1. Marcus Tibesar

    Great post, and an enjoyable read Justin!

    My family’s digital garden ~ est. 1990



  2. Gary Taylor

    Interesting read Justin, thanks.
    Reminds me of my own personal website journey, writing code by hand 20 years ago when I was on my MA, before adopting WordPress in 2006 (when I was on a different course). And I’ve been fighting/wrangling WP ever since ;-)
    And, this has suddenly made me stop work on my theme revision. My site is part professional home page, part chronicle of my descent into madness. But sometimes there are things that I write that get picked up and shared by professional counterparts – how can I curate my site better so that they can be discovered? Are tags and/or categories enough? Also, do I bring back the blogroll?


    • Justin Tadlock

      I kind of miss the old blogrolls. I found many interesting websites through those things. In part, they were just one more bit of insight into who a person was. Assuming I like your website, I’m probably interested in websites that you choose to share.


  3. Eric Mesa

    Makes complete sense to me. I started back in the mid-90s on tripod and angelfire. I’ve had a blog since 2003; on WordPress since 2005. For about a year somewhere around 2012 I tried the whole SEO thing. It was tiresome. So I went back to not caring and blogging about whatever/however. I will admit that sometimes I feel the pull of Jekyll or some other system (mostly it’s the explorer in me), but WP works so well that I never truly leave.


    • Justin Tadlock

      I used to host all of my images off-site on Angelfire when I was first starting. The webpage (not website) service I was using at the time didn’t have storage — just an HTML editor with inline CSS. Weird times.

      I moved my personal site away from WordPress over a year ago and onto a custom-built system. Part of it was for my own edification. Part of it was wanting do something new. Plus, a host of other reasons that are not relevant. I still use WP for all other sites I’m involved in. The custom project really gave me a newfound appreciation for the work that goes into our beloved platform. But, I always think it’s important to step outside of the WordPress comfort zone from time to time.


  4. Timothy Godswill

    Thanks Justin.
    I am stumbling on the Digital garden term for the first time I must confess. But I got to understand what it means from this post.

    And yes I have a digital garden too


    • Justin Tadlock

      Just running through the rabbit hole of links from the post has inspired me to try some new things with my personal site. I have far too many things on my “to do” list that never get done. I need to learn to let go and just start publishing those things without trying to perfect them first. It’s OK to have works that are in progress. That’s part of the fun of the digital garden idea.


  5. Vashti

    This was the perfect thing for me to read right now.


  6. Steve Weber

    I like the idea of a garden. My idea is to use an LMS where multiple stand-alone sites feed into one umbrella site.

    The LMS would then manage the content. Visitors would check off content they consumed. So when they returned they’d always be able to see what they previously saw and then peruse the site for content they hadn’t seen. Each piece of content would have links to both internal and external links.

    It would truly be a curation of my ideas, philosophies, and offerings.


  7. David

    Just awesome…


  8. TS

    Most people have decided to make their platform streams their digital gardens, and within the confines of a story card, they’re largely free to combine whichever content they want. For a decentralised, self hosted solution to make sense for them, that solution would have to solve market reach and interactivity problems before it should think about canvas issues. Actually, for most “daily blogging” people are fine with facebook’s title-less box, and even for much of longform blogging market/connectivity issues have led many people to move to Medium, which is basically a single theme for everyone.

    Basically, I’m not sure WP isn’t trying to solve the wrong issue first for those customers who are intersted in that kind of recreational gardening. It’s like giving them the tools for (learning to) gardening without giving them the real estate to do it with.

    “It may be a rough ride for some agencies and businesses around the platform, but I am OK with that. They will manage and pull through on the other side, mostly unscathed.”

    That would imply business customers stick to the platform in the long term, which I’m not sure about. Market share and people used to working with the
    WP are clearly an important asset. WP.org sites are, if I’m not mistaken, mostly powering small business sites world-wide, which don’t care their employees gardening needs.

    So the question will be to which extent a single product can support the gardening needs it may consider its digital heritage and future (like you suggest) and the requirements of those currently mostly using the product.

    It was a bold strategic decision that’s for sure, and I’ve spent so much time with WP since about 1.5 that I hope the platform will continue to thrive. But I’m less sure than in a long time, despite the market share and power.


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