journal or blog?

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.


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  1. 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.

    Comment by Levi on October 25, 2002 @ 2:24 pm

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