Obsidian Chat

Today it dawned on me that there is an incredible amount of potential for the types of plugins that can/will be created for Obsidian. Wordpress core is a humble blogging CMS, yet thanks to plugins it is now a drag and drop platform builder that can do basically anything. Obsidian core is a humble (and f***ing amazing) plaintext/markdown IDE, and thanks to plugins it can be oh so much more.

One thought I had was that it should be possible to create a markdown based chat plugin. I have no idea how this would work from a developer perspective, but here’s my logic:

Similarly to Obsidian Publish, centralized sync services can be set up to connect multiple instances - thus creating a system where there is decentralized data all connected through a centralized service… The best of both worlds…

So, a service could be set up for adding community/collaboration features to Obsidian.

Imagine if you could set any pane to be a Discord-style chat, connected with other Obsidian users that are connected via the same service. And there could be an option to turn on chat autosave, so chats could be automatically writing itself to an .md file as they happen. Maybe it could even be a fully private decentralized chat thats being facilitated through a centralized service, but all data is stored on markdown. Im sure this would be super complicated, but would be super awesome.

Anyone have any ideas on if/how something like this would be possible via a paid or free(mium) service? It could even be one component of an entire suite of productivity plugins built on Obsidian.

I love the modular nature of Obsidian (plugins and interface) and something like a chat module would be amazing.

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If nothing else, your example points to the incredible opportunities provided by effective app design. You’re right—Obsidian can be a “platform” as much as it may be a note taking app.

I do think there’re incredible opportunities for collaborative knowledge bases and that plugins that enhance the “social” aspects of this will be essential in making them a reality!

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100%

I dove deep into the Zettelkasten/Roam/Obsidian rabbithole since finding all of this last week. One thing I kept seeing again and again was Conor of Roam talking about his plans for “multiplayer Roam” and social networked-thought. The problem is I don’t trust centralized data. Just last week my FB account was permanently deactivated for no reason. I lost all my business pages, followers, groups, content, photos, everything. They gave me no reason and basically just said, “tough s***, deal with it!” I couldn’t believe it!

I’m over the hyper-centralized data monopolies, and Roam is playing that game hard. I think there is a healthy sweetspot to be found between centralized services and decentralized data, and Obsidian has the right idea.

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I have similar ideas, of harvesting Obsidian as a full fledged platform. I was even thinking triggering development of a complete OS around Obsidian.
Possibly a Linux distribution with Obsidian and other essential tools. Just like Tail OS. Keeping as light as Puppy Linux and likes.

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(Man, sucks about your FB account. That kind of stuff is awful.)

I believe Emacs already has the ability to host Discord through bitlbee. I think it already is the full fledged, open productivity platform you are describing.

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Awesome! I had a similar vision the other day. The way Obsidian is laid out makes it feel like its the core of an entire operating system.

Where each pane could be powered by different plugins (apps) to create features like team chat, social media, project management, publishing/blogging, etc…

A unified UX would be pure bliss.

I also like the idea of having very clear development guidelines for plugin/app developers, so that everything follows the same line of quality and interoperability.

A collaborative OS, with localized/private data and centralized/public connectivity.

Considering the limitations of a markdown-only approach, I wonder if what’s needed is a new type of open file format. Markdown is great for text, but we need a new format for more advanced types of media. A universal open file format would solve a lot of problems.

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Yeah it was quite a shock. But tbh I’m relieved. Facebook is toxic.

That’s awesome Emacs has a Discord integration.

Unfortunately Emacs is not a fit for me. I need a modern GUI, which is why I love Obsidian so much. As a designer, I’m a super visual person so great UI and UX are non-negotiable :slight_smile:

This is a really cool idea, and there’s a developing niche for it! (I could send more general links to people talking about this kind of stuff if you’re interested.)

You might really enjoy this brief note by Andy Matuschak. It discusses some of the implications of interlinked, concept-based notes on communication.

As far as the limitations of markdown go, I’ve wondered something similar. I like your idea here for a unified file format, and I’ve seen bits and pieces of potential for it surface here and there in my reading.

I’m also pretty new to thinking about this topic, but it seems like this visionary page and this project are big players here.

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