Neil's Noodlemaps

2020-05-02

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1 Article: Publishing your org-roam wiki map to the web: overview

I want my wiki to be a sensemaking aid - after collecting the dots, to help me then connect them and see the constellations.

One sensemaking tool in Roam and org-roam is the wiki graph - a graph (in the nodes and edges sense) of all of the notes in your wiki and their links to each other. Not quite a mind map. More of a hypertext map. I've been playing around with publishing this map to my public site.

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2 Bliki tooling

Thinking about 'bliki' (blog and wiki, garden and stream, stock and flow, etc etc) tooling a bit.

[Aside: perhaps if I made some bliki software, I would call it 'Flock'.. flow and stock…]

2.1 What I'm currently doing

For the garden bit, I'm using org-roam. I actually write my stream bits first in org-roam, publish it to HTML, then just manually copy that HTML to WordPress and publish there for all the public stream stuff. As it's IndieWeb-enabled, WP gets me feeds for people to follow, and all the interactions you'd expect from streams - replies, likes, etc.

So it is manual until it hurts, but it doesn't hurt too much at the moment. In fact, writing and hyperlinking with org-roam then copying it over is for me a lot more pleasant than writing straight in to WordPress.

But obviously there's quite a lot of redundancy there.

2.2 Where I could go with it

I could use WordPress pages as my interlinked garden. This would have the great benefit of also having all of the stream functionality OOTB. I haven't explored WP for wiki pages much, but I know that Ton does it. I think I personally won't do it this way as I find WordPress too much friction for me for writing, but having everything in one system is obviously a big boon.

I think if I could use Arcology combined with org-roam, that'd get me a pretty sweet bliki setup. (With more on top, including some of the note-taking and sensemaking bits too).

But I think it'll be a while before I'm set up with Arcology, and even then, given it is static, it's missing a lot of the building blocks of the IndieWeb that would also need adding. So I'll keep it as this manual Rube Goldberg device for now.

But, good to have a long-term goal!

3 Blikis

Really interesting to learn (via Desmond) that Martin Fowler has a post about the link between blogs and wikis, from 2003(!).

Beyond the name, however, there's the very ephemeral nature of blog postings. Short bursts of writing that might be interesting when they are read - but quickly age. I find writing too hard to want to spend it on things that disappear.

"I find writing too hard to want to spend it on things that disappear" - I love that as a little epigram for why you might want a digital garden.

Martin calls the blog and wiki combo his bliki.

Like a blog, it allows me to post short thoughts when I have them. Like a wiki it will build up a body of cross-linked pieces that I hope will still be interesting in a year's time.

As a word, I'm not so keen on 'bliki' (although back then Martin didn't like the word 'blog', and well here we are now, I don't give it a second thought).

But blikis as a concept - I'm all in.

4 Improving my wiki publish step

Tinkered around with my org-publish steps a little bit - moving the config out of my .spacemacs file and into a dedicated publish.el in my wiki project, along with a Makefile to run it as a –batch process.

This way, it can be better shared with others, and I can also run it in the background - org-publish is pretty slow sadly, and blocks all of Emacs when you run it interactively.

This also takes me in the direction of having the publish step actually happen as a post-receive hook on a git remote somewhere, if I wanted to do that.

It was a bit of a faff, but I learned a bit more about Emacs and org-publish in the process, and had to do some basic elisp debugging to figure out why the org-roam backlinks stuff wasn't working. Pleased to have learned some new things!

5 Selectively publishing to the stream

As I try the stream-first approach, a comment from Bruno at the Garden and Streams session sticks in my head - along the lines that he had experimented with software where pretty much everything was written in to his wiki first, with simply a flag to say 'also publish this to my public stream'.

I find that interesting as I just posted something to my stream in my wiki (a tech note to myself about Chromium disk usage), that I don't feel a particular benefit to posting to a public stream - I can't imagine anyone really wanting it popping up in their social readers.

BUT I do want it in my own chronological timeline (as well as my longer-term garden), as I find it useful to be able to look back when something first happened. I want to record the journey as well as the destination, so to speak.

You see quite a few IndieWeb people do something along these lines, with a full 'firehose' stream you can follow, but also a more restricted subset of 'stuff I think other people will be most interested in'.

6 Chromium disk usage

I just noticed that Chromium (which I very rarely use) was taking up 1.3GB of space in my .config folder.

Here's how to clean that up: disk usage - Why does Chromium take up 1 GB in my .config and can I reduce th…

Odd that it was taking up so much space, given that my daily driver is Firefox.

7 Backlinks

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