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A large part of working together in an organization or community is getting to know the other members. However, online spaces disconnect their members, especially on TransactionBasedCommunity sites. It's very difficult to get to know a person, their intentions, their moods. You can't even read their BodyLanguage, and ParaLanguage is greatly missing.

This seriously breaks not only OpenProcess, but to a larger degree the FairProcess necessary to maintaining balance. After all, deep down a community is an emotional bond, so it's important to provide a CommunicationChannel for human qualities.

Therefore, instead of writing their diary entries into a little book locked away from prying eyes, some people decide to publish their diary on the net. SunirShah, for example. He says, We'd like to get to know you for you, not some image. It helps us when working together, raising barns, etc. (cited from ImportanceOfIdentityInOnlineCommunities, see BarnRaising).

AdvoGato, the original DiaryCollective?, is an interesting case. One the one hand, it is not interesting because the diaries are all there is to that particular community. On the other hand, the diaries can be referenced from all over the web, so that you can participate in multiple OnlineCultures without having to keep multiple online diaries.

Sharing Diaries

When participating in several wikis, you want to let them know about your online diary. Where do you put it? You can just start a blog, and hope community members will add you to their NewsAggregator?. You won't reach the people that don't use such tools, however. You can also use RssInclusion on some wikis to let people know about news. But this doesn't update their RecentChanges.

One possibility would be to write a script that "pings" all the wikis you participate in, telling them that you have updated your blog by marking your homepage as changed. Another would be CommunityWiki:UnifiedClusters.

Archiving diaries

Publishing an OnlineDiary can help in WikiCommunityBuilding. By revealing personal information, the author acts as a RoleModel to new members. However, there's a fine line between a role model and a GodKing. The author should DefendAgainstIdolatry? by keeping an impermanent diary.

An impermanent diary also enables the author to ForgiveAndForget how he felt about certain persons in the past. Rereading the author's negative feelings about old transgressions will only serve to PunishReputation.


We should encourage community members to maintain online diaries or equivalent documents rich in personal details. It's a bit of fun with positive benefits. It can become cathartic, too. And reading back on it, it really tracks events in your life that you would normally forget. Public diaries are addictive. -- SunirShah

I've been getting more and more addicted to LiveJournal lately because they seem to have OnlineCommunity down to an art. All their source code is open source and they offer paid accounts with extra features to pay for their servers instead of advertisements. -- ChuckSmith



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