Tom Critchlow describes digital gardening as a more personal concept compared to standard blogging. He explains how a blog primarily functions as a medium to address a large audience, whereas one’s digital garden focuses more on speaking to yourself, and cultivating a collection of personal projects.
From understanding Critchlow’s distinction between the two, it seems like melatonin gone missing functions as both a digital garden and a blog.
At first glance, melatonin gone missing is clearly and undeniably a blog. Being able to edit and timestamp posts aligns with the typical format of a blog, which works to document changes in thought and creativity according to Tanya Basu.
The posts and the platform are established in a way where it makes sense for people to consume the content as if I created it just for them. In my previous process post about imaginary audiences, I discuss more in-depth about how my blog content and design are influenced by target audiences. In this sense, I am indirectly addressing large audiences. However, this dynamic of speaking to an audience is more covert from my perspective, as according to Google Analytics data, my site users total 89, most of which I’m sure are myself from various devices. I do not expect my blog to ever reach people outside of my social circle or PUB 101, so I would say that I use melatonin gone missing more as a space for myself, rather than a space for others. This summons the digital garden aspects of my blog.
Basu notes that digital gardening has become popular specifically because it displays growth and learning among people with niche interests. It seems that building an online space to geek out over unique hobbies and things from pasta to politics is one of the most attractive things about cultivating a digital garden. melatonin gone missing certainly speaks to this, as it has formed an identity around showcasing random and weird interests of mine. This personal aspect about putting whatever you want in your garden, as long as its something you’d like to see grow, is additionally considered to be an important element of a digital garden.
I have mentioned in my Imaginary Audiences post and my About Me page that I consider my blog to be authentic and true to myself; nothing I post will cater to what others might want to see (with the exception of POSIEL content), rather everything that’s posted is what I felt like creating and documenting. The intimacy and individuality of a digital garden is parallel to what is highly valued in melatonin gone missing. The personal element is at the forefront of what makes digital gardens so enrapturing, from both the gardener’s and visitor’s perspective.
Seeing as melatonin gone missing has elements of both a traditional blog and a digital garden, I would definitely argue that there is a sweet spot in between the two. The public nature of a traditional blog uplifts and complements the personal aims of a digital garden. Without elements of one, melatonin gone missing would likely feel incomplete. The openness of the platform and tone that speaks outwardly to an imagined audience is integral to the site’s intended purpose of sharing my late night thoughts/activities. Furthermore, the content’s cultivation being holistically personal is what creates an honest, carefree, and authentic essence that melatonin gone missing (hopefully) hones. I’ve found that using aspects of traditional blogging and digital gardening together to build my site is an effective way to achieve my ideal outcomes for my site.
Basu, T. (2020, September 3). Digital Gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved March 2, 2023, from https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/