productObsidian & Sekund vs Athens Research

Two very different approaches to networked thought collaboration

1 minute read

To make it clear: I am not an Athens Research user. I do however like their approach: they are a Roam Research alternative, with two very interesting differentiators:

  • they provide a self-hosted backend
  • they have built-in collaboration features

Those two features go very well together. Indeed, because they are using a separate database that everyone connects to, collaboration is a natural next step to the personal editing functionalities that everyone expects from a PKM software. Indeed, Athens allows to collaboratively work on one unique and shared graph of notes, which is great.

Sekund, being a plugin sitting on top of a local-first PKM, namely Obsidian, would have a very hard time if it were to do the same thing.

Instead, I chose to let users share atomic notes only. So everyone works on their own, completely private, graph and, when they choose to, they can share any individual note with either a specific user or a group of users.

It’s a different approach. Choices, choices, choices.