I recently resurrected my "Otaku Nikki" online diary so this
article hopefully will serve me to deliniate what type of
content I should put in my online diary as opposed to my regular
A quick glance at the Online
Diaries wikipedia page will reveal that online diaries
have been a thing at least since the mid 90s and that they then
mutated into personal blogs. Of course I wasn't around to see
any of this.
Fast-forward to the mid-2000s and blogging was all the rage,
and the advice given by experienced bloggers was to avoid
starting another personal blog. Or in other words, personal
blogs were sort of looked down upon - relegated to places like
LiveJournal which have also since then morphed into social media
Can social media sites be considered "Online Diaries"? No,
there's something about the instant instant feedback and lack of
anomymity - and yet some of these early online diaries had
communities and were not anonymous. Maybe it's just an aesthetic
that differentiates them than anything technical.
At any rate I was surprised to find out that many online
diaries were still ongoing here on neocities where this site is
hosted. Many of the online diaries here
may not call themselves as such and might follow a very
micro-blog/twitter-like structure as well.
I don't know why but I find that it is almost impossible to
treat social media as a "personal" experience of any kind. It
feels more like being out in public, I guess these "Online
Diaries" without a comment section or social media features like
"likes" or "re-tweets" give more of an illusion that you are
writing in private "for your eyes only," so you can more easily
let out your deeper thoughts rather than put up a shallow show
Places like imageboards are no better than social media in this
respect because it feels like everyone is performing and
exaggerating to get a reaction. Anonymity is not enough to
guarantee genuineness. In time those exaggerated reactions come
to replace any personality or individuality there was.
It is true that almost nobody reads "personal blogs," I mean it
is a very vain thing to put out details about your personal
relationships and expect people to care. And yet somehow this
formula aiming at people's vanity worked for social media sites.
I don't want to turn my online diary into complaining about my
personal relationships, at least not about specific identifiable
people. An online diary is more like an excuse to ramble on
about more than one hobby or interest and pepper in some
occasional personal experiences like a dream you had or
something that you saw happen at a convenience store or some
other autobiographical detail. I know it's very vague.
Blogs nowadays exist more to cover a single topic or subject,
for example if you have an anime blog and you suddenly decide to
make a french live action movie review then less people are
going to be interested in it. The more topics you cover, the
less people are interested because there is nothing to glue
these topics together. I guess ideally that glue in a personal
blog would be yourself, that is people would come to
read your site because they are interested in you rather than
the topic, but ideals are not reality, I don't think I am
interesting enough for people to come just for me.
What purpose then is my online diary to serve? First of all I
like doing it. I know it's not good for Search Engine
Optimisation to talk about multiple topics in one huge html
page, so at best I am hoping that my online diary will
complement the articles that I write.
An advantage that online diaries have is that they can be
incomplete or not really make a point, in short they can be very
rambly. For example if I have a random thought like: "The
purpose of life isn't to make a living and look good to
your neighbours." I can just say that apropos of nothing.
Or in other words my online diary will be nothing more than a
notebook of random ideas. Will that prove to be useful for
writing my "proper" articles? Yes and no. In the immediate term,
yes, for example I will be doing a livestream and maybe writing
an article about Natsume Soseki's Kokoro, so writing diary
entries about my impressions on that novel as I read it will
help me sort my thoughts out, but in the long term, it doesn't
take much time for me to forget what I wrote in my notes, and
given that an online diary is a jumbled mess of thoughts - once
I have forgotten that I have written something it's unlikely I
will come across it again, even if it was a good idea.
I almost never re-read what I have written, so this site is a
mass of contraditions, it is only more apparent with the diaries
becase they are a series rather than one-off articles. But maybe
it's not about making a coherent point as much as it is about
creating a mood. When writing articles that mood is broken
because every article must end conclusively leaving a blank
slate for the next. It is true that experienced bloggers can
create hyperlinks between different articles they wrote and
connect them in a non-linear fashion and maybe I should do that
I think a mistake I fell into while writing my previous Online
Diaries is that I would discuss my plans for tomorrow and turn
the whole thing into a to-do list rather than talking about
"what happened" that day because nothing had happened.
Thankfully I am less idle these days. I do have my "to-do" lists
because my memory is short but I don't post them here cause
nobody, not even I is interested in seen any of that. It's the
same reason why I don't maintain an "anime list" of anime I have
watched here, as some others I have seen do.
As usual, I don't have a strong conclusion to end the article,
sorry to leave you hanging like that, it's a bit like not
knowing what to say when ending a phone-call. That feeling,
sorry to leave you with that.
By Otaking, or [The