I have been thinking for a long time that I must look up the difference between letters, diaries, journals and blogs.  From what I could gather they all are really the same thing.  The difference is whether it is private or public.  I did a little research into this question as I was really interested to know what I am doing every morning.  Am I journaling or blogging?

I am a speaker looking for a voice.  If I write my words in a journal for myself it is private. If my journal is shared it becomes a diary like Lewis & Clark’s or Anne Frank’s.   Or was it a diary all along that becomes a journal when published. You see the dilemma.  Am I writing a journal, a letter, a diary, or a blog every day?

I have to boil many things down to simple so I can understand them.  All of it involves me writing.  The name I give the writing activity depends upon the audience.  If I write a journal it is for me.  If I share it then it needs a reader.  If I give it to someone to read is it a journal or a letter or a blog?  See still confused.  I looked for the difference in journal or blog.

I did not go to Wikipedia.  I simply googled the difference and there were many answers.  As the information junkie that I am I was interested in the ‘firsts’ I found.


A blog is another form of diary or journal, but it is one that is digital and on the Internet. These are often referred to as online diaries/journals or personal blogs. They may document your day-to-day experiences or even social commentary. Many people use personal blogs as a way to keep in touch with friends and family, as well as to share with them their thoughts and feelings on certain subjects. You may choose to keep your blog personal or to share it with the world. By sharing it with the public, you can open the blog up to personal comments from those who view and read the blog. This is unique to the blog and many personal opinions are common throughout the world of blogging, some are kind and others may be quite blunt.
One of the first online diaries or blogs was Claudio Pinhanez’s “Open Diary.” This was the first web site that was published in a diary format on a web page. This site was published in 1996 by the MIT Media Lab. Since, there were several different online diaries that popped up and now the web is full of them. There have also been several websites open up since then to allow people to have their own online journals and diaries. They are especially popular with teenagers and college students.
The blog has also changed the world in terms of marketing. In 2006, Entrepreneur magazine listed it as one of the top marketing tools of the year that can get your website noticed. Website promotion is a common hurdle in marketing an online business and because blogs are easy to set-up and use, they have become a popular way of sharing information and news with the online community.


A “blog” is just a web site where updates are posted in reverse chronological order, usually with more than one recent update visible at a time and allowing readers to comment on each update. The content can be anything. Some blogs are personal journals, where the author posts about daily life, rants, observations, and opinions. Others primarily link to interesting pages on other sites: they’re not just logs on the web, but logs of the web. Slashdot is one of the oldest examples of that, where each new item links to an article on some other site, with brief commentary from the submitter or editors. Most blogs are somewhere in between, combining links to news articles, entries on other blogs, etc. with lots of commentary from the author.

A “journal” is an account of personal experiences, discoveries, or thoughts. Online journals are usually in blog form, but they don’t have to be. If you started a new page for each entry, linked them all from a table of contents with the newest items at the bottom, and didn’t allow comments, that would be a journal, but few would call it a blog.

The first answer led me to add websites into the mix and what was the difference between the three – blog/journal/website.


Then what exactly is the difference between a blog and a website?

A Blog is a Digital Magazine/

If you are a blogger you are a publisher – no different than a print publisher.

We all have interests, and the nature of digital publishing drives us to blogs where we can get the most up-to-date news and commentary that challenges or affirms our perspectives.

A Website is a Digital Storefront

If your products and services are well-known or in high demand, then a website with a home page that is focused on commerce is clearly the best approach for your business.

The most promising option these days may be a hybrid site that combines the best of a blog and traditional website.

 After all of this I have decided the difference is minimal between any of them.  It seems to me that both journal or blog, my original question, are daily accountings of what is going on in one’s head.  The largest difference is being public or private.  A journal let’s you get your thoughts, on paper with a pen or on your computer, private.  A blog makes them public as you invite readers.  A website allows you to turn the blog into a business.  So if I am looking for advertisers I think I know the next step to take in this writing journey.

As I thought about this I brought it to even simpler terms for me to understand.  A journal is me using my voice for myself.  A blog allows me to use my voice by speaking out loud to any who choose to listen.  I thought of colonial America as I muddled through this question.  There was no technology there.  Information was sent forth by voice or paper.

A journal is like standing in the public square reading a notice to yourself.  A blog is standing in the public square and reading the notice out loud.  A website is standing in the public square and reading the notice out loud and then passing the hat for pay!

I have no idea why this last thought came to mind and yet it clarifies the whole thing.  Our daughter was a chatterbox.  She had a couple of friends who were as well.  One of them was named Jason. When he and his family would come to visit we could hear both our daughter and Jason just talking away forever (journal).  When they excitedly would bring forth to us their conversation and share it we were usually in gales of laughter (blog).  If they asked us to watch them act it out as in a play and then asked for treats we would of course comply (website).  I think that has it all in perspective for me.  Well at least for the minute.

Yesterday was our daughter’s birthday and today is Jason’s Dad’s birthday so maybe that is why I thought of the last example. Seemed to work!!!  Happy Birthday Doug!


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