What is this place?

Apparently.. it's a digital garden.

I've had ideas for a blog and website for a long time but never did much about it because I felt like I couldn't find the bits of technology that would comprise the site I envisioned. I wanted a blog, a wiki, a journal, and a little eye candy but none of the technologies I knew could do it. After various failed attempts with quite a few options, it occurred to me that the answer might not be a single technology, but a "network" of ideas (seeds) and technologies (plants) within a single domain (garden).

While looking for some technical information I stumbled across Nikita Voloboev's site and then The Blue Book. I realized this is exactly what I wanted and there was a name for it! The more I poked around the more excited I got about the technology that built it. I was already well on my way with a previous website running on Jekyll and GitHub Pages but I just couldn't figure out how to get the notes aspect incorporated. I did give Gitbook a try previously, but didn't consider using them together, rather than one or the other.

Yes, I know this isn't new technology, but parts of it are new to me. More about the technology below.

What's a "digital garden" exactly?

Let's contemplate what an actual garden is. Generally, gardens have these qualities:

  • It's usually a place things grow
  • A garden is never really "done"
  • Weeds can take over if left unattended (See the enormous gap in my posts)
  • A garden can be very personal and private or shared with the public
  • They require attention and love
  • It can be a great place for reflection and contemplation
  • There is no right or wrong way to do it

This last part is the key. I am doing this for me and I can do it any way I like. Pretty cliché, but I feel like it can truly be anything I want it to be, my imagination is the only limiting factor.

Do you see how this can all be applied to the digital world? Basically what I'm saying is, that this isn't a blog or wiki or website, it's all of them (or none of them?). This is a place to grow ideas and share information, as well as leaving a legacy for future generations. Assuming we aren't assimilated by AI

I'm not totally sold on GitBook, mostly because I want to be able to use footnotes (why not?) and I can't do that here. All of the other beautiful gardens I have come across were put together by folks that know what they are doing. For now, this is how we're going to roll. Not too easy on the eyes, but functional and low overhead. I guess that'll do for now.

Who knew how important the technology would be? I spent quite a bit of time trying out different ways to create my garden in the way I wanted it to look. It turns out, it's like most other things in life, there is always a different way to do it. But I still struggled to make it what I envisioned. After searching for a way to make my Gitbook not look like crap, I came back to The Blue Book. Not only did I like it, there are instructions and words of encouragement on how to get it all set up!

So, after a week on Gitbook, this is the new and improved look. As I'm quickly finding, this will always be a work in progress. I'm looking forward to keeping it up. I have a habit of changing hobbies often and I'm hoping this one sticks.

Keep in mind this is my brain (and opinion), exposed for anyone to explore. Be gentle.

Well, this is it, this is my digital garden. Who would've thought I'd be a gardener one day?

Stats? Nevermind.

2022-08-13: I came across this article and it hit pretty close to home. There is no better reason to leave a legacy behind and share some knowledge.

2023-05-13: I've realized that it's like trimming back the hedges, just like in a physical garden where one prunes back plants and trees certain times of the year to allow new things to flourish and grow. Lately, I've been digging in, doing some maintainance, and making room for new things to grow.