I guess this is primarily a response to godwin's post on the same topic ...

I think the purpose of journaling from person to person varies. Some people like the idea to announce their lives to the world, while others do use it to vent. But I think there are a lot of people who do use journaling simply as a method of relieving stress. Of course, there come additional benefits, but I don't do journaling for those additional benefits. It's done for me. Not for you. Not for everyone else. Me. Me me me me me.

Prior to my adoption of Livejournal, Xanga, and Tabulas, I used to blog on various different sites. Most of these sites did not have a commenting feature or any type of feedback. This is really rudimentary, but it's how it used to be. People in those days really did it to relieve stress. I've been running various journals for years now (the earliest is 1998, but I can only find a 1999 cache) ... and a lot of those journals were kept private (but still available on the Internet). I even created an alter-ego for some time where I could blog "privately."

So this begs the question, if I'm ranting for myself, why don't I keep it private? For availability's sake. Private entries have a tendency to get lost. I've left my archives online so I can read them at any time. I'm sure if I made them private, I would of lost them. Would I be better off taking these offline? Probably. There's a lot of stuff on there that's really private, but I don't mind. If someone can read it and it helps THEM relieve THEIR stress and problems, then there's another reason to keep it public.

Of course, there is some comfort when you're down to know you can scream your feelings and thoughts out into the void of the Internet. It's just like screaming into your pillow - there's absolutely no reason to do it, but sometimes it feels better to just do it.

Now, this isn't to mean that everybody does this - but "hardcore" journalers understand where I'm coming from. The "hardcore" journalers are not interested so much in the community and feedback; their readership will follow them wherever they go - which is why they tend to migrate from domain to domain and service to service. This is a hard concept for a lot of people to understand (especailly newer people - "how can you just journal? don't you need feedback?"), but the longer you blog, the less important comments and feedback are. You do it just to do it. It's natural.

Now my "beef" (notice the quotation marks) with Xanga is not that it's a horrible service. I think it fills a very specific niche (that luckily I'm not trying to fill). My "beef" is that Xanga somehow makes people think they are hardcore journalers. There are a few real journalers on Xanga, one that I've been following for some time now, but as a general whole, Xanga is *not* a journaling service. It is, in essence, a glorified popularity contest. Xanga promotes features that actually push the popularity contest features over journaling features. That is my "beef" with Xanga.

I know my friends laugh at Tabulas' gay catchphrase, "Chronicle Your Life," but it really is what Tabulas was meant to be. Tabulas is meant to be your digital diary. Your digital scrapbook. A place you look back in a few years, read through your stuff, and go, "Damn, I grew up."

When I was younger, there were no services like this. You had to learn how to manage websites. You had to do all the HTML by hand. But now with my computer skills expanding, I have created these tools so you don't have to go through the learning curve that I had to go through - just to journal and keep a record of your life. It should be everyone's right to keep a log of their life.

... by using Tabulas and give me assloads of money in the process. HAR!

P.S. I love journaling cause it makes me practice my writing skills on a daily basis. I know some of my entries are grammatically shit and are incoherent, but as a whole, journaling has improved my writing skills dramatically. My roommates keep saying that i have a "voice" on my journal that's distinctly mine.

See? Good!
Currently listening to: Jessica Simpson's With You
Posted by roy on December 16, 2003 at 12:04 PM in Ramblings | 6 Comments

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Comment posted on December 25th, 2003 at 06:43 PM
Just came upon this tonight and thought I'd add my two cents. Tabulas has, in an extremely short periord of time, become my means of downloading. It's a place to externalize the stuff in my head, however weird or self-absorbed they may be. Better to dump it here and view it from a distance than have it internalized where it can grow and minifest itself in more self-destructive ways, like overeating. ;) Also, as a writer, I need to write, to get into the habit of taking time to put words into some understandable form. Although I've kept a journal for years, I've never had an on-line journal before and was very hesitant to start one, but my experience here has been great. Whether anyone reads my rants and rambles isn't important. What is important for me is that I can keep a record of it all, and no one in my home can snoop! Oh, and it saves oodles of trees! :) Thanks for this place Roy.
Comment posted on December 16th, 2003 at 04:17 PM
many good points. i guess i haven't reached that stage of "hardcore" journaling yet. or maybe i'm desperate for advice. who knows?

like i said before, eprops are dumb, but now that they make 2 eprops the automatic thing, it basically renders them worthless, since no one bothers to change them, so it doesn't bother me much anymore.

i write for me, but also for others to know what i'm thinking, without me actually having to tell them. i've discovered it's much easier that way, for convienence's sake, and other reasons.
Comment posted on December 16th, 2003 at 04:24 PM
Very true. I know a lot of my friends keep up with my life by reading my journal. Sadly, I've drifted away from writing about day-by-day events ... guess my life is just boring;)

phineyae (guest)

Comment posted on December 16th, 2003 at 03:31 PM
Very well put. I'm glad you wrote about the subject because I know people out there need to hear. Besides, it answered all my questions. You just used the right words to define everything. :)
Comment posted on December 16th, 2003 at 01:11 PM
i like the tabulas motto....a lot

equeena (guest)

Comment posted on December 16th, 2003 at 12:33 PM
oh man i agree with you. i used to have a xanga, but i didn't really like because like you said it was a popularity contest.

i've gotten some of my xanga friends to move to tabulas and they like it here. one realized that she was only journaling for the eprops.

so yea tabulas is so much better.