Drew Coffman (the other half of the Internet Friends podcast) writes
"Your note library is not an encyclopaedia. It's a tool to facilitate thought. Don’t worry about completeness. Only write if it helps you with your own thinking."
He says that he would always try to "capture a complete experience" about whatever he was making notes about, trying to get everything relevant down at once. He is now a passionate user of Roam Research, the self-styled "note-taking tool for networked thought" - an associatively organised repository where everything is organised and connected via bi-directional links. Zettelkasten on steroids with the soul of hypertext.
I tried, and failed, to use a wiki plugin on the blog to create my own network of connected notes and instigate "slow writing" but the whole blog has become more like this. I moved away from trying to make everything perfect, trying to make everything an essay that explored a whole topic all at once. Switching to more of a micro-blogging ethos where I write more frequent, shorter notes, acting as a stream of consciousness, has become my own version of this connected style.
Linking to previous posts, and the "Related Post" references that creates, is a basic yet effective bi-directional system of connections allowing me to follow threads of thought over time. When you also factor in clickable hashtags (which I really should use more) the blog becomes more of a database than ever.
It really harkens back to the idea that the site is a "succession of little ideas" that combine into something bigger.
I think that the "succession" should result in a "development of an idea".
And, no doubt, over time it does. Gradually, piece by piece as the little ideas iterate and build.
I agree. As the little ideas build and iterate they are, no doubt, working towards something bigger, something more complete and whole. Still, I place no time limit on this, have no expectations of ever reaching an answer or conclusion. Indeed, I am well aware that my position may change over time, maybe become a contradiction to where I started. A journey isn't always linear, there may never be a destination, an end point at which we can say "Eureka!" Sometimes the journey itself is enough, the cumulative experience is sufficient to satisfy without requiring closure. It can, however, be frustrating both for the creator and the consumer; we can feel cheated when we expect this progression to lead somewhere, to provide the key to unlock knowledge or wisdom. We have to accept that there are not always answers or solutions, only learning, realisation and growth. Perhaps that is the best answer of all.
The blog has been using the Fragmentions plugin for some time. This allows you to link to, and visually indicate, specific parts of a target post. Recently I improved the styling of the linked "fragments" but wanted to go one stage further. Having remarked that displaying internal webmentions as 'related posts' created a sort of bi-directional system of connections within the blog I felt that this could be enhanced. Yes, listing them 'works' but what if the fragments they linked to were identified in some way? Challenge accepted. When a webmention is received it writes any URL fragment to the database along with the source address so I just needed to check if each webmention has such a fragment and was from my own blog. Then I change the text within the body of the post to a link and format it differently; I've chosen a subtle dotted underline:
Now internal webmentions truly are bi-directional. I think theres a couple of kinks I need to work out but will look at them as they crop up.