Everything, Everything

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Blogs
Sunday 29th April, 2007 01:44 Comments: 5
I was going through my blog earlier today and I noticed that very few of my posts are what I'd call "journal entries" or "diary entries". I should perhaps rename this section of my site as a "blog" rather than a "diary", but it's too much of a pain to redo the site to use blog.php instead of diary.php, and I do occasionally leave somewhat private "diary" entries on here too. But the important thing is I think of this as a blog. I post rants about things, I post useful information (sometimes only I find it useful, but it has to go somewhere), I post funny things that I come across, and occasionally I write funny things myself (often they're random musings). On the whole, I think my blog is interesting to other random people, as well as most of my friends.

Other friends, however, have less interesting blogs. There are various reasons why. For example, I think Tom's blog is great and I look forward to his posts; but sometimes I'll have to wait weeks to read something new (in fairness, he's getting a lot better). I often read Emily's blog (although I'm not sure she knows this) as I find most of her posts entertaining and witty, but sometimes I struggle to understand why someone that appears to be quite intelligent and lovely can write some of the things that she posts. I also read my "friends page" on LiveJournal, but most of the friends that post on there treat LJ as a "journal" rather than a "blog". Which is fine, as that's what LJ stands for. But it's also a bit dull, which is why I don't usually leave comments, as I often lose the will to read the entire entry. Another friend's journal entries typically talk about a) how busy she is b) how hard she studies c) her weight/diet d) her kickboxing/running e) when she plans on going out in an evening (and usually who with) f) recipes g) financial worries over her house. Virtually every entry is one (or more) of those things, and it's rare that she writes about much else. The way she writes, and her comments, are usually entertaining, but the topics over the last 6 months are really starting to feel repetitive. But as I said, it's a journal, and she doesn't call it a blog. If she did, I'd have to give her a smack. Or perhaps just teach her the error of her ways.

Some of the blogs I enjoy reading are by more famous people, such as The Dilbert Blog by Scott Adams. Despite the name, he rarely writes much about his cartoon, and his daily articles are usually topical and/or controversial. I might not like all his entries about free will or terrorism, but I have subscribed to the RSS feed. I also like the geeky ones by McAfee, Sophos and Symantec. I also like the Errata Security blog, and Stephen Toulouse' personal blog. But part of the reason why I like them is because they talk about things, rather than themselves, and when they talk about themselves they do it in an interesting way. I don't think you'll ever see them make a detailed post about what they plan on doing next weekend.

So I guess what I'm saying is I don't like to read journals, but I do like blogs. So please don't be offended if I call your blog boring (if you call it a journal and write journal entries, then it's less of an annoyance, as at least I know what to expect). But if I want to know what you're doing next weekend, I'll probably ask you. And if I want to find out what you've been up to, I'll ask you over a coffee. And if you expect me to read your blog, don't forget to post fairly regularly - I can get bored quite easily. But don't post for the sake of it. Sometimes it's better to go quiet for a day or two than write crap. Which is partly why I've been quiet for a day or two. Crap, I just told you something about what I've been up to. Hehe.
Avatar Fab - Sunday 29th April, 2007 20:34
Oho so my journal is boring huh? ;) I have not posted anything this weekend as I have just been bored/aggravated to hell by my parents. Not worth posting unless I come up with a load of funny abuse.

I thought blogs were meant to be a lot about what happened to you that day/week and your observations/reactions to those events. Having said that, reading about someone's daily grind is going to lack a certain spark.

Techie isnt necessarily better.. Personal observations can be very interesting.
Avatar Robert - Sunday 29th April, 2007 20:41
Actually, I think yours is fine. If anything, you're doing it wrong, as you appear to be writing a blog on a journal site ;)

I agree that blogs are about your obsverations/reactions to events that have happened, or happened to you, in the week. What they're not is a detailed diary of what you've been up to (without any observations), or a place to list your plans for the coming week. That's what a journal is.

Techie isn't necessarily better, but it's usually about things rather than about a person's life. I also like to read RSS feeds about TV shows, which are also about things.

Personal observations are great, I think they're what makes a blog interesting, but few people seem to write about them.

PS My previous entry (One Down) is more of a journal entry; the two before that are definitely observations that belong in a blog. If you were to go through all my entries this month (and last month?) you wouldn't really be able to tell me what I've been up to.
Avatar Fab - Sunday 29th April, 2007 21:55
Yeah that is true, although isnt that because you haven't been up to much. (like me)

Speaking of a mutual friend's blog (not you Tom!) I am finding it frustrating that they are leaving so much out. You only get snippets of what they are thinking which doesn't appear to be very positive. No observations on the causes. I don't know if they just dont want to post that intimate sort of detail or whether they are just refusing to really think about it. Maybe it would help them and then maybe it is too much to expect on a blog/journal.
Avatar Yamahito - Monday 30th April, 2007 10:42
Ello

You like my blog? Thanks :) I occasionally wonder if anyone else reads it without me prompting them :)

Fab - I like your recipes, although often they're based on something I'd rather not eat (mushrooms or fish) - we must get you in the kitchen at some point!

I think you're worrying too much about the division of blogs and journals. I've heard people say that the most successful blogs have a fairly narrow scope, and others bitch about the whininess of the blogosphere, but the truth is, it's horses for courses. There aren't any rules, and I don't really think there should be: at the end of the day, my blog is for *me*, anyone else getting something from it is a bonus.
Avatar Fab - Monday 30th April, 2007 12:02
I still have a fair few recipes to post. Although those ones I have not tried myself yet. I rather liked the idea of posting them as not only is it nice to share, but I can look them up if I lose the paper or am at someone else's place.

As SB said to me a long time back, a blog can be different things to different people. What I have seen are some people posting for the sake of posting and pretty much turning it into a calender sort of thing or a week in the life of... Whether it is a blog, journal or a diary, I think you get more value about writing what you actually 'think'. It makes it more interesting to read for others, but it would also be good for you in terms of understanding what you have articulated/felt at that point in time.
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