2010-04-02

Keeping and rereading one's own blog

I started this blog on 29 September 2000 (the very term "blog" was either nonexistent or unknown to the public back then) as "a kind of weekly kheshbon nefesh ('soul-searching')" to "share online my reflections-shmeflections about what happened inside and outside me during the week", that is, as a personal online diary. I thought (and still think) that keeping such a diary is first and foremost a dialog with myself, which helps me understand myself; writing down our own thoughts and feelings is probably one of the best ways to accomplish one of the most difficult tasks in our life - to know ourselves.

I am afraid that I belong to a minority in this respect. Far more blogs seem to be purely or mostly informative. Those that report on restaurants their authors visited and foods they ate there are one example of informative blogs (incidentally, this is a very popular genre in the Japanese blogosphere, but personally I fail to understand what prompt so many people to write in public every day on foods they ate). Even personal diaries, at least those I have encountered, just describe in most cases what their authors did and seldom elaborate on the innermost thought and feeling they had in each experience about which they write.

Most informative blogs seem to have only an ephemeral value, so not only their authors themselves nor others reread them. But what about personal online diaries (and also offline diaries in this respect)? What do their authors do with each entry afterwards? How many of them reread their own diaries after a while or even after a long period of time? What we think and feel today cannot remain the same eternally, as we change constantly from day to day.

When I was a child, I used to keep a diary (offline, of course). But I have never dared to reread it afterwards, at least not systematically from the beginning until the end. Looking at some past entries at random, I felt quite embarrassed as I could not believe what I had thought and felt back then. I have never reread any entry of this blog except for the purpose of checking errors on the same day of writing it. But now I have a very difficult task of rereading, or at least scanning, the whole past entries of this blog of mine. I moved it from my own domain to this free blogging server of Google yesterday. In order to move the whole archive here I need to give each entry a title summarizing its content. I even thought of hiring someone for this emotionally difficult and embarrassing task, but in the end I have decided not to relocate them as this is too time-consuming.