Originally posted November 11, 2020 to

Roam Research’s allure as a note-taking app comes from the ability to link notes together as a two-way link. This lets notetakers more closely model the human mind and encourage creativity and knowledge-based insight.

This reminds me of an early idea for the web, where some hyperlinks were meant to be two-way. Although that didn’t reach fruition, it makes me wonder whether the one-way links achieve similar results.

That is, through the exabytes of knowledge on the web and billions of links between thoughts, ideas, and other content, has the web developed to become a knowledge graph of magnificent scale? A grand hive mind that captures the state of human consciousness? And by corollary, is creating, editing, deleting, or consuming web content participating in the largest Zettelkasten system in history?

My take is yes, to all of it.


As of early 2021, I’ve been using simple HTML pages to take my notes and help with my personal knowledge management. With HTML being a document format, the web having built in linking, and web browsers being incredibly powerful scripting and formatting engines, this workflow has been incredibly robust and flexible. I’ll probably continue with it until I run into any debilitating issues. It’s also pretty cool that the workflow uses an open standard, so I don’t have to worry about some company going out of business and ruining it.

As of March 2024, I’ve been using Obsidian for my networked note-taking. You’re actually reading part of my vault right now.