The Open Diary

Opendiary – “OD” – first got me in to web writing. I hadn’t even heard the term “blog” when I began posting entries in a little text editor not unlike that of WordPress. Opendiary’s front page has a “roll” much like WordPress, of the latest entries. Of course, its settings allow you to keep what you write private – or, you can allow “Favorites” access, or everyone.

I used to write almost every day on OD. Sometimes twice a day, if I felt like it and I wasn’t too busy. A great exercise. Remember in grade school English class, the teacher would have you bring out your journal every week or so. I always had fun with that. And so in our utterly wired world of 2008 the journal is online. WordPress comes from the same tradition and is really no different, but for a more professional reputation and better utility; functionality.

I left Opendiary around the time I broke up with my last girlfriend – this past spring. My entries increased during that relationship. Along with an increase in my personal life came an increase in my need to expound on it, and OD was my medium. Reminiscent of MySpace, some of our fights/dramatic episodes made their way into OD, with my girlfriend posting comments after an entry where I mentioned her. Fellow ODers might comment, as well. In fact, entries on relationship stuff attracted the most comments. A typical one: “What a crazy chick!”. These comments, from either ODers on my “Favorites” list or by anonymous readers, would raise the ire of my girlfriend, and she’d join the fray, post a rebuttal of her own.

And so perhaps after our breakup – which was painful for me, I’ll admit (what breakup isn’t?), my Opendiary entries were fewer and fewer until the last one, titled “5/6/08” reads “blah blah”. Sometimes the less you say the more you say!

Below is the next entry I wrote, almost six months later:

” ’07-’08 Recap”

[from wilhed’s Open Diary, <http://www.opendiary.com>%5D

Visiting OpenDiary for the first time since…well, the last time I posted was 5/6/08! Wow. I don’t know what happened. Maybe I’m subconsciously trying to run away from all the sensitive, sometimes painful moments cached on this web site. Memories of me, my life, ups, downs.

Alas, I definitely got good use of OD. Looking through my entries, ’07-’08 is heavy on postings. Is that good or bad? Legitimate question, but I say good. I’m in touch with my feelings, or trying to get in touch with them…

I was in college doing my tech. writing program and there were definite changes in life, i.e., meeting and then breaking up with a girl, for one. But a lot of entries on pain and plain boredom. The worst. So maybe I began to… associate the OD page with some of that, and gradually sought to avoid it. The little parakeet photo I use as my profile logo in the upper left, above “Sex: M” and “Location: Seattle via suburban D.C.”

And the lightish, sky-blue color scheme. I guess that’s why OD gives you so many color choices – so you can change it, like a mood ring of sorts for the web. A good option I think. Indeed, Opendiary is a wonderful site. No doubt about it. Because who would sit down and say, “Okay, I’m going to do some journaling. Let me open Microsoft Word and start writing down how I feel.” (!) No. It just wouldn’t be write. Right. It’d be like confiding your woes and your joys to a corporation. Or worse, to a caricature of a corporation – confiding to the balding suit-and-tie geek in the Apple commercials. Seriously.

So Opendiary serves its purpose as a personal utility. Not unlike Facebook – no unnecessary frills. OD does, un-like Facebook, have ad banners, but they’re unobtrusive. Not like MySpace, for example. But regardless OD is very different. I used to consider it a blogging medium, but that’s not quite true. It does have some social networking utility. I mean you could “blog” on MySpace if you wished! But who would seriously do that. I don’t know. Whereas I had no qualms about writing serious essays, even, on OD, like a would on my old Blogspot (Google’s blogging app) blog.

So this entry is a reunion for me. Brings back memories. And yet still, one has a blank screen/text editor as a canvas. Alors…

– dgw

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Filed under Archive, essays, life

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