What is a digital garden?



The garden - and I may be misusing the term, it's all a bit new to me - is a place where your information resides - it's not necessarily time-based like a blog, it's also a network of information, more like a wiki.

There's a good description at https://joelhooks.com/digital-garden - which I found from browsing the gatsby sample at https://github.com/johno/digital-garden - both of those link to the earlier articles Building a digital garden and Of gardens and wikis by Tom Critchlow. You can keep following links to fascinating articles from here!

I also love Martin Fowler's bliki which is something very similar - a combination blog and wiki. Martin writes "I decided I wanted something that was a cross between a wiki and a blog - which Ward Cunningham immediately dubbed a bliki. Like a blog, it allows me to post short thoughts when I have them. Like a wiki it will build up a body of cross-linked pieces that I hope will still be interesting in a year's time."

So I took my personal diary, and turned it into a bliki-style digitial garden. It has blog-like posts with dates and chronological order, and it has random wiki-like pages.

It also has a quite flat organisational hierarchies. I don't like deep hierarchies - they get messy fast! But I decided to have two basic levels - Categories are a single top-level way to split all the content - in my diary it's basic things like "work", "home", "play" and similar.

And then I have tags for everything else. All posts get a bunch of tags, sometimes at random and inconsistently - every now and then I look at low-usage tags and clean them up a bit.

The private site is very private - it has personal notes, diary entries, work feedback - otherwise I'd share it as it's a better example of how this works than this demo site!

Maybe some time I'll move my real blog to this platform. If I think it's working!