The Power of Social Media: Lessons from TikTok and Zettelkasten


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 11, 2023

4 min read


The Power of Social Media: Lessons from TikTok and Zettelkasten

In today's digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives. From connecting with friends and family to sharing our thoughts and experiences, social media platforms have transformed the way we communicate and interact with others. Two interesting concepts that highlight the power of social media are TikTok and Zettelkasten. While TikTok represents the evolution of social media content creation, Zettelkasten showcases the potential of note-taking and knowledge organization. Let's explore these two fascinating phenomena and uncover the common points that make them successful.

TikTok: Simplifying Content Creation and Delivery

When it comes to social media platforms, the ability to create and share content effortlessly is crucial. TikTok has mastered this aspect by providing users with a simple and intuitive interface for planning, editing, and posting their videos. By streamlining the content creation process, TikTok ensures that users can easily produce high-quality videos without any hassle. Additionally, the platform also focuses on delivering valuable content to its viewers. It curates and promotes videos that resonate with its audience, ensuring that users have access to engaging and meaningful content.

The key takeaway from TikTok's success is the importance of facilitating content creation and designing mechanisms to deliver valuable content effectively. While closed social networks like Facebook and Instagram, where users primarily connect with acquaintances and friends, may not require such extensive support from the platform, open platforms like TikTok thrive on high-quality and engaging content. This distinction is crucial to understand when building social media platforms.

Zettelkasten: Enhancing Creativity and Knowledge Organization

On the other end of the spectrum, Zettelkasten represents a unique approach to note-taking and knowledge organization. Developed by Conrad Gessner and detailed by Johann Jacob Moser, Zettelkasten is a system that allows researchers to store and retrieve information related to their work. It goes beyond traditional note-taking by incorporating hierarchically numbered notes and metadata, enabling researchers to associate and cross-reference their notes effectively.

The power of Zettelkasten lies in its ability to enhance creativity and facilitate connections between individual pieces of information. By using tags and cross-referencing, researchers can uncover relationships and insights that may not be apparent in isolation. This method of knowledge organization not only aids in research but also sparks innovative thinking and idea generation.

Common Points and Insights

While TikTok and Zettelkasten may seem worlds apart, there are common points that we can draw from both phenomena. First, both platforms recognize the importance of providing users with clear guidelines and formats for content creation. TikTok's "lip-sync" video format and Zettelkasten's hierarchical note structure offer users predetermined frameworks that simplify the creative process and eliminate confusion.

Second, music plays a significant role in both TikTok and Zettelkasten. TikTok leverages the power of music to enhance the impact of videos, while Zettelkasten acknowledges the ability of music to transform and elevate existing content. Incorporating music into various forms of media can increase their appeal and captivate audiences, making it a valuable tool for content creators.

Actionable Advice

  • 1. Simplify the content creation process: If you're building a social media platform or working on content creation, focus on providing users with intuitive and user-friendly tools. By eliminating unnecessary complexities, you can encourage more people to create and share their content.
  • 2. Leverage the power of music: Whether you're creating videos, presentations, or any form of media, consider incorporating music to enhance the overall experience. Music has the ability to captivate and engage audiences, elevating the impact of your content.
  • 3. Embrace cross-referencing and organization: If you're a researcher or knowledge worker, explore note-taking methods like Zettelkasten. By organizing your notes hierarchically and using tags for cross-referencing, you can uncover valuable connections and insights that will enhance your work.


TikTok and Zettelkasten exemplify the power of social media and knowledge organization, respectively. By simplifying content creation and delivery, TikTok ensures that users can create and consume valuable content effortlessly. On the other hand, Zettelkasten enhances creativity and knowledge organization by enabling researchers to uncover connections and insights through effective note-taking methods. By incorporating actionable advice such as simplifying content creation, leveraging the power of music, and embracing cross-referencing, we can harness the potential of social media and knowledge organization to create impactful and meaningful experiences.

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