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Monday, May 21, 2012

Blogging vs. Journaling vs. Forums

This is a what I've learned piece. I expect there will be others, not always Internet related.

There is a difference between blogging and journaling. I've had people tell me they could not possibly blog because they already journal. My journals and my journaling have very little in common with how I see blogging.

First of all journals are private. I do Morning Pages, right out of The Artist's Way and they truly are a brain dump, so I can get my brain out of the round and round and round stuff and get it started. I've also called it screaming into the keyboard when I was typing my journals frequently in public places where a notebook would have been very obvious but typing was what I did all day anyway. I could yell on the page and no one around me had a clue that was what was going on. Even I don't read my journaling most of the time.

Blogs are public. Blogs are written to be read. I blog because I've got stuff to say that I'd like others to read. Like most bloggers I love feedback. I need to know that others have read what I wrote, but Google makes it very hard for a non-blogger to comment, so I understand when I get a LIKE to a link in Facebook, or a mention in an email that someone has stopped in to read. But mostly I need to get the stuff I want to say out into the world.

There is no way I'd be putting the stuff I journal online for others to read. The whole intent is quite different.

In the past I've done a lot of Forums and Conferences. They, like blogging, are intended for public consumption. When I'm writing a post on a forum or a conference it is intended to be read by other people. I'm communicating. I did local bulletin boards and echoed nets before the Internet. I did Usenet from local bulletin boards when dial up services didn't exist. I did Usenet when Web based Forums didn't exist. And when SPAM killed Usenet, I moved over to the Web based forums which were always intended to be moderated. I did Forums on archaeology, and astrology, on digital scrapbooking and genealogy, stitching and quilting, on books and authors I liked, and even I don't remember what else, and most recently on dementia.

I like Forums. One of the best thing about the Internet is that people with tiny, isolated interests, who could not possibly find another person where they live who is interested in that subject too, can form and build communities online that could never exist in person. And it doesn't matter if I'm writing at 6 am my time and it is the middle of the night where you are because when you get up and get to your computer you can read it then, and answer then. But right now I'm not doing any. That could easily change tomorrow.

Right now, I'm blogging, which I always said I would never do. Interesting when you think about it.

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