "budding" notes. Some may wait for bigger expansions of their ideas into 500-2000 word essays before they consider them "evergreen" notes. (Compare: https://maggieappleton.com/garden-history and https://notes.andymatuschak.org/Evergreen_notes). Of course this does vary quite a bit from person to person in my experience, so your phrasing certainly fits.

      I've not seen it crop up in the digital gardens or zettelkasten circles specifically but the word "evergreen" is used in the journalism space) to describe a fully formed article that can be re-used wholesale on a recurring basis. Usually they're related to recurring festivals, holidays, or cyclical stories like "How to cook the perfect Turkey" which might get recycled a week before Thanksgiving every year.

    1. Is it useful to the person writing to know that what’s written may be readable by others and that spurs deeper thought in reflection – or is that more blog-like than note-like?

      I often find that doing the work in public ups the quality and effort I put into the thing because I know there's at least the off-hand chance that someone else might read it.

      Generally this means a better contextualized product for myself when I come back to revisit it later, even if no one else saw it. Without it, sometimes my personal scribbles don't hold up when I revisit them, and I can't tell what I had originally intended because I didn't flesh out the idea enough.

    1. Revisiting this essay to review it in the framing of digital gardens.

      In a "gardens and streams" version of this metaphor, the stream is flow and the garden is stock.

      This also fits into a knowledge capture, growth, and innovation framing. The stream are small atomic ideas flowing by which may create new atomic ideas. These then need to be collected (in a garden) where they can be nurtured and grow into new things.

      Clippings of these new growth can be placed back into the stream to move on to other gardeners. Clever gardeners will also occasionally browse through the gardens of others to see bigger picture versions of how their gardens might become.

      Proper commonplacing is about both stock and flow. The unwritten rule is that one needs to link together ideas and expand them in places either within the commonplace or external to it: essays, papers, articles, books, or other larger structures which then become stock for others.

      While some creators appear to be about all stock in the modern era, it's just not true. They're consuming streams (flow) from other (perhaps richer) sources (like articles, books, television rather than social media) and building up their own stock in more private (or at least not public) places. Then they release that article, book, film, television show which becomes content stream for others.

      While we can choose to create public streams, but spending our time in other less information dense steams is less useful. Better is to keep a reasonably curated stream to see which other gardens to go visit.

      Currently is the online media space we have structures like microblogs and blogs (and most social media in general) which are reasonably good at creating streams (flow) and blogs, static sites, and wikis which are good for creating gardens (stock).

      What we're missing is a structure with the appropriate and attendant UI that can help us create both a garden and a stream simultaneously. It would be nice to have a wiki with a steam-like feed out for the smaller attendant ideas, but still allow the evolutionary building of bigger structures, which could also be placed into the stream at occasional times.

      I can imagine something like a MediaWiki with UI for placing small note-like ideas into other streams like Twitter, but which supports Webmention so that ideas that come back from Twitter or other consumers of one's stream can be placed into one's garden. Perhaps in a Zettelkasten like way, one could collect atomic notes into their wiki and then transclude those ideas into larger paragraphs and essays within the same wiki on other pages which might then become articles, books, videos, audio, etc.

      Obsidian, Roam Research do a somewhat reasonable job on the private side and have some facility for collecting data, but have no UI for sharing out into streams.

    1. In another talk, one in which he also spoke of control and surrender, he developed another contrast, between creativity-as-architecture and creativity-as-gardening:
    2. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Alan Jacobs</span> in the blog garden – Snakes and Ladders (<time class='dt-published'>07/01/2021 09:15:23</time>)</cite></small>

    3. Alan Jacobs seems to be delving into the area of thought spaces provided by blogs and blogging.

      In my view, they come out of a cultural tradition of commonplace books becoming digital and more social in the the modern era. Jacobs is obviously aware of the idea of Zettelkasten, but possibly hasn't come across the Sonke Ahrens' book on smart notes or the conceptualization of the "digital garden" stemming from Mike Caulfield's work.

      He's also acquainted with Robin Sloane, though it's unclear if he's aware of the idea of Stock and Flow.

    4. So after much reflection, I have decided that the way to get there is by planting a new bed in my blog garden.

      A mixture of a blog and a digital garden?

    1. And essentially the idea there is that one is making a kind of music in the way that one might make a garden.  One is carefully constructing seeds, or finding seeds, carefully planting them and then letting them have their life.  And that life isn't necessarily exactly what you'd envisaged for them.  It's characteristic of the kind of work that I do that I'm really not aware of how the final result is going to look or sound.  So in fact, I'm deliberately constructing systems that will put me in the same position as any other member of the audience.  I want to be surprised by it as well.  And indeed, I often am. What this means, really, is a rethinking of one's own position as a creator.  You stop thinking of yourself as me, the controller, you the audience, and you start thinking of all of us as the audience, all of us as people enjoying the garden together.  Gardener included.  So there's something in the notes to this thing that says something about the difference between order and disorder.  It's in the preface to the little catalog we have.  Which I take issue with, actually, because I think it isn't the difference between order and disorder, it's the difference between one understanding of order and how it comes into being, and a newer understanding of how order comes into being.
    2. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Alan Jacobs</span> in control and surrender, architecture and gardening – Snakes and Ladders (<time class='dt-published'>07/01/2021 09:49:29</time>)</cite></small>

  3. Jun 2021
    1. I've run into Phil Jones in the digital gardens telegram group, but not looked very closely at [[Cardigan Bay]] before.

      Based on the idea of teh [[Smallest Federated Wiki]], Cardigan Bay is a wiki engine in Clojure which can be found on GitHub at interstar/cardigan-bay.

      Be sure to invite Jones to [[Gardens and Streams II]].

    1. Example of a digital garden using Obsidian Publish. It's also a guide about how to create your own the same way.

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>u/tanepiper</span> in Obsidian Garden - A in-progress guide to creating your digital garden : ObsidianMD (<time class='dt-published'>06/18/2021 09:02:31</time>)</cite></small>

    1. Too many “Digital Gardens” end up as not much more than a record of someone dicking around with their note-taking workflow for a couple of months.

      I've seen this pattern. I suspect some of the issue is having a clean, useful user interface for actually using the thing instead of spending time setting it up and tweaking it.

    1. Reflecting on how new digital tools have re-invigorated annotation and contributed to the creation of their recent book, they suggest annotation presents a vital means by which academics can re-engage with each other and the wider world.

      I've been seeing some of this in the digital gardening space online. People are actively hosting their annotations, thoughts, and ideas, almost as personal wikis.

      Some are using RSS and other feeds as well as Webmention notifications so that these notebooks can communicate with each other in a realization of Vanmevar Bush's dream.

      Networked academic samizdat anyone?

  4. May 2021
    1. Whether or not digital gardens should follow any standards is an interesting question.

      What features/functionality should a digital garden have? Is there a canonical list yet?

      I wish more supported Webmention to enable the Memex dream...

    1. This runs counter to the time-based structure of traditional blogs: posts presented in reverse chronological order based on publication date.

      Admittedly many blogs primarily operate on time-based order, but it would be fun if more digital gardens provided a most-recently updated feed of their content.

      This particular article is a case in point. I've read it before in an earlier stage and want to follow updates to it. I can subscribe to Maggie's feed, but currently her most recent post in my reader is dated 3 weeks ago. Without seeing a ping from another service to see the notification, I would have missed the significant update to this piece which has prompted me to re-read it for updates on the ideas contained in it.

      Some platforms like MediaWiki do provide feeds for recently updated. My colleague David Shanske has recently updated a WordPress plugin he built so that it provides WordPress sites with a feed for most recent updates, so that one would see not only new content, but also content which is added or updated from the past. As a result, here's his "updated feed" https://david.shanske.com/updated/feed/ which is cleverly useful.

    2. Keeping your garden on the open web also sets you up to take part in the future of gardening. At the moment our gardens are rather solo affairs. We haven't figure out how to make them multi-player. But there's an enthusiastic community of developers and designers trying to fix that. It's hard to say what kind of libraries, frameworks, and design patterns might emerge out of that effort, but it certainly isn't going to happen behind a Medium paywall.

      There are a few of us using Webmention for this. Similarly there are some running open wikis or experiments like Flancian's agora.

    3. One goal of these hyper-personalised gardens is deep contextualisation. The overwhelming lesson of the Web 2.0 social media age is that dumping millions of people together into decontextualised social spaces is a shit show.
    4. Gwern.net was one of the earliest and most consistent gardeners to offer meta-reflections on their work. Each entry comes with:topic tagsstart and end datea stage tag: draft, in progress, or finisheda certainty tag: impossible, unlikely, certain, etc.1-10 importance tagThese are all explained in their website guide, which is worth reading if you're designing your own epistemological system.
    5. Think of it as a spectrum. Things we dump into private WhatsApp group chats, DMs, and cavalier Tweet threads are part of our chaos streams - a continuous flow of high noise / low signal ideas. On the other end we have highly performative and cultivated artefacts like published books that you prune and tend for years.Gardening sits in the middle. It's the perfect balance of chaos and cultivation.

      There's something here that's reminiscent of Craig Mod's essay Post Artifact Books and Publishing.

      Reminder to self: revisit this idea.

    6. The garden helps us move away from time-bound streams and into contextual knowledge spaces.
    7. The conversational feed design of email inboxes, group chats, and InstaTwitBook is fleeting – they're only concerned with self-assertive immediate thoughts that rush by us in a few moments.

      The streamification of the web had already taken hold enough by this point. Anil Dash had an essay in 2012 entitled Stop Publishing Web Pages which underlined this point.

    8. Rory Sutherland (oddly, the vice president of Ogilvy Group)

      His Twitter tag line is: "The Spectator's Wiki Man."

    9. They're not following the conventions of the "personal blog," as we've come to know it.

      There are a number of bloggers who have to some extent, specifically used their blogs for this purpose though. I've documented several at https://boffosocko.com/tag/thought-spaces/

    1. Your new home on the web

      Understory is a digital garden, a micro-publishing space for you to plant the seeds of your ideas and grow them into bi-directionally linked web portals.

      via IndieWeb Chat

  5. Apr 2021
    1. This looks fascinating. I'm not so much interested in the coding/programming part as I am the actual "working in public" portions as they relate to writing, thinking, blogging in the open and sharing that as part of my own learning and growth as well as for sharing that with a broader personal learning network. I'm curious what lessons might be learned within this frame or how educators and journalists might benefit from it.

  6. Feb 2021
  7. Nov 2020
    1. More importantly, both systems assume that writers have full access to the full conversation that prompts them into writing. On Substack, there are too many walls dividing up the garden.
    1. What I'm starting to realize is that I don't seem to be building a “digital garden” with Obsidian. What I'm building seems more of a personal wiki, a personal knowledge-base, a second brain.

      Very insightful and eerily in parallel to my own thoughts regarding my attempt at Digital Gardening with Notion.

  8. Oct 2020
    1. The second article is from Tom Critchlow titled Building a Digital Garden. What I really like about Tom's piece is his discussion of the idea of "non-performative blogging" in your personal space on the web.I love this idea. Instead of "content marketing" we can use our websites to get back to what made the web awesome while also creating better resources for ourselves and our users.

      There's a nice kernel of an idea here that one's website should be built and made (useful) for ones self first and only secondarily for others. This is what makes it a "personal" website.

    1. Personal websites can be so much more than a progression of posts over time, newer posts showing up while everything from the past is neatly tucked on “page 2” and beyond.

      This is an interesting idea and too many CMSes are missing this sort of UI baked into them as a core idea. CMSes could do a better job of doing both: the garden AND the stream

    2. While I lament the loss of some of the artistry of the early web and lay much of the blame at the feet of blogging platforms like WordPress, such platforms also opened the web to far more people who would not have otherwise been able to create a website. Democratizing publishing is a far loftier goal than dropping animated GIFs across personal spaces.

      WordPress has done a lot to democratize publishing and make portions of it easier, but has it gone too far in crystalizing the form of things by not having more wiki-like or curation-based features?

    3. Throughout the platform’s history, end-users have remained at the mercy of their WordPress theme. Most themes are built around what WordPress allows out of the box. They follow a similar formula. Some may have a fancy homepage or other custom page templates. But, on the whole, themes have been primarily built around the idea of a blog. Such themes do not give the user true control over where to place things on their website. While some developers have attempted solutions to this, most have never met the towering goal of putting the power of HTML and CSS into the hands of users through a visual interface. This lack of tools has given rise to page builders and the block editor.

      an apropos criticsm

    1. This principle requires us to expand our definition of “publication” beyond the usual narrow sense. Few people will ever publish their work in an academic journal or even on a blog. But everything that we write down and share with someone else counts: notes we share with a friend, homework we submit to a professor, emails we write to our colleagues, and presentations we deliver to clients all count as knowledge made public.

      This idea underlies the reason why one might want to have a public online commonplace book or digital garden.

    1. This is my digital garden, so you might something you didn’t expect from time to time.

      an example

    1. I love the general idea of where he's going here and definitively want something exactly like this.

      The closest thing I've been able to find in near-finished form is having a public TiddlyWiki with some IndieWeb features. Naturally there's a lot I would change, but for the near term a mixture of a blog and a wiki is what more of us need.

      I love the recontextualization of the swale that he proposes here to fit into the extended metaphor of the garden and the stream.