Digital Garden Thoughts

April - 2021

TL;DR

Doing the mental upgrade to think of my site as a Digital Garden has been awesome.

Highly Recommended.

Some thoughts on turning my site into a digital garden

  • I always called my site a site instead of a blog. I liked the mental model of it being more than just a blog even though that was the format for years. But "a site" has certain parameters and expectations in my head. Changing the language to think of it as a Digital Garden reset my idea of the thing. Even though it's still a collection of HTML, CSS, and JS hosted on a domain, the relabeling has made it new in my head.

  • The shift was and is liberating.

  • You can do stuff like putting links to all 1,200 of your posts in a random order on your home page like I've done.

  • I'm just going to burn through some stuff here and not worry about making it a solid "well-written" article. It takes me hours (and that's not an exagaration) to put together a formal post. This is just gonna be a stream of consiousness run with a touch of editing.

  • I have 617 draft posts sitting in my grimoire dating back to 2011.

      $ ll | grep -i post- | wc -l
      617    
    

    They're invisible. I'm setting up to push them out in whatever state they're in. Then, I'll edit some of them, delete some of them, and who knows what with some of them.

This header is just to break up the text a little

  • I like throwing in headers to break up text to make things easier to read, but I don't have the time to do that right now so there's one that doesn't add anything else.
  • Digital Gardening is 70% philosophy, 30% implementation. The metal shift is key. Publishing not just polished posts but ideas in all stages.
  • My site is currently done in Gatsby with a collection of markdown files as the content source, but you could do it with any tool. Remember, it's just HTML, CSS, and JS on a domain.
  • The implementation thing to work on is reduction friction to getting things posted. I'm working on a process/method/script where I can just open a text doc in my girmoire (currently nvAlt), automatically generate a YAML header via TextExpander and have it automatically push to my site. nvAlt (and soon my own grimoire software) allows for virtually instant access back to the posts so I can update with minimal friction as well.
  • Look! I'm not even linking things (e.g. grimoire and nvAlt) in this draft. I'll probably come back and do that later, but it would take more time/effort than I want to spend right now.
  • Don't worry about getting the tech setup first. Just start pushing out ideas with whatever you're currently on.
  • I'm thinking of this as MVC - Minimum Viable Content - and setting the minimum as low as possible.
  • That sentence should probably be higher, but that would start getting me in formal editing mode which I'm looking to avoid at the moment.
  • Some people grow orchids. Some people grow weed. They're both gardening. No matter what you do, it'll be yours. Copy stuff from others, or don't, or do some, it's all good.
  • As an established digital gardener, I hereby formally give you permission to turn your site into a digital garden. Go get dirty.