Any good, grown-up online journals?
July 22, 2008 7:54 AM   Subscribe

Need an online journal, but...

I want it to be completely secure from public view.

Live Journal is too juvenile and has too many whizzbangs, plus even though I can mark all entries as private, a public profile still exists. Yes, I could fake it and use an ambiguous identity, but I just don't want to deal with that.

I want something simple, online (so I can view and add entries from different locations) with easy navigation of archives so I can go back and read entries quickly.

Any suggestions?
posted by als129 to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If only you want to be able to access it, but you want to be able to access it from multiple locations, why not use something like google documents?
posted by drezdn at 8:05 AM on July 22, 2008

I'm confused why livejournal won't work. After all, you can just make up a username and then nobody will ever know it's you. "Ambiguous" identity is an understatement - it's anonymous. (Also, you can pick styles that lack the whizzbang.)
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:05 AM on July 22, 2008

Blogger lets you set your blog to be completely private.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:06 AM on July 22, 2008

Oh, and so does LJ, as mentioned above. And It seems to be the norm for blogging services.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:06 AM on July 22, 2008

Well, I guess as a follow up it's worth adding I'd like to use full names and proper nouns and I'm just nervous about the security of it all.
posted by als129 at 8:11 AM on July 22, 2008

Do you use Gmail? If so, do you mention any "proper nouns" in your email messages? If so, then you're already doing exactly what you're worried about with Blogger. They're both just a Google service that's protected by your username and password.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:13 AM on July 22, 2008

I think the Google Docs is an EXCELLENT idea.

I personally got a domain for cheap, and have a wiki (PMWiki)on there that unless you know the url and even then I give someone a login, you cant see anything.

I agree, LiveJournal is a joke, I have had issues with it just as much as My-Waste-Of-Space

Another good idea is to google TiddlyWiki...AWESOME hosting (and free if you want) and you can completly make it private.
Other services like Evernote work well in safeguarding privacy and while its suppose to be "note-take" service, you can virtually do with it whatever you want. Just a few options
posted by TeachTheDead at 8:37 AM on July 22, 2008

I don't know if by "public" you mean other users or all other human beings, but nothing stored on someone else's computer (Google's, WordPress's, LiveJournal's, your company's) is totally private, i.e., only readable by you, unless it's encrypted.
posted by davcoo at 9:08 AM on July 22, 2008

If you don't want anyone reading it, then host it offline.

I use Expression Engine, and it has infinite levels of user accounts, so I can have content viewable only by friends or paid subscribers or whatnot (if I wanted). I do have a "for my eyes only"" custom entry status, and one for drafts. Only super admins can see these, though, eventually I plan to make it so my girlfriend can go in and edit my rough drafts (she just emails me corrections now).

But a fair warning is that anything you allow others to see can possibly become public. Only hosting offline will stop this.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:16 AM on July 22, 2008

I guess as a follow up it's worth adding I'd like to use full names and proper nouns and I'm just nervous about the security of it all.

If you want something completely secure and private you're better off just typing in a Word doc (password protect it) and if you want to use it wherever you go, put it on a flashdrive on your keychain.

But seriously, LiveJournal is an easy way to keep a private online journal and also share (on a post-by-post) basis with selected friends, if you like. Just create a username that can't be traced to you (hint, not your MeFi handle ;-) and mark posts as private. There's nothing juvenile about the LJ platform and nobody is going to make you read the cutter or anorexia forums. I'm 15 years older than you and keep a friends-only LJ that a circle of friends in there 30s and 40s read so it's not just for kiddies ;-) . . . just sayin'
posted by donovan at 12:52 PM on July 22, 2008

I agree with donovan about LJ. There's nothing forcing you to interact with anyone or read anything. All blogging services have idiots on them, so I'm not sure what you're worried about on LJ. No one is going to randomly friend you unless you make the effort to post to communities, and even then that's rare unless you're purposely looking to be friended. You can set an LJ to completely private and you don't have to actually set up any "whizz-bangs." There is a default setting for how it looks, and if you want it different you must actually go into the settings and purposely change it yourself. The whizzbangs aren't going to jump out of the shadows and harass you. ;)

If you're worried about people reading it somehow, even with everything private and password protected, then you may as well not use a online one. You can password protect a Word file.
posted by Nattie at 8:56 PM on July 22, 2008

Hmm.. yeah, I'd go with LJ. I have one. I'm generally the sort who just wants to vent to myself explicitly and privately and really wants to have as little interaction with people online as possible. I have the posts set to private automatically. No one else can read them unless I add them as a friend (and that's the last thing I would ever do). The profile page can have as little or as much information as you want it to have. You could put real information, you can put no information, you can put fake information. I have no information on my profile page. You can see my user name, but it's not defining by any means. Nowhere does my name exist.

You don't have to interact with anyone at all. As far as whizz-bangs and LJ's juvenile appeal, it's all in the way you set it up. My journal looks like a fairly minimalistic Wordpress blog. I mean, there's no random flashing text or pictures of High School Musical (I suppose if I posted such a thing, it'd be there.. but it just doesn't show up by default). LJ really isn't a bad site, and it's just about the best for anonymity. And, as I said, I can relate to just wanting to be left alone, and I can attest that LJ is conducive to any misanthropic tendencies! Also - the security is sound. I've logged out after posting private entries and tested the privacy features. It passes the security test! You can name drop to your heart's desire!
posted by Mael Oui at 9:43 PM on July 22, 2008

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