Obsidian.md is a powerful knowledge base that works on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files. The tool is very flexible and the community is very active, so users in the community discord requested the creation of this newsletter. Hopefully, this will provide an easily digestible summary in "in case you missed it" (ICYMI) form: useful tips, information & resources users not active in the community might otherwise miss.
The intention is that each Roundup represent a summary of potentially relevant information the community engaged within a particular week. Some of it might not necessarily be new, but since it came up, the assumption is that it might be useful for people who don't spend all day hanging out with the Obsidian community. It is not exclusively a list of cutting-edge features, but also will not replicate a blow-by-blow account of every discussion.
I also periodically publish longform essays of my thoughts on topics that come up a lot.
Sometimes people ask what my “process” for writing the Obsidian Roundup is, and how to “submit” something for consideration to be included. This isn't usually necessary, and here's why:
The roundup basically started as a way to help people keep up with the Obsidian Community Discord, which I am a pretty active member of. It's metastasized a bit, i.e. I've expanded outward to other parts of the community as I become aware of them, but every Friday morning, the Discord server is where I start.
The Discord has a bookmark bot that I use to flag information for myself that I think would be useful for people, such as obscure tips or long interesting conversations on a particular topic where no particular individual message gets a strong reaction from people, but might be useful for people in the aggregate. I generally try to read every message in the Discord, but I occasionally miss the significance of something at first glance and rely on the starboard to flag workflows I didn’t necessarily understand at first. It’s the channel where things that the discord community "stars" items – if five people do so, it gets pulled out to a special channel.
Not everything from the starboard makes it into the Roundup – lots of times the stuff on the starboard is neat, but the stars wind up being more of a “good job” than an "it would be useful for people to see this.”
After that, I check out the plugins & themes mentioned in the updates channel, then skim through everything (yes, everything) people tweet @obsdmd (tho it's not my account) and glance at r/ObsidianMD. I usually include resources that have something "new" to offer or feel particularly relevant or comprehensive, but my procedure is basically that I start with stuff on the discord starboard and go from there.
There aren't any special tricks beyond "I read everything," although some of my fellow moderators kindly put together scripts that de-duplicates links from various places, so I don't have to waste time sorting through things I've already read. Even so, the Roundup typically takes 3-7 hours just to write, not counting all the "keeping up" I do with things throughout the week.
I do not typically follow any of the YouTube content creators – although I’m friendly with many and appreciate what they do, I don’t have time to watch and analyze so much audiovisual content, and rely on creators and subscribers to surface useful audiovisual content like podcasts and videos by pasting links into one of the channels I monitor.
People do occasionally email me stuff that I missed because navigating Obsidian’s discourse forum isn’t as intuitive to me as it is for other people, but generally the Roundup is a collection of resources of things people "could" see if they hung out in “the Obsidian community,” and that are talked about by the community, rather than being everything that touches on Obsidian in some way. 95% of the content that is relevant to the Roundup is shared in that way, you don't have to tell me about it because realistically if you want Roundup readers to find out about it, you probably also want the rest of the community to know about it and should share directly with them.
Sometimes people wonder why something they shared didn't make it into the Roundup. There are typically two reasons this might happen. One, I didn't understand the significance of what was shared, or it felt redundant or not like something a ton of people would use. Two, I didn't see it because it was shared somewhere I don't monitor, to whit:
If you post a neat resource as the 255th reply in a long showcase thread on the forum, I’m almost definitely not going to see it unless someone in Discord links to it. If you have an amazingly insightful comment at the bottom of a Reddit thread I read before you posted it, I’m probably not going to see it unless you message me about it directly. If you share a course or a new video to your personal subscribers and nobody mentions it in the “broader Obsidian community,” I’m probably not going to know to include it.
But you’re welcome to contact me about it.