The Garden and the Stream

This is a concept from The Garden and the Stream: A Technopastoral | Hapgood, but I first came in contact with it through The Garden and the Stream - Doubleloop.


“Streams” are continuous feeds of information. “The Stream” is the aggregate of all those streams in the web. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Blogs, and social media in general. Information appears on streams, is consumed, maybe there is some response to it initially, but after interest dies down it is not altered again.


See Digital Garden

“Gardens” are the timeless (but not static) analogue to streams. Information added to gardens grows over time and, more importantly, is linked bi-directionally to other information within the garden. This surfaces non-obvious links between ideas, and allows for developing thought in novel ways.

Perhaps the biggest Garden in common use is Wikipedia. It even has bi-directional links! (“What links here” button)

Is one or the other “better”

Gardens and Streams can be complementary. The Stream is immediate, responsive, and perhaps violent (?) in its delivery of information. It is useful as a means of connecting people as it encourages responding, as opposed to editing.

Gardens encourage a more thoughtful accumulation of information (but maybe not necessarily slower?) You can follow a thread of knowledge to its logical conclusion (and beyond) going on possibly interesting tangents along the way.