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Joshua Whiting

learner, writer, creator, librarianish person

a garden

Digital Gardening

This is the first seed I’m planting in my digital garden: notes, links, and ideas about digital gardening itself.

My Current Digital Garden Setup

For now I’m taking a cue from Tom Critchlow’s “wiki” (built into his existing Jekyll-to-GitHub Pages website setup.)

I have decided to plant my digital garden in a new folder structure within my existing website (my website runs on Hugo-to-Netlify, analogous to his setup.) So it will all be folders with markdown files, and I’ll eventually build some special templates in my Hugo theme to pull it all together on my site.

I’m trialing the Working Copy iOS app to be able to edit my website files (housed in a GitHub repository) directly on my phone. Being able to work on my digital garden from my phone was a prerequisite, and a main reason that initially I didn’t consider putting my garden straight into Hugo. I’ve used forestry.io a bit to update my website via my phone - it has been helpful in a pinch but always messes up my timestamps and other frontmatter, won’t let me organize the folder structure, etc. It’s not something I wanted to rely on further.

Tools and Technical Options for Digital Gardening

There are a lot of different setups I explored for keeping and publishing a digital garden.

Maggie Appleton curates a bunch of tools and resources for Digital Gardening in this GitHub repository: https://github.com/MaggieAppleton/digital-gardeners

Among these, the tool I went farthest down the line of exploring but didn’t adopt was Stroll, which is a flavor of TiddlyWiki with some bi-directional linking and what are described as other “Roam-like” features. (I haven’t tried Roam - I wanted to avoid building into a silo or paid service for this.)

I kind of lurk around the indieweb without actually involving myself, and I’d been seeing links and ideas around digital gardening popping up for a while, and I was really curious. Started bookmarking them and finally took a deep dive into reading about some of this in May of 2022.

My readings at first consisted mainly in going through Maggie Appleton’s links in her “A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden” https://maggieappleton.com/garden-history

(Also some other old hypertext essay of Bernstein’s…)


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Copyright 2022 Joshua David Whiting. Made in Millcreek, Utah, USA. Contact me. Built with Hugo and my own WP51 theme, still a work in progress. Hosted via Github and Netlify.