Digital gardens and personal blogs

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If you are writing a personal blog , you must define what personal means to you. Some people like writing about their holidays and share photos. Some like to write about their job, and give advise on how to navigate the modern workforce technocracy. Sometimes you don't yet know what you want to write about. It can also very well be that you just want to write about anything .

The biggest obstacle is that if you ask around, the standard answer is:

Starting with one topic will be easier to grow an audience. That doesn't limit you from expanding in the future, but it's important that you start with one to build a solid audience and establish trust. Once that trust is established, people will follow you in other topics as well :)

And this may not fit everyone. Creativity, especially on tasks we are not familiar with, such as writing, is not a linear process. Narrowing the scope too much can only hinder our progress. However, a bunch of notes is hard to navigate for an outsider, regardless of how curated your interface is. Some thoughts contradict each other, some are incomplete. That is one of the beauties of a digital garden , but is not compelling for people seeking other kinds of content.

The distinction will come down to how you blog - some people blog in much the same way. For me however blogging is mostly performative thinking and less captain’s log. So I am looking for a space to nurture, edit in real time and evolve my thinking.

Therefore, there is an intermediate approach, in which you can still curate your content in the same way you create blog posts, but lower the barrier to publishing. As Tom Critchlow puts it, you can find a way of less performative blogging , or what I call a new way of blogging . You may start with notes (either public or not) that grow into an article. However, once you acknowledge that whatever you publish can be edited, expanded, deleted, you will also realize that the content you generate can mutate. It is still a blog, but it is also a garden. You can (and are encourage to) revisit the notes, build new links, update them.

I do think this approach is particularly interesting for personal blogs because the personality we show online can change over time. We can be very vocal about some subjects at one moment in our lives. After learning more on some of those topics, or just maturing, our views can change. Once we embrace the flowing spirit of thoughts and writings, there won't be any need to keep a chronological log of what we were thinking about at every moment of our lives if we don't want to.

I'm convinced that paginated posted sorted chronologically fuckin' sucks.

What makes a garden is interesting. It's personal. Things are organized and orderly, but with a touch of chaos around the edges.

Just like plants in the garden I've got posts that are in various stages of growth and nurturing. Some might wither and die, and others (like this one you are reading) will flourish and provide a source of continued for the gardener and folks in community that visit 👋

The most important objective of a personal blog, I believe, is to be out there . Let like-minded people connect to what you think. Help your past-self that is most likely going to be very similar to another human being out there. Single-topic blogs reflect only one aspect of your life, and miss the richness of your experiences. I am a Python developer, but I also like to think about user privacy online , and Technology Transfer . So, why limit myself?


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Aquiles Carattino
Aquiles Carattino
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