Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Classification Stage 1...complete

At last. I've finally looked through ALL the blogs of my subjects, and classified them as YES, NO or MAYBE. But disappointingly, the final few were all NOs. There as a stark increase in NOs. Nostly people who didn't even blog in May, the month I was asking for text for. Silly people. Getting my hopes up, holding the data in front of my nose, but just whipping it away at the last minute.

So, now I need to deal with all those MAYBEs. The plan is to mark a couple up for our meeting on Wednesday and we can discuss it from there. I have less YESs than I had anticipated, so I'm hoping to include as many MAYBEs as possible. Not that I'm going to lower my standards, or massage the requirements just so I can have more data.

The problem is i'm no longer sure what a diary is.

Most people define things by their understanding of it. To me, my diary was where i wrote down what I did every day. So that was what I was looking for when I asked for diary-style blogs: a weblog detailing people everyday lives, no matter how mundane. I never really wrote anything personal in my diaries, but people do. People put their thoughts, their feelings, they put themselves into their diaries.

A while ago I wrote about a similar issue. In summary:

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.

One way I have started to see it, is that a journal is a log or what you did, but a diary is what you thought and felt. The terms are technically interchangeable: one dictionary definition I came across defines a journal as a diary.

So my problem is that I also see a lot of comment weblogs. The purpose of these blogs is to discuss There is nothing of the life of the auther, beyond their opinions on certain matters important to them. These are not the kind of blog that I am interested in.

But, what of the diarist, who first writes briefly of just one event that happened in the day, and that leads them to discuss some issue arising from that. It's like a diary, but they are making a comment on something, but in a diary-esque way. It's tricky.

I think i could say more about this, but for now my brain is fuzzing over, so I'll come back to it. Please feel free to add any thoughts you have on this.

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