I am writing a blog post every day from December 1st to December 24th, 2021, about a blogger whose writing or site I follow. My aim for this series is to help you discover new blogs and to help get the word out about content creators whose blogs I appreciate. You can read more about this series in the inaugural Day 1 post.
@tracydurnell.com's Mind Garden
Tracy Durnell is writing a mind garden, a site dedicated to the things she is thinking about and the ideas she wants to discuss. There is no guarantee that what is published will be complete: it's all part of the process. Tracy's blog reminds me of the "digital garden" concept, an idea characterised by its belief in fleshing out ideas as you go. I find this way of thinking intriguing. Digital gardens, and mind gardens like Tracy's, are a digital embodiment of how we think. They create an environment conducive to thinking and sharing at the same time even if you don't have much to say on a topic just yet.
Tracy describes having a mind garden as a way for her to "think out loud" on her website home page. I love this phrasing. I consider my blog as a place to think out loud. I often ask questions in my blog posts to challenge myself to think about different parts of an idea on my mind (and to facilitate feedback too!). By writing something on the web, you can share it with people to get their thoughts and continue a discussion.
I looked at Tracy's mind garden today and saw many posts about books, ranging from books Tracy wants to read to those that she has recently read. I scrolled down a bit and already have the name of a book that I want to read: "Several People Are Typing". The book is a work of fiction about communicating asynchronously. It looks great. Like all book posts, the article is tagged under categories so I can explore more in that area. I have been thinking about recommendations lately. I think a personal site is the perfect place to share your recommendations. You can give someone a link and they can see what you recommend, whether that is a book or something else.
Tracy also posts blog posts, short and long. In a recent short post, Tracy shared some places you can go to find new personal websites. There are some excellent links to explore on that page. I have not yet read many of Tracy's longer blog posts but I plan to read more as they come into my feed reader. One recent post that stood out to me was "Writing Metrics and Capitalism," a reflection on the National Novel Writing Month and word counts. There are some great points in there about imposter syndrome and identity.
One of my favourite reads on Tracy's blog was her post on getting more women involved in the IndieWeb community. Tracy made some excellent points about barriers that may impact one's interest in joining the IndieWeb or setting up a personal website.
The footer on Tracy's blog links to all of the categories on the site. This makes it easy to navigate around and find posts in Tracy's mind garden that may interest you. The "humour" category intrigues me because I like to laugh. There is also an intuitive "posts by type" section so you can navigate to specific posts that you may want to look at such as articles, likes, and reports on media that Tracy is watching or has watched.
I think there's a lot to learn about post type navigation from Tracy's site. Posts feel connected across the site despite their different types. This likely has something to do with the "garden" being front and centre on the site where all content is published, abstracting away from individual post types. I have struggled with post type navigation on my site. Tracy has inspired me to think more about this topic.
P.S. Tracy has a blogroll of blogs that she reads. If you ever see a blogroll on a website, I'd recommend taking a look and clicking the links that look interesting to you (or click all of them!). This is a great way to explore other sites on the web.
Other posts in this series
Check out the other posts I have written as part of this series.
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