Understanding digital garden creation with Obsidian

Can someone help me wrap my head around this? I love the idea of creating a public notes digital garden like Mental Nodes.

I’ve read on this forum that Neuron can be used for that. But from reading the developer’s page, it appears that I would have to use the Neuron app for my notes instead of Obsidian.

So my questions are these:

  1. Is Neuron the thing I should use? (I have my own server, by the way.)

  2. I love Obsidian so far, and while there are great features in Roam and Notion, I want to see Obsidian succeed, so I want to stay on this platform.

  • Can I use Obsidian, then push my notes to Neuron (or whatever) to convert to HTML pages?

  • Assuming I can, I don’t want to make all my notes public, just select notes. Can I use a #public tag and have only those pushed out?

  1. Until Obsidian has a mobile app, I’ll continue using 1Writer, which means I have to keep a flat-file structure. Will that be possible with what I’m trying to do above?

Sorry if these questions are banal, but this is all new to me.

Many thanks!

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Hey @renerodriguez… I’m not familiar with “Neuron” and a search turns up this: https://hackage.haskell.org/package/neuron

As a developer, I’m going at this in perhaps a different way and using the tools that currently exist and that I know how to use…which might not be very non-developer friendly. :upside_down_face:

So here’s my approach:

  1. The files Obsidian uses are just regular Markdown formatted text files.
  2. The files a SSG (static site generator) uses, like 11ty, are just regular Markdown files with Frontmatter.
  3. The wiki-style links [[page-name]] are great, very user-friendly, but they don’t conform to the Markdown spec and aren’t used in regular markdown pages. Instead, links are created with [link text](theURL). So I use the regular Markdown style of links in my Obsidian pages and Obsidian is just fine with it. They are not as convenient as the wiki-style links, but I write in Markdown so much that it’s just muscle memory to create the links via Markdown syntax.
  4. So, if I use the regular markdown link structure, and add Frontmatter to my pages (which Obsidian doesn’t care about) I can then:
    • use an SSG (11ty) to create a very simple website, where the “content” is an Obsidian vault,
    • using a free GitHub account, create a repository to store my 11ty site,
    • edit them locally with either VSCode or Obsidian,
    • push new pages or updates to Github via git
    • and host that 11ty website for free at Netlify…which automatically updates every time I push an update or new file to GitHub.
    • Still use Obsidian locally to view the graph, backlinks, etc.

To your question regarding “private” pages, you could have a Frontmatter variable, for example “private:” that when empty (false) means the page will show. But when set “private: true” will be filtered and won’t show on the website. I use something similar but call it “draft:” which is “false” when empty.

11ty also has an .eleventyignore file and if you wanted to organize your private pages in their own folder, (Obsidian supports folders) you could just create a “/private” folder and then specify it in the .eleventyignore file and ALL files in that folder would not even be processed by 11ty.

All that being said…If a person doesn’t know what “git”, “github”, “ssg”, “netlify”, “frontmatter”, or “node.js” means, they won’t be able to publish a static site from their Obsidian vault(s).

…The current best option would be to wait for Obsidian to roll out their Obsidian Publish feature.

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Also, in case this is of any interest, this VSCode extension was mentioned somewhere else today. I’ve added it to VSCode, played with it, and it’s very cool:

PS: After installing the extension in VSCode and making changes, links, etc. in several files in from the “Help” directory, I opened the “Features” dir as an Obsidian vault and all my wiki-style and Markdown-style links work AND show up as backlinks.

My overall point… Obsidian is a fantastic interface for creating and writing, graph visualization, and back link tracking. When combined with an editor like VSCode and repo storage on GitHub, one can pretty much do anything with the .MD files/content.

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@ShaneRobinson Thank you for your detailed reply. I appreciate it. I should have included a link to Neuron for you; my apologies for the omission. The one I’ve seen is here. While I’m not a dev, I’ve been around devs enough to have picked up a few things (I have owned four branding and marketing agencies), so I have a cursory knowledge of git, github, ssg, etc.

It looks like the Obsidian Publish feature is making its way into beta. At the rate that the Obsidian team is moving, it might be worth waiting, but I’ll explore the options you provided more. It might be useful for me to get more comfortable with the aforementioned technologies anyway.

Thanks again.

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@renerodriguez Many thanks for the link to Neuron. And I agree that, depending on its implementation, the Obsidian Publish feature may be quite the game changer and really (hopefully) viable competitor to Roam.

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Just following up for anyone who lands here… I just found a project on GitHub that will allow you to easily, and for free, put your Obsidian vault online:

Eleventy Garden : https://github.com/b3u/eleventy-garden

It has backlinks, bi-directional linking, and supports “[[ ]]” wiki links.

You’ll have to know how to use Node.js, the terminal, and Git to run your local setup so it’s obviously not a “1 click publish to web” solution. But it’s free, infinitely customizable, and available today.

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Thanks, Shane!

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I also found this: https://github.com/kmcgillivray/obsidian-lettersmith

Didn’t try it, but looks like it could work.

(Lettersmith powers Gordon Brander’s site.)

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Thank you, @Silver!

Thanks for the mention!

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Following in the hopes that we’ll eventually have a “no technical knowledge required” option :slight_smile:

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I discovered another solution here. Curious if anyone can comment on whether this is a feasible solution or not

The issue with point 3 is not muscle memory but the fact that you need to access your memory to make the link, whereas using Obsidian’s built-in inline search to make internal links relieves one of that burden … which is and has always been hypertext’s no.1 unresolved issue (easy, non-distracting-from-writing linking).

That said, if Obsidian has an option for generating relative Markdown links []() instead of the [[]] ones, that would resolve lots of people issues I suspect.

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FYI, you should update that to https://github.com/binyamin/eleventy-garden

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Thanks.

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:+1:t2:

In case you hadn’t seen this yet: I can absolutely recommend Obsidian Publish which was just released this week. I’m using it every day, paying for it ($10/mo.) happily, too. I’m a big fan because it’s practically seamless between writing, editing and publishing.

Does somebody have a clue about how I can integrate an .md file emailed to me into my (Obsidian-based) digital garden?

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you can simply move the .md file into the folder where you store all of your obsidian notes.

Or you could even just copy paste the content of what you need into a new note in obsidian.

Feel free to message me if you need any further help!