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Using Tags vs Topic Pages in Digital Garden Running on Ghost

Related: Ghost Blog, Digital Garden


As an alternative to native Ghost Blog tags in my Digital Garden I currently use topic pages.

Topic Page is note dedicated to a single topic which acts like a node for relevant content and links to other notes. The problem is how to manage these links and keep them up to date.

I used to automate it the following way: when Topic Page was published all the outcoming [[Double Bracket]] links were replaced with urls. Backlinks were inserted right into the topic page body.

Here is breakdown of pros and cons of doing that.

Ghost Tag Pros

  • Tagged posts show up on the Tag page automatically
  • Tag is clear for everyone
  • The tag page looks kinda nice with its posts list
  • Allows to seamlessly integrate the digital garden into the blog

Ghost Tag Cons

  • My current theme only shows a primary tag on the post page which limits navigation capabilities. For that reason, it won't work well with densely liked notes.
  • The "Related posts" section is also limited
  • Tags are searchable. Too many tags would overflow search results.

Topic Page Pros

  • Matches Zettelkasten note structure

  • Allows to add additional context for the topic or seamlessly turn the topic page into an outline.

  • Using tags only for the "blog" allows me to keep the digital garden separately from the blog itself.

Topic Page Cons

  • The topic page needs to be re-published every time so that backlinks would pull in
  • The plain text list of backlinks doesn't look as good as the native "related posts" section.

I wasn't 100% happy with how my topic pages and developed a better alternative that takes the best from both "Topic Page" and "Ghost Tag Page" and almost doesn't have any downsides: Using Private Tags for Digital Garden Backlinks in a Ghost Blog