Transitioning From a Blog to a Digital Garden

October 29th, 2020

The last time I wrote anything to publish, COVID-19 was an almost unknown illness half a world away.

I'm really bad at keeping up with a blog.

You'd think that months of forced isolation, working from home, and cancelled plans would've led to more personal productivity. Maybe it has, but I've channeled that into things other than writing. I bought a new house in February, took up gardening (actual real gardening with plants, my office is turning into a jungle), and began baking a lot of bread, as the COVID joke goes.

I should've been taking notes as I bought my house and as the world changed nearly overnight, but I just wasn't feeling it. And as the date of my last post got further and further away, it felt like failure.

And then I found out about the Digital Garden.

This article, "My blog is a digital garden, not a blog", summed up what I wanted my "blog" to really be, a series of thoughts, maybe connected, maybe not, and not forced into a chronologically-sorted list.

Another article, linked from the first, "Building a digital garden" details the creation of a very rich digital garden. It doesn't just contain Markdown files, but images, PDFs, and wiki folders that contain any type of files, that are all handled gracefully by Jekyll.

I feel like moving from WordPress to my custom blog generator, and then to Gatsby has turned my personal space on the Internet into more of a digital garden than a blog. I create simple Markdown files that generate new pages automatically. I throw photos into a directory, edit the exif data, and get photo pages. However, I was still ordering my blog chronologically.

I'm no longer going to be held to a chronological order for my writings, instead, they'll be ordered by category. Luckily, I was already adding categories. Dates will still be available on individual posts, for now. I'm not sure how evergreen some of my content is, so better safe than sorry.

I'm also not going to edit too much. These are just thoughts, maybe you'll stumble upon them from Google. You probably won't stick around much. That's ok, I wouldn't either.

There are a couple of other good digital garden articles that I've bookmarked that I'll add in here, that way I can prune my bookmarks and come back to this post if I ever want to read them again.


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