I have been thinking about an ontological discussion we are having in the dmoz editor forum regarding the difference between journals and blogs. This is a heavily modified post that I made to the forum. I’m sharing it here with the hope that others might have ideas on the subject.
A journal is defined by merriam webster as:
1 a : a record of current transactions; especially : a book of original entry in double-entry bookkeeping b : an account of day- to-day events c : a record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept regularly for private use d : a record of transactions kept by a deliberative or legislative body e : LOG 3, 4
2 a : a daily newspaper b : a periodical dealing especially with matters of current interest
Isn’t a blog a daily record of web sites one has visited? That means a blog is a specialized form of a journal, where the daily entries consist of web sites that the writer found that day. It seems like splitting hairs to distinguish between a log of links, news articles, thoughts, current events or daily activities since they’re all journals of a certain type.
It would be very difficult to find a blog that hasn’t made some mention of the author’s personal life. Any entry that did would be considered a journal entry, because the person is including an account of day-to-day events.
Another suggestion to distinguish the two was whether or not it had one entry per page. While this criteria does a good job of netting only journals, journals that use the same reverse chronological order as blogs will be left, even though they only discuss the author’s personal life.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the people pushing for the distinction are doing so because they feel what they do is superior to the others. I agree that they’re really just different facets of the same thing, and trying to further separate ‘blogging’ and ‘journalling’ into two separate things is pointless.