illustration of a tree

On digital gardening

When I stumbled on the concept of digital gardens, it lit up my brain[1]. It gave me a framework for something I've long tried (and failed) to accomplish with my previous blogs.

My failures weren't always related to technical limitations. Though, I see now how chronological order blogs can stifle creative exploration.

The phrase "digital garden" is a metaphor for thinking about writing and creating that focuses less on the resulting "showpiece" and more on the process, care, and craft it takes to get there. —My blog is a digital garden, not a blog by Joel Hooks

It had more to do with a lack of permission to post anything that wasn't a stellar 1,500 word think-piece. The idea of retroactively altering my post almost felt deceptive, or even criminal. It was as if my words were evidence to a crime, and the Twitter police would break my door down if I tampered with it.

Now that I have permission, and a solid framework, my vision for this project is clear, and I'm excited to get started.

I do worry that my ADHD brain will get caught up in too much "pruning" and not enough "planting".

I'd like to get rhythm going for my garden— plant-plant-prune, plant-plant-prune.

Three phases for my notebook entries: #

  1. Note: my initial knee-jerk thoughts on a subject.
  2. Concept: a more polished and intentional write-up, with research any additional developments since my note.
  3. Essay: An exhaustive exploration on the subject. Maybe with graphics and illustrations.
  4. Dead: Maybe a different, less ominous word. For a "dead" note I could even have a "petition to revive" in the form of comments or direct emails. Oh, I like this.

Structure inspired by Maggie Appleton's Garden.

Do I keep the same page for all three phases, or start a new page and link to it?

Some unstructured thoughts on structure #

I'm going all in with write.as for my digital garden. There are some obvious limitations (bi-directional linking, categorizing, etc.) but that's part of the appeal.

I'd like a way to distinguish my external and internal hyperlinks. I think it'll keep the reader oriented. Using CSS and JavaScript for different colors seems like a potential solution.

Inspirations: #

https://blog.erlend.sh/communal-bonfires https://maggieappleton.com/garden-history http://www.eastgate.com/garden/Enter.html https://stackingthebricks.com/how-blogs-broke-the-web/

Bookmarks #

I made a public bookmark collection for Digital Gardens on Raindrop.io where I'll add anything I find interesting.


  1. I will expand on this soon. Also, made this ref just to test the ref feature for 11ty and markdown. ↩︎

Metadata

label name
Plot notebook
Published
Type note
Phase sorting
Author Jason Velazquez
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Assumed audience everyone