CuteMachine

Digital Garden πŸ“πŸŒ»πŸŒ³

Recently I came across Hacker News on a piece about digital gardens. In the article My blog is a digital garden, not a blog, Joel Hook describes what he finds fascinating about the term digital garden.

And he infected me with it. I, too, want to transform my blog into a digital garden.

This article is the first step towards my digital garden.

What is a digital garden?

The term digital garden stands for an idea of how we can create a better place for our ideas and thoughts: a place where we don't market our content, but a place where things can grow.

We all have a concrete idea of what a beautiful garden looks like.

The term digital garden is a metaphor for looking at ideas and thoughts like seedlings. You can plant flowers because you find them beautiful and enjoy them. You can plant vegetables because you want to be self-sufficient. You can sit together, talk, and exchange ideas.

It is a place where you can play.

It's a place where I can try things out, get feedback from others, and grow myself. Where busy bees fly and pollinate plants. In a garden, you can feel the life.

It's a spot where I can post ideas, snippets, resources, thoughts, collections, and other bits and pieces that I find interesting and useful.β€”Joel Hooks

But it's also a place where you care. You plant things, cultivate the soil, you water plants, and you remove the weeds and let your crops ripen and grow. And, of course, you'll also harvest.

We garden in an open, not closed place, where people can come by and help, or enjoy the splendor of the plants.

In my garden, I can read, think, try out, share, and learn in public.

What's wrong with a blog?

Meanwhile, the term blog has come to an understanding that does not allow many things to happen. Every business needs a blog to do content marketing. Posts are only published if they fit into the company's strategy or if they are aligned with our personal goals.

Blogs are often not written for readers but search engines. Words can no longer flow freely: we stuff keyword phrases here and there to satisfy a bot's need. We refuse to write short content pieces because Google does not like it.

I don't want to write for search engines anymore, but for people who want to learn.

Let's put the internet back in our hands. Each one of us can create a garden.

There is Wordpress for all the people who are not techies. For techies, there are so many possibilities as never before. Who needs big platforms like Facebook, where our content is only marketed and abused, where we are sold and abused. A place where hate is encouraged. Why do we allow these companies to track our behavior? Why do we support disgusting companies like Facebook (Instagram and WhatsApp are also part of it)?

We don't need Facebook. Facebook is evil.

A web presence costs nothing; you only have to pay for the domain. The rest is free.

What does my dream garden look like?

In my garden, there should be a great variety of plantsβ€”small plants like strawberries πŸ“, bigger plants like sunflowers 🌻, and big trees 🌳. I like to have different flower beds. There will be beds for thoughts, ideas, and code.

I will try to take care of my plants every day and remove the weeds so that visitors feel comfortable.

Articles I will nevertheless also file chronologically. Readers can then follow how the site has developed over time. But the curated content should still be in the foreground and not the chronological sequence.

I also want to create a place where visitors are not monitored, so I will soon replace Google Analytics with a solution that does not violate the privacy of my readers.1

My garden will be alive, it will change, and it will never be finished.

My garden should be a place where people and things can grow.

Chris Biscardi's Digital Garden

Joel Hook's Digital Garden

Sector, the future of MDX, and Digital Gardens

The Digital Garden by Josh Branchaud

And here is an example site I consider being a great digital garden: Gwern Branwen


  1. I removed Google Analytics from CuteMachine on 14th of June 2020.↩

Posted on CuteMachine.

Jo's Profile ImageWritten by Jo who lives and works in Frankfurt building digital doodah.Β Stalk him on Twitter.

TOSΒ β€’Β PrivacyΒ β€’Β Disclaimer