Diaries and blogs

I just found this short humorous video by Michael Palin on his new Youtube channel. A keen diarist, Palin talks about how he has kept a diary for almost fifty years. What caught my interest is the relationship between that and my own practice of blogging: it’s not too dissimilar from me tapping an entry on here every day or two for the last ten years. Yet there are differences: whereas a diary is a record of personal, day-to-day events, a blog can combine this with reactions to what is going on in the world in general. You can write very personal things in diaries which, in a blog entry, might get you in trouble. Also, whereas Palin says diaries are ‘honest’ because you don’t go back and edit past entries, blog entries can be edited after they are posted. I used to try not to, but I’ve added or deleted stuff from entries I wrote years ago. Does that make my blog dishonest? I don’t think so – one’s feelings about things can change over time, so, because it is public and readable to others, one sometimes feels the need to go back and edit. It’s an interesting dichotomy: I suppose in a way blogging is an evolution of diary-keeping, an it’s interesting to reflect upon the relationship between the two.

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