Web Gardens and Streams Elaborated

Caufield makes clear digital gardening is not about specific tools it's not a Wordpress plugin, Gastby theme, or Jekyll template. It's a different way of thinking about our online behaviour around information - one that accumulates personal knowledge over time in an explorable space.

Caufield's main argument was that we have become swept away by streams the collapse of information into single-track timelines of events. The conversational feed design of email inboxes, group chats, and InstaTwitBook is fleeting they're only concerned with self-assertive immediate thoughts that rush by us in a few moments. While this may sound obvious now, the streamification of everything was still dawning around 2015.

This is not inherently bad. Streams have their time and place. Twitter is a force-multiplier for exploratory thoughts and delightful encounters once you fall in with the right crowd and learn to play the game.

But streams only surface the Zeitgeisty ideas of the last 24 hours. They are not designed to accumulate knowledge, connect disparate information, or mature over time. Though the rising popularity of Twitter threading is an impressive attempt to reconfigure a stream environment and make it more garden-esque.

The garden is our counterbalance. Gardens present information in a richly linked landscape that grows slowly over time. Everything is arranged and connected in ways that allow you to explore. Think about the way Wikipedia works when you're hopping from Bolshevism to Celestial Mechanics to Dunbar's Number. It's hyperlinking at it's best. You get to actively choose which curiosity trail to follow, rather than defaulting to the algorithmically-filtered ephemeral stream. The garden helps us move away from time-bound streams and into contextual knowledge spaces.


Folksonomies: web topology digital distraction

/technology and computing/internet technology/social network (0.747363)
/technology and computing/internet technology/web search/people search (0.623669)
/technology and computing/internet technology/internet cafes (0.566835)

River (0.950029): dbpedia_resource
Thought (0.835676): dbpedia_resource
Space (0.745213): dbpedia_resource
Garden (0.729777): dbpedia_resource
By the Way (0.707771): dbpedia_resource
Psychology (0.608697): dbpedia_resource
Gardening (0.600052): dbpedia_resource
Mind (0.582796): dbpedia_resource

 A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Appleton, Maggie (2020), A Brief History & Ethos of the Digital Garden, Retrieved on 2023-01-05
  • Source Material [maggieappleton.com]
  • Folksonomies: digital distraction digital gardens


    05 JAN 2023

     Web Gardens and Digital Streams

    The Garden and the Stream as Metaphors for WWW > Additional Support/Evidence > Web Gardens and Streams Elaborated
    Web Gardens are contextualized, interconnected spaces online like Wikipedia. Digital Streams are serialized events that flow like Twitter or Facebook feeds.


    05 JAN 2023

     Fighting Digital Distraction

    Digital Literacy means having the power to resist the attention economy, taking our focus back, and producing rather than consuming.