Breaking old Blogging Rules

New people, new ideas. I ran into Tom on Mastodon. He introduced himself as a programmer, an Emacs enthusiast, and as it turned out, a digital gardener.

There are several links leading from Tom’s blog to other blogs, but I’ll reorganize them here in a way that makes sense to me.

First, especially if you remember the “blogopshere” from before the MySpace days, you should head over and read “How the Blog Broke the Web.” Amy writes about the beginning of the chronological blog (good old Movabletype, does anyone still uses it?), and how bloggers slowly shifted to write a daily journal which often became more about pushing content then writing online “essays” of sorts.

Next, in “my blog is a digital garden,” Joel explains the concept of a digital garden in which he prunes his content:

“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 idea here is that instead of writing chronologically, we should write conceptually. Instead of having a log of all of our posts in a chronological archive sorted by months and years, we should present the posts we like the most to our readers, and recommend a reading path to understand our blog better. To get an idea of how this looks, look at Joel’s homepage. In a way, it may remind you of a portfolio, but the idea is to guide the readers, not recruiters.

In a discussion on Mastodon, I brought up the idea that wikis are somewhat similar: conceptual websites that are sorted by topics rather than dates. True, but at the same time, wikis lack the personal touch of a blog; at least how I view and write them. They are meant to be read more like a manual than a story. The digital garden concept is somewhere in the middle.

I’m going to experiment with this myself, and see where it takes me.


Reply to this post on Mastodon, Twitter, or you can always email me: taonaw<at>protonmail<dot>ch (for GPG, click the lock icon on the navbar to the left).