I realized this morning that it's been 10 days since I updated. For a week and a half I have spent my online time reading journals of all shapes, sizes and colors from every imaginable corner of the globe. I've perused the hilarious, the sarcastic, the literal and the serious, and found many instances where these four run headlong into one another creating memorable moments often without the author's intent.

I have come to a decision as to the format I plan to follow, but as this project evolves, that format will no doubt do the same. My intent is to capture some of the memorable moments I mentioned earlier and put them into a collection. There will be pages of quotes on everything from love to war and everything in-between. There will be short stories that I find particularly poignant or just too good to pass up. There will be profiles/interviews of online journalkeepers.

The original nomination thread and the process of creating this journal was experiement. I wanted to see how people would react to various situations. While I was surprised by the number of responses, I was not terribly shocked by the responses themselves. They truly run the gamut, proving once again just how varied online journalkeepers can be. The reality is that no one is on-the-spot. No one is being watched more than any other. For that matter, I have spent more time reading the journals of the nominators than I have the nominees. I wanted to know who people who nominate for such an endeavor, but I wanted to know who would nominate them as well.

Anyone is welcome to participate in this project. All you need to do is "friend" blog_project to indicate interest. No one is going to know if they are being watched or not at any given time. Someone I am watching may or may not be on the friends list. I don't want people posturing themselves because they may be in a book. If you're open to that sort of scenario, great. If you're not, just de-friend blog_project and I will return the favor, taking that as an indication that you are no longer interested in participating. If you see something you find particularly memorable, you are welcome to bring it to my attention, assuming the post is a public one.

Here's how it will work: If I see something that I want to include in the book, I will approach the author privately asking their permission. If I get permission, I will use the excerpt(s) but I will not include any specific identifying information about any online journalkeeper (real names, locations, employers, etc.) in the book.

Whew. I think that's all for now. If you have any questions or comments, you are welcome to send them via email. The address is on the user info page.

The Blog Project - Where Were You When...?

Let me be clear because at least two people have misunderstood/misinterpreted what I wrote: I did not say "major world crises", I said "various events". The examples I gave came off the top of my head. I am in no way comparing Janet's tit to 9/11. If you still believe I am, please tell me now and you will be removed from this project immediately. I don't want to subject you to any further lunacy.

This part of the project will focus on excerpts from the journals of selected nominees (with their permission) in reaction to various events. The specific events have not been decided yet, but could include topics like: 9/11, The Iraq War, Janet's Superbowl "Coming Out" Party, etc. Basically I'll be looking for major happenings and how journalers reacted to them.

I'm just posting this so the people reading can know where I'm going with this project. This is not a request.

The Blog Project - Quotes

For this part of the project, I am looking for quotes & zappy one-liners for a particular section of the book. They can be funny or serious. These quotes do not have to be attributed (i.e. I can call the author "anonymous") and they do not necessarily have to be from the nominee pool, but they do need to be original. Do you know of a great quote from an LJer that fits any of the following topics? If so, you must provide me with the quote and a link to the page where it can be found.


  • Love

  • Sex

  • Marriage/Relationships

  • Politics

  • Current Events

  • Celebrities

  • Movies

  • Music

Anyone is free to respond to this request. Thanks in advance - I'm looking forward to this one!


First Elimination

If you are listed on this page as a "friend", that means you have been nominated to particpate in this project and I need you to do two things to qualify to continue:

1. Friend blog_project. Many of you use the "Friends Only" feature when making posts. I completely understand the need to seclude some things from the general public and rest assured that I will never publish anything personal and/or private about any of you without your consent. In order to understand the participants to the best of my ability, I really need to be "friended" so that I can see into those less public moments of your life.

2. Tell me! Do you want to participate? I need for each nominee to actually respond to this post and tell me "yes" or "no". You won't hurt my feelings, I will completely understand if you choose not to be involved. The fact that you are nominated just means that someone thinks enough of you and your journal to nominate you for this project. Any posts to this thread made by people who are not nominees will be deleted. No offense, I just have to keep things in order, and managing 250 people isn't all that easy!

NOTE: If you nominated someone and their name appears on the user info page as a friend, please point them to this post. If I do not hear from a nominee by Friday at 12 noon Central Time, or if a nominee expresses a desire to withdraw, they will be removed.

ADDENDUM: You can, of course, opt out at any time. I only ask that you let me know you no longer wish to participate.

This is the first elimination in the blog project.

Sunday Night 10:45pm

I now have all of the valid nominations entered into the friends list and that puts us at 243 (after removing two nominees who have deleted their journals over the weekend). As soon as I add the 250th nominee, I will begin the project itself. I would like to thank you all for letting my inbox feel the love - do you people ever sleep?

For those who do not make the nominee list, there is still an opportunity to participate and possibly be included in the book. I am putting together an in-depth questionaire that I will be using much like a survey. It will help me to gather some of the general trend information that will be just as important as the profiles of individuals. More on that tomorrow.

Thanks for helping this project take off!


Programming Note

Just a quick note before I head off to dreamland for the night. In my email inbox are 30 new nominations. If those people followed the instructions, that will bring the total nominees to 207. I have decided that for my own sanity and for the purposes of this portion of the research, I will cut off new nominees at 250. Input from those who are not "friended" is still more than welcome, I just have to have a cutoff point so that I can keep things somewhat organized.

Thanks to all who have give their input already; I have a really good feeling about this project and your input will be valuable throughout.


Thank You for Being a Friend

One of the issues I'm tackling with this book is language and how loosely some terms are being used in the context of online journals. Using Live Journal as an example (since that is where the first phase of this project is focused), we see that the people who program/run the site have chosen to use friend to mean someone that you have chosen to connect or network with. By naming a friend, you are more able to read their entries and you allow them access to more intimate or "friends only" entries. Does this simple act a friend make? While doing some research I came across this explanation of the history of friend:
Word History: A friend is a lover, literally. The relationship between Latin am cus “friend” and am “I love” is clear, as is the relationship between Greek philos “friend” and phile “I love.” In English, though, we have to go back a millennium before we see the verb related to friend. At that time, freond, the Old English word for “friend,” was simply the present participle of the verb freon, “to love.” The Germanic root behind this verb is *fr -, which meant “to like, love, be friendly to.” Closely linked to these concepts is that of “peace,” and in fact Germanic made a noun from this root, *frithu-, meaning exactly that. Ultimately descended from this noun are the personal names Frederick, “peaceful ruler,” and Siegfried, ”victory peace.” The root also shows up in the name of the Germanic deity Frigg, the goddess of love, who lives on today in the word Friday, “day of Frigg,” from an ancient translation of Latin Veneris dies, “day of Venus.”

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

I can only assume that this blog society has taken a cue from western culture at large and caused the meaning of the word friend to further evolve into a much less powerful, if farther reaching, term. How is this evolution affecting the way we interact? It would seem that we have come to a point in time where many of the more common barriers are less important in our daily lives. It's not uncommon for a circle of friends to include people from a variety of countries, age groups, spiritual beliefs, ethnic origins, sexual orientations and political affiliations. Is this progress? I think so. It stands to reason that it would be easier for a 50 year old Englishman to understand and sympathize with the plight of a 22 year old black woman who is trying to get her foot in the door of corporate America if he has been a part of her online community, reading her journal entries and vicariously becoming a part of that struggle. When people are given the opportunity to view the lives of others without the glitz and glamour of the media, in a stripped-down way that no reality show could ever portray, it's easier to identify with the daily struggles of another human being.

The Blog Book Project

Welcome to The Blog Book Project journal. I am michaelnolan, the freak who is spearheading this project. If you are unfamiliar with my blog project, you can read more about it [here]. The long and short of it is rather simple: I am in the early stages of a book-writing project about online journalers. To make it easier on myself I am working with one type of journal at a time, and the first microcosm I've chosen to work with is Live Journal. I've been an LJer myself since 2001 and I'm truly looking forward to learning more about the diverse cultures represented here.

"The Project" is in the very first stage right now. Think of this as "American Idol" (or "Pop Idol", or "Canadian Idol"...insert your country here, as this book is not strictly American in focus) and the potentials haven't even gone before Randy, Paula and Simon yet. While collecting the nominees, I am simultaneously in the process of selecting a panel to help me narrow the group down. I decided to go with the panel idea so I can break out of my own moulds and get broader appeal.

If you find that blog_project has friended you, I ask that you friend me back. You may be being considered for inclusion in the book. Before anyone will be included (or any information about them), I will have secured their full permission and all privacy requests will be honored.

"The Project" is not a popularity contest. My goal is to profile a diverse cross section of journalers, so my purposes would not be served by selecting only those journals who had tons of nominations. Again, the judging panel will be instrumental in helping me in this regard.

Thank you for your time. You can contact us by using the email address on the User Info page.