Online diaries have existed for nearly as long as the internet. Since 1995, anonymous users have been pouring their hearts out to people all over the world. Keeping a journal can be a cathartic experience and the benefits of an online journal include built in spell check and no hand cramps.
So what's the difference between an online diary and a blog? An online diary is exclusively a chronicle of the writer's personal life, while a blog (short for web log) can be about anything. A blog might be about the creator, but it can also be dedicated to fashion, politics, celebrities or anything else.
Why put your personal diary online for the entire world to see? Some people like to share their lives with other people and read about the lives of others, while others appreciate the unbiased advice that a complete stranger can give.
Unlike blogs, which feature many tools to allow the blogger to advertise, online diary websites are deliberately discreet. Users are not required to give their name or any other personal information, save for an e-mail address, when they sign up. They can also choose to make their diary private so that only other members of the site, or their friends on the site, can read their diary.
LiveJournal is one of the most popular online diary sites – even Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has a LiveJournal. Each user's diary has a web page, where entries and comments from other users can be found, a profile and a friends list, similar to Facebook. Users can also record voice posts. There are five levels of membership, the Basic level being free.
Open Diary hosts users from all over the world and is most popular with teenagers. Users can make their diary private or public, can send and receive comments on diary entries and join Diary Circles, where entries of a similar nature are posted together.
To see examples of online diaries, check out this link; to see how online journaling has changed since 1995, visit this site.