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  2. Jun 2022
    1. Third, sharing our ideas with others introduces a major element ofserendipity

      There is lots of serendipity here, particularly when people are willing to either share their knowledge or feel compelled to share it as part of an imagined life "competition" or even low forms of mansplaining, though this last tends to be called this when the ultimate idea isn't serendipitous but potentially so commonly known that there is no insight in the information.

      This sort of "public serendipity" or "group serendipity" is nice because it means that much of the work of discovery and connecting ideas is done by others against your own work rather that you sorting/searching through your own more limited realm of work to potentially create it.

      Group focused combinatorial creativity can be dramatically more powerful than that done on one's own. This can be part of the major value behind public digital gardens, zettelkasten, etc.

    2. Third, sharing our ideas with others introduces a major element ofserendipity. When you present an idea to another person, theirreaction is inherently unpredictable. They will often be completelyuninterested in an aspect you think is utterly fascinating; they aren’tnecessarily right or wrong, but you can use that information eitherway. The reverse can also happen. You might think something isobvious, while they find it mind-blowing. That is also usefulinformation. Others might point out aspects of an idea you neverconsidered, suggest looking at sources you never knew existed, orcontribute their own ideas to make it better. All these forms offeedback are ways of drawing on not only your first and SecondBrains, but the brains of others as well.

      I like that he touches on one of the important parts of the gardens and streams portion of online digital gardens here, though he doesn't tacitly frame it this way.

    3. knowledge garden

      a nod to digital gardens

    4. Favorites or bookmarks saved from the web or social media

      The majority of content one produces in social media is considered "throw away" material. One puts it in the stream of flotsam and jetsam and sets it free down the river never to be seen or used again. We treat too much of our material and knowledge this way.

    1. https://briansunter.com/graph/#/page/logseq-social

      Brian Sunter (twitter) using Logseq as a social network platform.

      What simple standards exist here? Could this more broadly and potentially be used to connect personal wikis, digital gardens, zettelkasten, etc?

      Note that in this thread Dave Winer asks about how it can be tied into other standardized pieces to interconnect?

      How can I hook my outlines into your net if I’m not running Logseq?

      — dave.rss (@davewiner) June 13, 2022
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
    1. https://christiantietze.de/posts/2020/05/digital-gardening/

      Christian Tietze's take on digital gardens from 2020-05-19, when they were still very nascent as a topic breaking into the mainstream.

    2. The summary of Hoy’s post makes a point similar to Caulfield’s piece, but more pronounced: the wide-spread adoption of the blog format killed gardens. The dichotomy is the same; here, we also have a causality of demise.

      The blog killed online gardens in some sense because of it's time-ordered stream of content. While it was generally a slower moving stream than that of social media platforms like Twitter which came later, it was still a stream.

    1. Many are very proud of their digital gardens. Most topics relate to general knowledge and trivia, but some deep dive into technical areas.Many summarize books and post excerpts of books read on Kindle via apps such as Readwise. Most of the books being reviewed are on productivity, are in English, and are ranking high on Amazon, which is why most of the note sharers review exactly the same books (Almost inevitably we find Atomic Habits, Sapiens, Show Your Work and of course How to Take Smart Notes among others)Their websites have a very clean, minimalist look. Lately many are hosted on Ghost, or self-designed, and possibly looking like mine does now (I like the sleek design).

      Anecdotal evidence of one person's experience within the realm of digital gardeners.

      Odd that they indicate Ghost as a primary platform. That hasn't been my experience. Many seem to be using SSG platforms.

    2. Note Sharers aka Digital Gardeners aka Second Brainers

      Example of a writer who wholly conflates "note sharers" with "digital gardners" and the "second brain" crowd.

      It's likely that these words and terminology have all become conflated due to ambiguous use.

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWkwOefBPZY

      Some of the basic outline of this looks like OER (Open Educational Resources) and its "five Rs": Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix and/or Redistribute content. (To which I've already suggested the sixth: Request update (or revision control).

      Some of this is similar to:

      The Read Write Web is no longer sufficient. I want the Read Fork Write Merge Web. #osb11 lunch table. #diso #indieweb [Tantek Çelik](http://tantek.com/2011/174/t1/read-fork-write-merge-web-osb110

      Idea of collections of learning as collections or "playlists" or "readlists". Similar to the old tool Readlist which bundled articles into books relatively easily. See also: https://boffosocko.com/2022/03/26/indieweb-readlists-tools-and-brainstorming/

      Use of Wiki version histories

      Some of this has the form of a Wiki but with smaller nuggets of information (sort of like Tiddlywiki perhaps, which also allows for creating custom orderings of things which had specific URLs for displaying and sharing them.) The Zettelkasten idea has some of this embedded into it. Shared zettelkasten could be an interesting thing.

      Data is the new soil. A way to reframe "data is the new oil" but as a part of the commons. This fits well into the gardens and streams metaphor.

      Jerry, have you seen Matt Ridley's work on Ideas Have Sex? https://www.ted.com/talks/matt_ridley_when_ideas_have_sex Of course you have: https://app.thebrain.com/brains/3d80058c-14d8-5361-0b61-a061f89baf87/thoughts/3e2c5c75-fc49-0688-f455-6de58e4487f1/attachments/8aab91d4-5fc8-93fe-7850-d6fa828c10a9

      I've heard Jerry mention the idea of "crystallization of knowledge" before. How can we concretely link this version with Cesar Hidalgo's work, esp. Why Information Grows.

      Cross reference Jerry's Brain: https://app.thebrain.com/brains/3d80058c-14d8-5361-0b61-a061f89baf87/thoughts/4bfe6526-9884-4b6d-9548-23659da7811e/notes

  3. May 2022
    1. Thus, the sensitive seismographer of avant-garde develop-ments, Walter Benjamin, logically conceived of this scenario in 1928, of communicationwith card indices rather than books: “And even today, as the current scientific methodteaches us, the book is an archaic intermediate between two different card indexsystems. For everything substantial is found in the slip box of the researcher who wroteit and the scholar who studies in it, assimilated into its own card index.” 47
      1. Walter Benjamin, Einbahnstra ß e, in Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 4 (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1928/1981), 98 – 140, at 103.

      Does Walter Benjamin prefigure the idea of card indexes conversing with themselves in a communicative method similar to that of Vannevar Bush's Memex?

      This definitely sounds like the sort of digital garden inter-communication afforded by the Anagora as suggested by @Flancian.

    1. for personal wiki and how to build knowledge (and even creation) out of streams you might want to check into @fortelabs's stuff. possibly a good link between streams and gardens and back.

      Evidence that Tiago should be aware that Le Cunff didn't coin "digital garden" in 2020.

    1. notes that when you don't tend to your digital garden, people come along, think your work is weeds, and pull it from existence.

      Oldest reference to digital garden on Twitter

      notes that when you don't tend to your digital garden, people come along, think your work is weeds, and pull it from existence.

      — Matthew Oliphant (@matto) February 19, 2007
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
    1. tending to the digital garden.

      Second earliest reference to digital garden on Twitter

      tending to the digital garden.

      — seansalmon.ugh 🤷‍♂️ (@seanaes) October 1, 2007
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
    1. Other popular terms for such a system include Zettelkasten (meaning “slipbox” in German, coined by influential sociologist Niklas Luhmann), Memex (aword invented by American inventor Vannevar Bush), and digital garden(named by popular online creator Anne-Laure Le Cunff)

      Zettelkasten existed prior to Niklas Luhmann, who neither invented them nor coined their name.

      The earliest concept of a digital garden stems from Mark Bernstein's essay Hypertext Gardens: Delightful Vistas in 1998.

      Anne-Laure Le Cunff's first mention of "digital garden" was on April 21, 2020

      Progress on my digital garden / evergreen notebook inspired by @andy_matuschak🌱<br><br>Super grateful for @alyssaxuu who's been literally handholding me through the whole thing — thank you! pic.twitter.com/ErzvEsdAUj

      — Anne-Laure Le Cunff (@anthilemoon) April 22, 2020
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      Which occurred after Maggie Appleton's mention on 2020-04-15 https://twitter.com/Mappletons/status/1250532315459194880

      Nerding hard on digital gardens, personal wikis, and experimental knowledge systems with @_jonesian today.<br><br>We have an epic collection going, check these out...<br><br>1. @tomcritchlow's Wikifolders: https://t.co/QnXw0vzbMG pic.twitter.com/9ri6g9hD93

      — Maggie Appleton 🧭 (@Mappletons) April 15, 2020
      <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

      And several days after Justin Tadlock on 2020-04-17 https://wptavern.com/on- digital-gardens-blogs-personal-spaces-and-the-future

      Before this there was Joel Hooks by at least 2020-02-04 https://web.archive.org/web/20200204180025/https://joelhooks.com/digital-garden, though he had been thinking about it in late 2019: https://github.com/joelhooks/joelhooks-com/blob/36c21b34f02ade14d4e67915ff412462030282cd/content/blog/2019-12-08--on-writing-more~~qG38AKqxq/index.mdx

      He was predated by Tom Critchlow on 2018-10-18 https://tomcritchlow.com/blogchains/digital-gardens/ who quotes Mike Caulfield's article from 2015-10-17 as an influence https://hapgood.us/2015/10/17/the-garden-and-the-stream-a-technopastoral/amp/

      Archive.org has versions going back into the early 2000's: https://web.archive.org/web/*/%22digital%20garden%22

    1. Surprised me, where the inspiration has always been Mister Sellars Garden in Tad Williams' Otherland, with those overtones of bots and bugs and beetles and pollination and vines and layering propagation.

      Other inspirations for digital gardens: Tad Williams' Otherland - Mister Sellars Garden

  4. Apr 2022
    1. in reality pretty much everyone out there has some messiness in their graph and that's okay

      Newcomers to note taking practice using tools like Roam Research, Obsidian, Logseq, et al. often see very nice and clean-cut toy examples of note collections which are impeccably linked and maintained. This may also be the case for those who publish their notes (or portions thereof) in public settings on the web. In reality, this sort of rigidness and beautifully manicured practice almost never happens. There are varying levels of messiness in actual people's notes. Beginners should be aware of this and not hold themselves to too high a standard and use this as an excuse not to practice and get their work done.

    1. https://blog.kowalczyk.info/

      <small><cite class='h-cite ht'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Dave Gauer</span> in Inspiration for the virtual box of cards - ratfactor (<time class='dt-published'>02/27/2022 14:21:56</time>)</cite></small>

    1. https://wiki.nikitavoloboev.xyz/

      <small><cite class='h-cite ht'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Dave Gauer</span> in Inspiration for the virtual box of cards - ratfactor (<time class='dt-published'>02/27/2022 14:21:56</time>)</cite></small>

    1. To read through my life, even as an incomplete picture, fits the permanence I’m envisioning for the site.

      If one thinks of a personal website as a performance, what is really being performed by the author?

      Links and cross links, well done, within a website can provide a garden of forking paths by which a particular reader might explore a blog despite the fact that there is often a chronological time order imposed upon it.

      Link this to the idea of using a zettelkasten as a biography of a writer, but one with thousands of crisscrossing links.

    2. But in thinking about providing a permanent home for my writing on the web, this kind of chronology isn’t very useful. Who cares that I wrote this post in 2015, and this one in 2017? Organizing posts that way is only useful if someone is reading along as the collection is being written. For a permanent writing home, with writing from a year ago as well as writing from ten years ago, chronological order isn’t that useful. Who’s going to sift through a hundred pages of old posts?

      Part of the question about the ordering of posts on a website comes down first to what the actual content is. Is it posts, pages, articles about particular topics, short notes?

      Most blogs typically default to a particular time ordered display, but also provide search and archives for content by topical headings (tags/categories) as well. Digital gardens and wikis are set up with no particular hierarchies and one is encouraged to wander. Most social media notes and photos are created in a time only order.

      There aren't enough online zettelkasten yet to look at what that might entail, though affordances there are likely to be similar to that of digital gardens which let you pick out something via keyword and then follow links from one thing to the next.

      These are interesting questions for publishers as much as they are from anticipating what one's intended or imagined audience might be looking for.

    1. https://winnielim.org/essays/tending-to-my-garden/

      Though intended perhaps to lean more towards gardening oneself into mental health, I read this from the perspective of cultivating and tending a digital garden, which for me is a fun and relaxing practice.

    2. Oliver Sacks wrote that gardens are powerful in healing us.

      Oliver Sacks wrote:

      I cannot say exactly how nature exerts its calming and organizing effects on our brains, but I have seen in my patients the restorative and healing powers of nature and gardens, even for those who are deeply disabled neurologically. In many cases, gardens and nature are more powerful than any medication.

      If gardens and potentially tending gardens is restorative, how might we create user interfaces that are calm and gentle enough to make tending one's digital garden a healthful and restorative process for our psyches?

    3. art by @launshae

      I really love this watercolor artwork to represent the idea of a digital garden.

    1. Starting in the Renaissance notes weretreated less as temporary tools than as long-term ones, worthy of considerableinvestment of time and effort, of being saved for reuse and in some cases sharedwith others (collaborators in a project or one’s colleagues or heirs). Collections ofnotes were valued as treasuries or storehouses in which to accumulate informa-tion even if they did not serve an immediate purpose. This stockpiling approachto note-taking also required greater attention to organization and finding devicessince the precise uses to which the notes might be put were not clear from theoutset and the scale of accumulation hampered memorization.

      Summary tk


      Modern note taking has seen a reversion to pre-Renaissance practices in which they're much more temporary tools. Relatively few students take notes with an aim for reusing them past their immediate classroom settings or current term of study.

      The revitalization of the idea of the zettelkasten in the late 2010s seems to be helping to reverse this idea. However, there aren't enough online versions of these sorts of notes which allow them to be used with other publics or even to be used and shared with other collaborators. There are some growing spaces seen in the social media note taking space like the anagora.org or the digital gardens space where this seems to have some potential to take off. There's also a small community on Hypothes.is which seems to be practicing this as well, though direct links between various collections of notes is not commonplace.

  5. Mar 2022
    1. I also maintain a public Zettelkasten (others use the similar terms digital garden or second brain), in which I keep thoughts about everything under the sun. You can visit it to virtually “pick my brain” about some topic without bothering me, or to explore what I’m currently working on.

      Soren Bjornstad has a public zettelkasten which is in the vein of a traditional one though he indicates that others might call it a digital garden or second brain. This shows the conflation of many of these terms.

      What truly differentiates digital gardens from wikis and zettelkasten?

  6. Feb 2022
    1. https://brainbaking.com/post/2021/10/are-digital-gardens-blogs/

      We definitely need better definitions of digital gardens (public or otherwise) to delineate them from blogs, zettelkasten, wikis, social media, and other forms of information exchange.

      Wouter Groeneveld describes some of his thoughts here.

      Link to notes from https://collect.readwriterespond.com/are-digital-gardens-blogs/

    2. I have little use for countless of “collected” links and likes. Published Obisidan Vaults look cool, but the initial excitement wears off pretty quickly.

      Actual public digital gardens, or what I would consider good ones, are exceedingly rare. Even rarer are find ones which have enough subject overlap with my own areas of interest which tends to make them even less directly interesting to me.

      What I wouldn't give to have well tended public digital gardens by people in my areas of interest.

    3. Public digital gardens are overrated. They are very hard to navigate. Time and time again, I get lost in the jungle of mystical links, in the check-ins drowned in the bookmarks and the quotes. Fancy IndieWeb sites that boast 5 separate RSS feeds to “help” navigate the labyrinth do not make it better. I’ve tried following multiple interesting people that pump loads and loads of seemingly cool looking stuff into their site. It always ends in confusion. Yes, sometimes I discover a link to another published article (external to the garden, by the way!) that is interesting. As admiring as the garden is, the things they grow there are almost always puzzling.

      Wouter Groeneveld here is mixing up a digital garden and a blog with social media enhancements. I personally wouldn't expect a digital garden to necessarily have features like checkins, bookmarks, etc. Ideally it would be a mix of of a zettelkasten with atomic ideas and notes and a wiki structure with somewhat longer articles and ideas strung together.

      From this definition, my personal website definitely isn't a "digital garden" but a blog with a variety of social media features built in. Looking at some smaller subsets of my website, one might consider it to be a digital garden.

      An additional piece of digital gardening also has to do with actually tending the garden, which I generally don't do in my website the way I do in my Obsidian vault. My vault is more like a digital garden which has many streams of data coming into it and being regularly tended.

      This is another example of the broader space of these ideas being mixed together in a hodgepodge without clear definitions of what each are.

    4. One of the biggest disadvantages of digital gardens, to me, is exactly the fact that it’s structured. That is, articles—whether they are blog posts or wiki pages do not matter—are still mainly text-based. You can’t quickly draw rectangles or arrows next to your notes. You can’t draw an eukaryote and point to its nucleus to explain that that’s where the DNA chromosome strings are coiled up (sorry, I’ve been doing some yeast cell research). You can’t print photos or cut out parts from newspapers to paste it besides a schematic. You can’t grab your watercolor paint and brighten up a page. You can’t paste your cat’s whisker in your notebook (for research purposes, of course!). You can’t smear out a blueberry or wet tea leaf to try and capture its smell and color.

      A list of disadvantages of digital gardens versus paper-based notebooks.

    1. You can just visually scan the existing cards in the left-hand panel, or do a quick search inside of Scrivener itself. The interface doesn’t just let you to see the forest and the trees of your project. It also lets you see the seedlings.

      Note the use of the word "seedlings" here in a context reminiscent of the metaphor of the digital garden.

    1. You can plant the same seeds as your neighbour,

      I see a lot of literature notes on the same books (Ahrens, Atomic Habits etc) but the notes that build from are always different enough

    2. This freedom of course comes with great responsibility. Publishing imperfect and early ideas requires that we make the status of our notes clear to readers. You should include some indicator of how "done" they are, and how much effort you've invested in them.

      I haven’t done this (yet) in my own digital garden. Maybe because everything feels between seedling and budding. But equally, the digital garden concept frees me from every worrying about status, these notes are for me, you are just welcome to poke around.

    1. It should be recognized that these basic note types are very different than the digital garden framing of 📤 (seedbox), 🌱 (seedling), 🪴 (sapling), 🌲 (evergreen), etc. which are another measure of the growth and expansion of not just one particular idea but potentially multiple ideas over time. These are a project management sort of tool for focusing on the growth of ideas. Within some tools, one might also use graph views and interconnectedness as means of charting this same sort of growth.

      Sönke Ahrens' framing of fleeting note, literature note, and permanent note are a value assignation to the types of each of these notes with respect to generating new ideas and writing.

  7. Jan 2022
    1. Where To Write?Search Maybe not so much on Twitter. [Update: Useful pointers in the comments, and also I just ran across Birdfeeder; obviously this is a hot spot.]

      Birdfeeder could be a good name for a service that transports one's Twitter output to their digital garden.

    1. There's a digital gardner's group on Telegram that is somewhat active: https://nesslabs.com/digital-gardeners. I know there are many in the IndieWeb community who use their chat infrastructure for building/designing their sites as well: https://indieweb.org/discuss As a larger group effort there's a wiki of wikis of sort being built at http://anagora.org/.

    1. I am committed to tending to this world as a gardener. I am committed to cultivating new shoots, new stories, new hopes, new futures. I do this work with dirt under my nails, with curiosity, reverence and respect.—Georgina Reid

      What a great quote for a digital garden. Reminiscent of the philosophy of care seen in the book Braiding Sweetgrass.

  8. Dec 2021
    1. An absolutely beautiful design for short notes.

      This is the sort of theme that will appeal to zettelkasten users who are building digital gardens. A bit of the old mixed in with the new.

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Pete Moor </span> in // pimoore.ca (<time class='dt-published'>12/24/2021 18:02:15</time>)</cite></small>

  9. Nov 2021
    1. While I still enjoy org-roam, things feel (to me anyway) a bit up in the air with it at the moment, as there are big changes coming in version 2 which will probably involve a bit of backwards incompatibility. I couldn’t decide whether to wait to make the changes, or transition to the new version now, and that indecision made me reluctant to add to my collection of notes.

      Example of someone who doesn't want to use their digital notebook because of admin tax of pending future changes.

    1. I am going to rework my website to an information site rather than blog, and include all the new stuff I am doing including the languages, archaeology, applications to education and a very recent approach linking the mnemonic technologies to human evolutionary genetics.

      Perhaps a wiki (single or multiple user) would be a better tool for this?

    1. ffost guides to research devote a few pages to methods of note takingW but they lag behind thenew technologiesi seeW for exampleW xacques parzun and venry tY uraffW The ́odern ResearcherS]gcei postonW ]gg‘TY

      Might be interesting to look at this reference to see what she's referring to specifically.

      It would be interesting to see how note taking is changing with even newer digital tools like Hypothes.is, Diigo, Twitter, Readwise, etc.

      Perhaps the growth of digital gardens in public may be a place for study as well? Though one would need to be wary of the idea of performative note taking as these are often done specifically in public as opposed to private as is more common in the past.

  10. Oct 2021
    1. I’m not going to post them at this point in this post, because I want to save you from my experience: I spent three hours one day watching videos and reading links and posting on message boards and reading the replies, and that doesn’t include the year and a half I spent half-heartedly trying to understand the system. I’ll also only post the links that really made sense to me.

      It shouldn't take people hours a day with multiple posts, message boards, reading replies, and excessive research to implement a commonplace book. Herein lies a major problem with these systems. They require a reasonable user manual.

      One of the reasons I like the idea of public digital gardens is that one can see directly how others are using the space in a more direct and active way. You can see a system in active use and figure out which parts do or don't work or resonate with you.

  11. Sep 2021
    1. Note to self: mind garden is the first term I came across for this type of note-taking, but perhaps in the way I use this site, it would be more accurate to think of it as a commonplace book?

      I love the phrase mind garden here. It almost feels to me like a portmanteau concept that ties together the ideas of mind (or memory) palace and digital garden.

  12. Aug 2021
    1. Sounds like Dave Winer is tinkering around getting Little Outliner to work with Roam or Roam like structures? He certainly might have some useful ideas for Flancian in terms of cobbling together all these note taking / wiki-like platforms.

  13. edwardbetts.com edwardbetts.com
    1. Edward Betts is using his website as a commonplace book of sorts with a wide variety of topic headings based on his reading.

      He also keeps a separate wiki: https://edwardbetts.com/wiki/

    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loci_communes_(Pseudo-Maximus)

      Interesting to see the garden metaphor here in the translated Arabic title. Ties it into the idea of florilegium and a tie into the modern idea of the "digital garden".

      An Arabic translation, entitled Kitāb al-rawḍa (Book of the Garden), was made by ʿAbdallāh ibn al-Faḍl al-Anṭākī in the 11th century.

    1. Randall L.Anderson, “Metaphors of the Book as Garden in the English Renaissance,”YES33(2003),248–61, explains that seventeenth-century commentators sawmiscellanies as private, idiosyncratic collections and commonplace books asproduced with a readership in mind, for reference.

      This would appear to be an interesting direct connection of the analogy of commonplaces to digital gardens.

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  14. Jul 2021
    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.

    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>

  15. 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?

  16. 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

  17. whitneyannetrettien.com whitneyannetrettien.com
    1. This has to be one of the baddest-ass things I've seen in months. I wish more people had public-facing commonplace books like this!

      Bonus points that Whitney calls it a Whiki! :)