by Steve Dondley

⬅ Notes listing

Author's note: The note below is part of a digital garden. Therefore, it is likely incomplete, inaccurate or both. In other words, it's just like other information sources but perhaps to a higher degree. That said, it may still be worth exploring.

Thoughts on Digital Gardening


There’s apparently a new trend happening right now called “Digital Gardening.” I won’t bore you with a definition of what it is. Other people have already done a good job of explaining it so I’ll let you google it.

Anyway, I guess the notes section of this site qualifies as a “digital garden.”

I’ve always had an interest in maintaining a personal website. I’ve started and abandoned quite a few. They were just too much of a hassle to upkeep and maintain. Then along came social media and the barrier to putting yourself out there was so low, just about everyone flocked to those outlets to express themselves instead of building a personal website.

Everything old is new again

But “digital gardens” are a move back toward setting up a full-blown website. Why? I have a few speculative theories:

  • It helps you stand out. Any schmo can get a Twitter or Facebook account. But not everyone has their own website, which still carries some cachet.
  • You can be more creative. Communication is expression. Expression is art. Art demands you express yourself creatively. And you can be much more creative when you run your own website and set your own rules. A website enables total control over how your information is organized, accessed and presented. No single platform can offer that.
  • It helps you connect with other like-minded people. We all long to belong. Sharing ideas with other interesting people helps us connect with them and we learn a lot.
  • It’s becoming much less frictionless for the technically savvy. Yes, it was quite a bit of work to get set up and figure out a workflow that suits me. It took at least a week’s worth of effort before the product was something I started to feel really happy with and I’m sure I’ll spend many more hours tweaking and refining it. But now I’ve got a custom solution in place that lets me use my vim text editor with other vim plugins that perfectly fits how I prefer to write on a computer. Coupled with Jekyll and Github Pages, I can focus a lot more on writing and much less on the very tedious and time-consuming job of maintaining a website with a traditional content management system and wrangling with it to get it to do what I want.
  • People are sick of social media. Social media has become a cesspool. The loudest, dumbest, most obnoxious voices dominate the conversation. Setting up a digital garden allows you to communicate without participating in a toxic environment. It’s like your own little peaceful park in the middle of the busy city that other can visit and come listen to you.

Interesting examples

  • Introduction - Everything I know
    • This site got me inspired to investigate this “Digital Gardening” phenomena. I think it’s a great example of what the web was supposed to be.

Good reads

Other notes linking here:

Diary entry for 2020-07-18

Tech stuff

Diary entry for 2020-07-17

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