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I’m trying to figure out how I want to manage a public-facing personal wiki/digital garden website for learning in public, while also maintaining my own personal-facing notes much of which covers the same content.

Does anyone else have a similar setup? How do you do it?

I’m still figuring out my workflow and how I want organize everything.

Do I write distinct notes for public/private consumption that have conceptually duplicate content? Just straight up publish some of my private notes as the website? Simply utilize the public-facing website notes as my “real” notes for those particular topics?

@vortex_egg I've been going with the notion that my garden is notes. And as notes, they may or may not be in any kind of sensible state to an outsider. Reader beware, there are no returns or warranties.

So some are polished up nicely and written to be understandable by the public.

But plenty are also works in progress. Scattershot random thoughts and lists of bullet points. If someone wants to make sense of it now, they're welcome. Maybe in a few months I'll come back and add some context if I feel like it or maybe I never will...

@vortex_egg Otherwise, I do have a separate directory outside of the web directory of markdown notes that are truly personal notes that won't be published... shopping lists, personal journal entries.

I haven't really come up with a technical solution to them other than having them outside of the directory that's built for the site.

@lordbowlich That’s helpful input, thanks. I was considering something along those lines. I guess I’ll see how it evolves.

I need to break myself of the notion that things published online are some kind of official and true proclamation, especially when the explicitly stated purpose for my site is to be open-ended and learning in public (if I’m learning, it ain’t done yet).

@vortex_egg That permission has allowed me to do more public-facing writing in the last six months than I've probably done in the last six years.

I used to really stress out on the blog about making sure everything was in a final edited form before I would publish it because I felt once it was published it was done.

That just resulted in my saving more and more articles into my drafts directory and then publishing them in -- still unedited -- spurts whenever I got frustrated with the backlog.

@vortex_egg I've toyed around with the idea of extending my template to support a section on the bottom of each note that displays all previous git-commits for that note if anyone ever wanted to see how they evolved over time or needed to cite/link the note for a given date.

@vortex_egg @drwho may be a good person to ask.

I've been thinking about this problem too. My plan is basically to have a field called 'public' with a boolean or enum data type. Every new entry will default to public: false. When I hit 'publish' on the memex, it will put the public notes on the public website, and private notes will be published locally with the public notes on an almost identical web template. Simple enough :comfyshrug:

@theruran @drwho @lordbowlich

That’s an interesting idea about having a “public” flag.

Something that comes to mind is what to do if any “public” note links out to a “private” note. Have some ideas, but just thinking out loud.

My current setup is that ALL of my notes are just markdown files in a directory. Locally I view them through a “zettelkesten-style” markdown editor called Obsidian. For the website files I have a Jekyll static site generator setup that parses whatever .md files are in a certain dir as part of its build phase.

@vortex_egg @drwho @lordbowlich ah yeah- good point. the idea that just popped into my head was to keep the link live with just a stub w/ title and 'date added'. The note body can just say something like: "hey- I haven't gotten to publishing this one yet. email me if you want me to publish some notes here."

@theruran @drwho @lordbowlich I think with my current setup a broken link would just show up as the plain text `[[Name of unpublished note]]`. That might be good enough.

If the note on the receiving end later appears to me to be something worth sharing I can refactor things to extricate the good parts for publication.

Another benefit of the suggested approach of just publishing some of my “private” notes is not having to maintain separate completely unlinked notebooks. Running into that artificial divide last night was what prompted this line of questioning.

@vortex_egg @drwho @lordbowlich whatever solution that you come up with for your needs is the right one! (until you maybe change it later. 🙂​)

@theruran @vortex_egg There are wikis out there that let you flag a page as public or private; my wiki of choice (Pepperminty Wiki) doesn't do that, though.

I don't think there is anything extant that has the granularity that you're looking for.

@theruran @vortex_egg Something that /does/ have that, though, is Shaarli:

github.com/shaarli/Shaarli

Its primary use is as a (social) bookmark manager, but you can also use it as a (Markdown-enabled) notepad.

You can also set a Shaarli instance as all-public or all-private (you have to be logged in).

From there, you can make arbitrary entries only private (if it's a public instance) or public (if it's a private instance).

@drwho @theruran I think I have a note somewhere reminding me to check out Shaarli some day, based on your recommendations. :)

My question at the moment is more about the conceptual than the technical.

Seems to be a pretty evenly divided opinion from the swarm as to whether they prefer to keep public and private notes separate, or keep them all together in one place.

@drwho @theruran @vortex_egg
Maybe worth checking out Hubzilla?
It can do loads of stuff and its all got access control built in.
Theres webpages and wikis that can both handle markdown files.

With wikis access permission is set for the whole wiki rather than each page. Could have one wiki public, another private. But probably not ideal.

@dazinism @theruran @vortex_egg Pelican and Pepperminty Wiki both use Markdown (the former as source for pages, the latter natively in the datastore).

For what it's worth, I keep all of my notes private, but make the ones I want to take public into blog posts.

@vortex_egg I keep mine separate. And use the private notes for anything. If something crystalizes, I almost surely need to edit it and reformat for a general audience. At minimum just proof read for grammar lol. But I feel like the clean separation is worth it to know, for sure, when something is going to be public

@metasyn That makes a lot of sense! Thanks for the insight.

@vortex_egg all my notes are public by default, unless i add a private tag to them. very similar setup to yours, zettelkastan style wiki using md files, but i use vim-zettel instead of obsidian.

they come without warranty, but i have to make them understandable for myself so they're good enough for public audience (im v forgetful)

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