Weekly Journal 100 - Digital Garden, Obsidian

Digital Garden

I stumbled over an interesting article from Maggie Appleton all about the coming Dark Forest on the web that will consist of content created by a generative AI. This is making me stop to think about building a publicly available digital garden for myself. These AIs need a large corpus of data for the algorithms to use to generate new content. I don’t want my personal knowledge base to be mined by these algorithms and used to make the web measurably worse. The article mentions the possibility of building out a digital garden in a way that makes it unattractive to AI bots, so maybe I won’t have to abandon the idea of making my digital garden public.

I also read an article that makes a pretty good argument against trying to cram all of your personal knowledge data into a single system. This might be part of the problem I’ve been having with choosing a tool. I’m looking for the perfect, do everything, open source tool that doesn’t exist. Maybe it would make more sense to look for a handful of more specialized tools for the main categories I’m looking at. For me, this would be project/task management, note storage and curation, and a tool to publish my notes to the web. Juggling multiple tools isn’t what I want to do, but I’m willing to follow this rabbit trail and see where it leads.


So far, Obsidian is the closest thing I’ve found to an ideal tool. The major downside is that it doesn’t use add frontmatter to files by default. I’ve noticed that adding notes to Dendron adds a fair bit of friction as it expects you to place new notes into its hierarchy. I think this is discouraging me from using it as I frequently find myself stymied by trying to find a good place to put a new note. Whichever tool I end up with will need to make capture of new information as painless as possible. The more friction there is with capture, the less likely it is that I will use it regularly.