Click View to look at recent articles. Click Post to post your own. Scroll to the bottom of Post to create an account. Postings are less than 300 characters and have one link. There is no moderation or commenting. This site is still very new, feel free to contact comments@shortjournal.org for any reason.

Why another blogsite?

There's already a large variety of blog sites out there. On slashdot, stories are submitted to an elite group of editors. On kuro5hin, stories are edited and moderated in a volatile public process. livejournal entries can be published by anyone but are generally only read by a small group. Most of what is written on these websites is only marginally worth reading. Not because of any quality problem but just because the short-attention-span public (me and you) isn't willing to read much more than a headline about something we have no special interest in.

shortjournal.org is intended to simplify the entire process. The central principle is that all stories should be very short -- say no more than 300 characters. Rather than reading headlines meant to seduce you into reading a whole story, let's make sure the headline can stand on its own. A story can have a link associated with it, but it is our hope that the link will just be a link to pre-existing third-party information.

This kind of blog needs no comment area. If you have something to say, publish it. If what you have to say doesn't make sense in a small context-free story, it's probably simply not going to receive much attention. We're not about discussion so much as content. By being content-centric we hope to build a community based on mutual respect for the content.

With the simple rule (currently disabled by default) that each "topic view" will display only the most recent story by any individual poster (and otherwise sorting newest-to-oldest) we eliminate nearly all potential for abuse. Therefore there is no need for editing or censorship. By dividing the site into several "topics" we can allow for any variety of blog uses. Each topic would essentially encompass an entire family of other blogs. For example, the "Diary" topic could be used to say a little about how your day went. Because each story is so short, you need not worry about boring your audience. If you become interested in a particular user, you could read all stories by that user.

Our intent is also to be very free-form. Where you may have a biography area or other forms of standardized communication on other blogs, here there is only the post. If you want to post an introduction to yourself, perhaps with contact info etc, go for it! It will be visible to anyone who searches by user for a long time.

Future growth

As popularity picks up it may become useful to provide some of the following features: communities (collection of stories from a certain group of users), sub-topics (user-created categorizations of stories), or friends lists (a per-user list of other users to read regularly). In addition, it may eventually be worthwhile to add a simple ranking system so that particularly good articles will age to the bottom of the list less slowly. And at some point we'll probably need a search feature too.

This blogging concept demands very little in the way of server resources, so this blog is unique in that it will likely never need outside funding. There will never be banner ads. There is absolutely no interest in ever turning a profit on this hobby, and it would be almost impossible for this site to grow to require more resources than hobby-level participation.

Contact us

Please direct all correspondence to comments@shortjournal.org

If you think this webpage is ugly, please email any design ideas to the above address (we are actively seeking alternatives).


This is essentially an anonymous public forum. Treat it as such. Greg Alexander makes no claims, takes no responsibility, expressed or implied, for anything about this site. Not merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, honesty, etc. Articles are represented only by the individual that posted them. If you're going to be a butt about this stuff, get out get out get out!!

Source Code

This project is open source. Really, the source code is nothing special. But you can see a snapshot at http://www.shortjournal.org/sj-src-20040316.tgz. Email me if you want details.