The Arts/Online_Writing/Journals section is for and about online personal journals. This includes journals by a single author; several categories of themed journals; collaborative journals with multiple authors; collections of journals; and resources for journal writing.

For an online journal to be accepted for inclusion, it must have a series of dated entries already on the site.

Advice for getting your Journal listed as soon as possible

1. Be sure that Journals is the most appropriate category

For a journal to be accepted for listing, it must:
  • Have regular dated entries (whether it be daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)
  • Focus on the thoughts, opinions, actions, and life of the author.

With so many categories in the ODP, it is quite possible that your site might be better suited somewhere else. A few related categories include:

  • Sites which contain a large quantity of other personal information in addition to a journal (such as photos, hobbies, resume, home video, web design) should be submitted to Personal Homepages.
  • Sites which focus on linking to other sites and commenting on those sites should be submitted to Weblogs.
  • Sites which focus on the lives of multiple members of a family should be submitted to Family Websites.

2. Write a Properly Formatted Title

To maintain the quality of this category, a consistent title format must be used. Titles should be of the form "Lastname, Firstname - Title of Your Site". Alternatively, you may use your username instead of real name if you wish to be anonymous. In this case, the format is "Username - Title of Your Site".

Good TitlesBad Titles

  • Smith, Amanda
  • Smith, Amanda - A Thirst for Thought
  • AquaGirl - A Thirst for Thought

  • A Thirst for Thought [no name]
  • Amanda Smith - A Thirst for Thought [does not use Lastname, Firstname format]
  • aquagirl ... a thirst for thought ...[does not use proper punctuation and capitalization]

3. Write a Properly Formatted Description

The description for your submission should:

  • Be objective and concise. Avoid using hype or exaggeration.
  • Show what makes your journal unique. What types of things do you tend to write about? Do you have a particular style? Do you annotate your entries with artwork?
  • Indicate your perspective on the world. Information such as your age, gender, career, or interests (approximate information is fine) helps ODP users decide to read your journal.
  • Avoid first person pronouns like "I", "me", "my", "you", "your", and "our".
  • Avoid the words "journal", "online", or "diary" as those are all implied by the category.
  • Not state how often your journal is updated. This can change in the future and would then be misleading.

Good DescriptionsBad Descriptions
  • A Canadian girl in her early 20''s chronicles her thoughts on shopping urges, relationships, and her classes.
  • A single mother in her 30''s writes about relationships - with her friends, her son, her boyfriend, and her ex-husband.
  • Living in Philadelphia, a married man shares his opinions on politics, parenthood, job stresses, and his love of racing pigeons.
  • A college girl ponders her daily decisions as she prepares to make the transition from school to the real world.

  • Join me as I write about my life. [too generic; uses "my" and "I"]
  • The bloggings of a 27-year-old gay man who lives in the Midwest. [uses "blog" words; if it is a weblog, it belongs in Web Logs]
  • An online journal about an average man. [too generic; uses redundant phrase "online journal"]
  • A fantastically-written epic voyage with a stunning college student from Arkansas. [too much hype]
  • An Arizona mother and wife traces the ups and downs of family life. Updated daily. [good, except reference to writing frequency]

4. Please remember...

ODP editors get many submissions every day. By submitting your site to the most appropriate category and writing good titles and descriptions, you make it easier for your site to be listed on the ODP quickly.

Groups of journals listed together under unifying criteria. Each burb has an owner, and then a list of residents. To become a resident member, you need to apply to the owner of the burb. Also know as Lists.
Submit sites listing groups of journals which share a unifying characteristic.
Journal collaborations are formed when online journallers come together to discuss a common theme. This does not mean simply a list of links, but journallers working and writing together.
Submit only journals which have two or more authors working together and writing about a common theme.
Journal Collections are sites that have collections of related links to online journals. These journals might be on a particular subject or theme, but they are written independently and operated that way as well.
Submit collections of journals, which have been written and are operated separately.
Online journals written by a single author, focusing on the life, thoughts, and actions of that author.
Please submit to either
  • a subject category, or
  • a letter category, based on the first initial of your last name.

Before submitting, please read and follow the journal submission guidelines. For example, submissions must follow the "Lastname, Firstname - Title" format.

Resources required to set up and maintain an online journal. Writing resources, technical resources, webspace resources - you name it, it's here.
Submit resources which will help users maintain an online journal, whether it be writing resources, technical resources, or webspace resources.
Journal web rings are collections of online journals that can be found through a circular set of links between sites. This is a popular method to increase traffic/readership of individual journals.
Submit collections of journals that can be found through a circular set of links between sites. Other collections of journals belong either in the Burbs or Collections category.