Other popular terms for such a system include Zettelkasten (meaning “slipbox” in German, coined by influential sociologist Niklas Luhmann), Memex (a word invented by American inventor Vannevar Bush), and digital garden (named by popular online creator Anne-Laure Le Cunff)
Please know that the zettelkasten and its traditions existed prior to Niklas Luhmann. He neither invented them nor coined their name. It’s a commonly repeated myth on the internet that he did and there’s ample evidence of their extensive use prior to his well known example. I’ve documented some brief history on Wikipedia to this effect should you need it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zettelkasten
The earliest concept of a digital garden stems from Mark Bernstein’s essay Hypertext Gardens: Delightful Vistas in 1998. This torch was picked up by academic Mike Caulfield in a 2015 keynote/article The Garden and The Stream: A Technopastoral.
Anne-Laure Le Cunff’s first mention of “digital garden” was on April 21, 2020
Progress on my digital garden / evergreen notebook inspired by @andy_matuschak🌱
— Anne-Laure Le Cunff (@anthilemoon) April 22, 2020
Which occurred just after Maggie Appleton’s mention on 2020-04-15
Nerding hard on digital gardens, personal wikis, and experimental knowledge systems with @_jonesian today.
We have an epic collection going, check these out…
— Maggie Appleton 🧭 (@Mappletons) April 15, 2020
And several days after Justin Tadlock’s article on 2020-04-17
He was predated by Tom Critchlow on 2018-10-18 who credits Mike Caulfield’s article from 2015-10-17 as an influence.
Archive.org has versions of the phrase going back into the early 2000’s: https://web.archive.org/web/*/%22digital%20garden%22
Hopefully you’re able to make the edits prior to publication, or at least in an available errata.
The minute we saw Aaron's frantic, hand-lettered presentation of the Field Notes credo we knew just what to do. And here it is. In December, when Field Notes co-founder Aaron Draplin hijacked our site to sell pre-orders of his totally amazing Leap of Faith Edition 3-Packs, we went along with it. TBH, we’ve learned over the years that once Aaron gets fixed on an idea, there’s pretty much no stopping him. However, when he sent us the artwork for the Memo Books, we decided to do little hijacking of our own. The minute we saw his frantic, hand-lettered presentation of the Field Notes credo — “I’m not writing it down to remember it later, I’m writing it down to remember it now” — we knew just what to do. And here it is.
I think the biggest thing I’ve added to my website this past year was the ability to post to it with pen and paper. I wonder what sort of functionality the 8th year will bring? Pottery is apparently the “traditional gift”, so perhaps posting via clay with cuneiform as someone joked might actually come to fruition? I’m off to fire up the kiln…
One of its benefits is to help WordPress sites show up in Fediverse databases like https://the-federation.info/wordpress, which should also give you a broader listing of the (currently 405 nodes with 9273 users) WordPress instances in the Fediverse for advertising on your site.
Here’s to more positive growth to a healthier and happier online social experience.
This makes me want to use and syndicate to it more often.
Bore da. Chris dw i. Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg. 🏴 #ymarfer
But first, figuring out how to work this into my practice…
Most often we privilege the chronological time order because that’s how we ourselves live them, write them, and how much of our audience experiences them.
But consider looking at someone’s note collections or zettelkasten after they’re gone? One wouldn’t necessarily read them in physical order or even attempt to recreate them into time-based order. Instead they’d find an interesting topical heading, delve in and start following links around.
I’ve been thinking about this idea of “card index (or zettelkasten) as autobiography” for a bit now, though I’m yet to come to any final conclusions. (References and examples see also: https://hypothes.is/users/chrisaldrich?q=%22card+index+as+autobiography%22).
I’ve also been looking at Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project which is based on a chunk of his (unfinished) zettelkasten notes which editors have gone through and published as books. There were many paths an editor could have taken to write such a book, and many of them that Benjamin himself may not have taken, but there it is at the end of the day, a book ostensibly similar to what Benjamin would have written because there it is in his own writing in his card index.
After his death, editors excerpted 330 index cards of Roland Barthes’ collection of 12,000+ about his reactions to the passing of his mother and published them in book form as a perceived “diary”. What if someone were to do this with your Tweets or status updates after your death?
Does this perspective change your ideas on time ordering, taxonomies, etc. and how people will think about what we wrote?
I’ll come back perhaps after I’ve read Barthes’ The Death of the Author…
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