🌱 Seedling

Setting up a digital garden

Some time ago, I found on Mastodon Simon Dann's website. This is where I learned about a concept of a digital garden. It's a similar, though different, approach to one's presence on the Web than, for example, writing a blog.


Blogs have more rigid, chronological structure than gardens. So, we have a list of posts which can be divided on the basis of categories or tags. Blogs can be more or less personal, but ideas expressed in posts have a definitive form, by which I understand that they show what someone thought at the time of writing. The idea can change, but the post, in which it was expressed for the first time, will remain like a picture taken at some point in time.


Gardens have looser structure than blogs, but it doesn't mean they're completely chaotic. They can have multiple paths, that can lead to various parts of the garden. Each patch can be dedicated to growing different plants. It may seem that this division is similar to blog's tags and categories, but our plants keep growing, that is, we can publish a post/article/essay, but it doesn't mean it'll never change. Tending to a garden is a work in progress. You can go back to, and update, things that were planted month or year ago. It's your growing knowledge, that you show other people

I'm using here, of course, a horticultural metaphor, but one of the main premises of a digital garden is learning in public. When you put your thoughts and ideas for others to see, they're open, the ideas, for criticism. At the same time, they're open to changes and growth. You can revisit your entry after a few months, and change it, so it resembles your current state of knowledge.

Another thing one must remember about, when starting a garden, are statuses of our entries. Is this article finished? Maybe it's just a rough draft? The status indicates the state of completion of a given entry. I didn't remember about the statuses. I assigned a seedling status, which stands for a rough idea, to this piece, but other writings yet have to be given one. I'm still not sure whether I wan't to go with plant terminology, or confidence tags, or maybe something completely different. At the time of writing this post, I have the first categories, I'd like to use on this website, but that's it for now. I still have to think how I want to organize my thoughts, pun not intended.

Neither blog nor garden is the best form of your expression. Choose the thing that suits you. In the end, it's what you have to say is important. If you want to learn more about digital gardens, I strongly recommend you to read this essay by Maggie Appleton.