Friday, March 03, 2006

The Journal and The Blog

Wow. Simply - Wow again. I have had an amazing week in terms of creative thinking, events and seredipity. I have had the most amazing feedback through your surveys. I am now looking for more ... so it's time to ask all my networks to do some more surveys (PLEASE!) and send them to THEIR networks for even more feedback ... (I still want more!).

But, I have been blogging enough now, (and have four blogs to my name thank you very much!), and read enough of the early survey responses, to have to make some decisions around blogs and journals.
"There is such a difference between a blog and a journal! "
Even if you just compare the personal blog and the journal the big differences are the use of technology and the audience. When you write a paper journal, you have great control of the readership. Apart from nosey housemates, spouses or siblings you are usually pretty sure who the audience is - either just (your future) self, or some survey respondents also said that they were writing for audiences such as their children.

With a personal blog, if you have it out in the open internet community, you are totally aware of the audience. You may or may not adjust what you write for it ... but you are aware of it. Bloggers considered their audiences to different degrees. Bloggers who use their real name or heavily identifying material (such as photos), sometimes told me about their fears of who might be reading their blogs - spouses, parents, kids who might accidentally come across their blogs. One blogger claimed that they had a special username for thier erotica blog hoping like crazy their spouse wouldn't find it somehow from the history mechanism on thier internet browser.

So when you have an audience ... how does it change what you write? Many people said blogging restricted them - others said the opposite. Some claimed that having an audience made them write more often and more clearly. Others found that have a loose theme to their blog meant they found it easier to focus their writing. I even found this years ago in my research - once I KNEW my personal journal would be published, it changed what I wrote some days.

One of the main advantages to the paper based journal appears to be the lack of restriction due to technology. Now isn't that interesting to us blogger freaks! We feel our blogs help us to explore and be creative ... but it was clear from the survey responses so far that people are far more creative with their paper based journals. Partly due to the lack of audience except one's self ... but partly due to the ability to use them for such a wide variety of tasks and in such a wide variety of ways. Blank books seem to be used less by survey respondents (though of course most surveys were from people who found the survey on my blog and thus were highly likely to have one themselves) .... People who used blank books ranged from using them for drawing, cartooning, scrapbooking and pasting in daily souveniers ... to writing in them for as many purposes as there are people ...

This study is facinating ... I wanna read more .... send me more surveys ....

See the link on the right hand side if you want to know more about this project - or email me and I can send you a survey!

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