Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Diary Vs Journal Vs Blog

It's a straightforward proposition...what's the difference between a diary and a journal, and where does a blog fit into that? It occurs to me since i tend to use the term interchangeably.

I came across a post on Wild Mind discussing a piece found here about the differences. If you are in anyway interested, you should give them both a read, they won't take long.

The Lost Muse summarises the differences thusly:

If you want to vent, write about your day, or put an event on paper, you are keeping a diary.

If you are writing with a goal in mind, or your writing has a specific purpose, then you are journaling.

If you host your log on the internet, and are writing about your opinion and not intimate details, then you are blogging.

Like Wild Mind, I'm not so sure the distinction is that clear. The dictionary definition of journal and diary are almost identical, referencing each other in fact. And while a weblog does in fact cover a whole range of things, when most people say they blog, they mean the keep an on-line diary, or journal. Of course some people don't like the term blog, and in fact prefer to say they are writing an online journal.

I am wondering this as i write for my thesis on blogs. Or should I say, as I write on blogs for my thesis. I'm just thinking that I should make it clear what I'm talking about. I clearly explain what a weblog is, and that there are different kinds of weblogs, but from that point on, i will only be talking about diary-style blogs.

So, what do you think? do you see a distinction? feel free to comment on this issue...

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