Stian Håklev posted an interesting question and on the Digital Gardeners telegram group:

I’m curious how people feel about comments and interaction? And also interactivity between digital gardens in general (like paths connecting the parks of a city? :)).

Chris has talked enthusiastically about interlinking wikis before (e.g. during the Gardens and Streams IndieWeb session), so I’m sure there’s something to it. For me, I think because I already get the interactivity goodness on my stream and my articles, it’s something I haven’t generally been that interested in for my wiki notes thus far.

Stian has some use cases for which he would like the interactivity:

I know comments have gotten a bad rep on the internet, attracting spam or trolls etc, but on the other hand I feel really frustrated when I can’t leave comments on Andy Matuschak’s notes…

I think Webmentions would work well here. You would write a comment as a post on your own site, and then this will notify Andy. He can choose to do whatever he wants with this comment (display the comment, display it as a backlink, ignore it completely, not display it at all, if he prefers). This way you can write a comment on whatever you want and the receiver chooses what to do with it.

Or another example – I just looked at Salman’s site about Deliberate rest (https://notes.salman.io/deliberate-rest), and thought that I just took some notes about attention restoration therapy from Deep Work – https://notes.reganmian.net/deep-work… Of course I could tell him here (I am :)) but that “doesn’t scale”…

Webmentions would work for this too – as just a simple ‘mention’, not necessarily a comment. Salman would be notified automatically that your note references his note. Salman could choose to display it as a backlink, if he liked.

Short-term, I am looking at adding at least page-level comments to my blog, using a Gatsby plugin and probably externally hosted comments.

Adding webmention support to receive comments could work here.

Also interested in experimenting with annotations, for example embedding Hypothes.is directly in the pages…

Kartik Prabhu has a nice article about receiving annotations on his posts via webmentions.

Long-term, I’m interesting in thinking about more structured ways of interlinking digital gardens – whether it looks more like interwiki links, blog backlinks, or something else, I’m not sure. I have some notes I’ll publish once I organize them a bit more.

I can definitely see the appeal of backlinks between wikis, but only in an abstract sense at the moment.

The utility is in the networked thought. I guess for me it comes down to whether I see the utility in all of this connectivity on specifically my evergreen notes, as opposed to my stream posts.

8 thoughts on “A web of wikis”

  1. @neil. ‘delete-and-redrafting’ as I’m still getting to grips with this interface, and didn’t mean to cc your ccs. Anagora’s interface is further leap still!Have enjoyed now gettting a bit lost in your garden… stumbling across Andy’s Working Notes – marvelling at their UI, reading of “Dynamic Knowledge Repositories’ which wounds a good name for what I was grasping for.

  2. @neil Also your comment “I see self-sovereign conversation preceding even group-sovereign conversation” which reminds me of one of my dad’s idioms “everyone wants a dialogue, but most people can’t even have a monologue”.I’m curious if/how doubleloop syncs with your contributions here: https://anagora.org/@neil – does everything feed from the same gitlab repo? Also, as your WordPress is your ‘stream’ presumably you’ve not seen merit in having a garden in a CMS, but rather as static files?


    Agora

  3. @nicol Everything’s a bit Rube Goldberg if I’m honest!My WordPress site predates my garden, and came about via an interest in IndieWeb. I have never particular enjoyed WordPress as a writing interface, but do very much appreciate the IndieWeb (essentially P2P stream) functionality you can get for free from some plugins.My garden comes via org-roam, which is a extension of the Emacs text editor. I much prefer Emacs as a writing tool (that’s mainly down to my familiarity with it, though).

  4. @nicol I sync my garden to Anagora via a separate process – Agora expects markdown+wikilinks, so I have a little thing that converts my org-roam files into the markdown that it expects. This is at https://gitlab.com/ngm/commonplace-agoraI think Foam is a popular choice that ‘just works TM’ with Agora.I think there’s plenty merit in using a CMS for a garden, if familiar with that CMS already. Some features you may not get though are things such as backlinks and graph views – this is what the new kids offer.


    Neil M / commonplace agora

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