Too many links?

After several weeks of watching YouTube videos, reading articles and generally procrastinating, I have finally taken the plunge and am now using Obsidian/Zettelkasten to organise my thinking for the many presentations I have to give on a specific topic.

My vault now has around fifty permanent notes (still early days) and it is already becoming apparent to me that, with the over-enthusiasm of the beginner, I might be creating too many connections between notes. They seem sensible at the time, but when I return to them, I question how much value they are actually adding. Have others experienced this?

On a related subject, I came across this article on the usefulness of backlinks: Backlinking Is Not Very Useful -- Often Even Harmful • Zettelkasten Method
If there is substance to the argument, what would be the best way of mitigating the problem in Obsidian?

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What do help me a lot is to not just link when words of one note relate to the title of another, but to force myself in term of relationship name and properties. If I can put a clear name on that relation that would clearly explain to an outsider in what manner the notes are related, and if I could imagine wanting to add properties or texts on that relation itself (even to the point that the link could be a note), then I feel that link is super relevant.

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I don’t think you need to fret about whether you’re doing it right. The way you do things is going to change, especially early on. If you have a bunch of links that aren’t very useful, you’ll either start to feel it or you just won’t use them. You can remove them later if you like.

If you decide backlinks are bad, then just don’t open the backlinks pane. I don’t have strong opinions about them, but I rarely look at them.


Context. Context. Context! :slight_smile: Not sure how you present the links in your notes, but if you don’t have context as to why you made the connection, then even one link will, in the future, probably become meaningless.

Something like:

  • See [[7B1c1a Context informs the content]] as a way of showing how contextual linking can be applied to meaning-making

Yes, context is most meaning thing. Just imagine you forgot how you wrote all this. Your knowledge base should be understandable even if you have a hangover :smiley:

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I embed the note title, which is always a meaningful declarative statement, followed by a pipe and some text that makes sense in the context of the note.


@ssilverm I am curious as to why you add the pipe and text about the context while embedding another note. It sounds like an interesting idea, but as far as I know embeds don’t display the alternative text in Live Preview or Reading Mode.

I may be just misunderstanding you, and perhaps you simply mean a link. But, I just wanted to double check because it sounds like you might be onto something. It could be a cool feature request to be able to have alternative text titles for embeds.


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