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Private diary entries not meant for public consumption

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 20 Mar 2012, 04:50

This is a quote in Ian Kershaw's 'The End' (2011) of all things regarding one of many diaries he read researching the downfall of Germany in the final year of The Second World War.

It expresses for me what was or came to be an early perception of the 'online journal' (as they were called before web-log, then 'blog' came along).

I  started to put my diary online in 1999.

I even copied out passages in notebooks that went back a further 20 years. It was an online diary to begin with, even a form of publishing. It morphed into other things as readers and other regular writers emerged.

The reality of 2011 is that this blank space is whatever you want it to be and whatever others make of it: a soap box, a survey, a statement, a chapter of a book, song lyrics, snaps, charts, gobble-de-gook.

The enigma of the private diary uncovered was the sense that this was the truth, how someone thought and behaved.

Today some of us, though not in this space, chose to reveal everything we can regarding what it means to be human. There was an element of 'exposure' but this, what I read in 2000, 2001, 2002, became the appeal and attraction, particularly to many isolated, even depressed people who discovered they weren't alone.

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