Notes /

digital garden

What is a Digital Garden?

A digital garden is a style of website, distinct from a blog and meant to encourage exploration through connections, curated content that is worth extended thought, and exposes both thoughts in progress and thoughts that are more developed.

Digital Gardens are big enough to hold any content

One of the concepts I’ve been thinking a lot about as I’ve designed my website is of a digital garden. A lot of the way we consume content online is linear - your twitter timeline is a great example of that. The advantage is that it’s fast and easy; all you have to do is scroll.

The disadvantage is that it’s not made to cultivate ideas. See something you like? You better save it someplace else or hope that you remember to follow up. Want to develop the idea. You can tweet about it, think about it, or write about it but where do you store those thoughts?

Websites have the potential to be these places. Curated spaces where you store and develop thoughts. Places that you organize so that they can be viewed from multiple angles or wandered around, much like a garden would be.

How my Website is Like a Digital Garden

I added a notes section to do exactly that: think, make connections, and develop incomplete thoughts. You may have noticed that if you hover over some links you can actually get a peak into another page - that’s part of my experiment with hypertext thinking - how can we use our technology to help us think deeper and better than we could without it.

I’ve also developed curated pages like my Articles page or my Poetry that intentionally directs people towards certain content. It’s my website, what ideas do I want people to interact with?

One idea that’s key to the digital garden is the idea that one website can hold anything I want to share. For me that means that my technical content, and my poetry live hand in hand — each at the same level of prominence. The key to this is providing plenty of pathways in the garden for people to veer off into different corners This is where marginalia come in handy. They can send you off down all sorts of interesting rabbit holes.

Inspiration

  • How the Blog Broke the Internet - Amy Hoy
  • My blog is a digital garden, not a blog
  • building a digital garden - tom critchlow
  • About This Website · Gwern.net

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