Digital Garden Design

Planted: Monday 11/8/2021
Last tended: Monday 11/8/2021

As it tends to happen, one day I fell down a rabbit hole. About two years ago, I became interested in becoming better at reading. I read the book How to Read by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren [1] and somehow that led me into exploring how to take better notes [2] which led me to the commonplace book [3] which led me to learning in public [4] which then led me to digital gardens[5]. This was an interesting turn of events because at the time I started to think about the concept Histofuturist/ism — exploring past realities and imagined futures. I became interested in knowledge sharing and documentation as the final component of the strategy for change I created which included Intellectual Will (self-discovery) and Collectively Upward (collective growth)[6].

For several years, I’ve been using Standard Notes as my repository of raw notes and some budding thoughts. Earlier this year, I found Almanac and I am testing it as a place to write my documentation. I’m seeing Lima Pea Co. as where I share my more polished thoughts and my old website LisaMariePierre as my archive and new portfolio.

Last night I read Mind Gardens by Anne-Laure Le Cunff [7] and a History & Ethos of the Digital Garden by Maggie Appleton [8] I like how they gave a general outline and conceptual framing of digital gardens. I’ve been wanting to start one, but wasn’t sure how to proceed. After reading their articles, I’ve come up with a general framework for my digital garden which will consist of multiple plots and locations.

Standard Notes/Listed: is the seed bank, where I plant the seeds for new thoughts on various topics. The tag for items here will be Seedling

Almanac: is the nursery, where I move seedlings that sprouted into a more coherent thought. I'm considering this eventually becoming a community garden. The tag for items here will be Budding.

Ghost/Lima Pea Co.: is the flower stand, where I move sprouted and budding thoughts into the polished published format. The tag for items here will be Evergreen.

Wordpress/LisaMariePierre: is the catalog, where I share visually the bloomed thoughts and fruits of my labor as a portfolio. The tag for items here will be Bloomed.

Social Media: is the (Bouquet)? Not sure what to call it, but it’s where I share my snippets from the garden. The tag for items here will be Clippings

Standard notes, Almanac, Ghost, Wordpress, and Social Media are my digital garden. Various plots that make a whole.

People who are interested in watching me grow my digital garden can subscribe to Listed and see my daily planting of seeds or they may decide to subscribe to Lima Pea Co. for the more polished version or maybe they will subscribe to both.

I guess these platforms help me take my creations from farm to table- if we keep with the nature analogies.

One thing Anne-Loure discussed was the important of not having orphan notes[9]. The notes should interlink with another post. This makes sense especially if building a garden. In an ecosystem everything is interconnected.

I’m trying to decide what do I do with my existing orphan notes? Do I clean them up and then publish it. I’ve noticed with Maggie she puts the original post date and then adds a tends date. The downside with Standard Notes is that if I make changes to a note people won’t see the original note in it’s raw form, but I guess in life seeds are always changing and evolving and depending on when you see it will be in another stage. You never can go back and see the raw form when it comes to seeds or even people, you just see it evolving.

For example, this note or idea is in its raw state. I’m writing it off the top of my head. But maybe in 3 months, I’ll have more thoughts about digital garden design. Will I then come in an modify this note. Or do I make a new note and then link to this one? These are decisions I’m trying to think about. In the Standard Notes app, I can see all the changes internally, but public facing, I don't see those changes. Maybe not everything needs to be seen from the beginning.

How do I show the evolution of my thoughts with there is no change log for the public to see? I know on Almanac it does- which answers my question. Once I have more of a formulated thought on digital garden design, I can move it from the Seed Bank (Standard Notes/Listed) and move it to the nursery/community garden (Almanac) where it will sprout and bud. And then maybe one day it makes it to Lima Pea Co. as an evergreen article or as a published book?

As I think about this more, I will continue to write notes and ideas and be sure to interlink.

I do want to go back to old notes and see if I can connect them to some current published items on Lima Pea Co. but I will move forward with my new notes following this digital garden design and then work on giving my orphan notes a home.

Maybe one day I will have the skillset or team to bring all these items under one platform, but for now these various locations serve their purpose.

I’ve been a digital gardener I think for a long time, but only recently found the words and communities. I want to continue exploring this niche and explore how we share knowledge as part of my three prong strategy for change.

As a sidenote: I need to figure out how to hyperlink within Listed and how to add photos, because I still sketch in my physical notebook, so it would be great to add the photos here.

Anyway, I’m going to stop here. More to come?


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