The news of Windows Live Journal has broken out.
Windows Live Journal is sort of an online diary/journal that you can post on the web. The Live Journal site will be very easy to navigate through, find other users’ journals, and just have fun writing. The site will have a rather simplified UI, where the main focus on the page will be around the user’s content. There will also be some Silverlight integration, like maybe to make flipping the pages realistic, move things dynamically, etc.
It’s not the same as a regular blog, or site, in the fact that Live Journal really acts like a diary/journal.
There’s a cover to your journal, unlimited pages, and even an end.
There’s many ways you can customize it, and add stuff to it.
A marketplace-like selection will be available for Live Journal. Here, you can buy stickers to hang on to the cover/pages, stencils, templates, themes, patterns, etc. Users/Developers can make up their own little journal add-on, and sell it for a cost, or for free. It’s suppose to be an open platform for people.
Live Journal is meant to be very flexible. You can have lined pages, or blank pages, or bordered pages. You can specify exactly what dimensions your journal will be in (maybe like 4X6, or 5X7, etc.), or take the default. You can make one page look like this, and another page look the complete opposite.
You can make the whole journal available for the public to see, limit to certain friends, limit certain pages, and so on.
There’s even support for pen gestures, made from tablet PC’s, so you can draw directly on your pages – just like a real notebook. You can doodle, you can write (and possibly convert it to real text if you want, or leave it as is), and many of the possibilities with touchscreens. Really awesome if you ask me.
Windows Live Journal is really geared towards people who like to express their daily thoughts, share something with the world, but not have to go through the trouble of setting up blogs and whatnot. Live Journal is pretty much a virtual journal that you can customize and allow the whole world to see, or do tons of opportunities with it.
Live Journal is NOT a some kind of successor to OneNote. They’re completely different things.
Live Journal = An online journal with possibilities for personal add-ons, and being available to the open Web.
OneNote = A virtual notebook program, meant mainly for the task of easily jotting down notes in a easy-to-use style
So think of Live Journal as a place to let loose, and write down things you want to share. OneNote is a virtual notebook program, meant for virtually writing down notes, and not really just random thoughts.
I though I should clarify that in case. That’s an upcoming problem for Microsoft – clarifying the difference between similar programs/service, mainly between their Windows Live web stuff, and their current programs that offer the same type of functionality.
So here are the main things Live Journal is really wonderful for:
- An online journal – Instead of a physical journal, Live Journal will be a digital form of that, and make journal-writing a much easier task.
- Marketplace of extras – Go to the Marketplace store, and find stickers, themes, templates, styles, backgrounds, borders, and a bazillion other personalization features either for free, or under $1.50. Developers take a big part in this. Make your journal yours.
- An alternative to blogging and real diaries/journals – Hate writing in real journals? Do you have having to set up a blog post to your specifications? Live Journal is where you can apply directly on the page anything you want. Live Journal is your canvas – not a box you have to work around.
- Share – Share with your friends from school, share to the whole Web, do anything you want to express yourself. It’s open to a wide world.
- Live Writer integration – You can make journal posts right out of Live Writer. Or you can do it right on Live Journal with many tools and extra site add-ons.
- Touchscreen support – Doodle, draw, write out (for real), and do real touchscreen functions right on your journal, just like OneNote. It works just as great, and makes online journals much more realistic.
It’s free of course (with the exception of being ad-supported on the site – not on your journal). So that’s pretty awesome.
So it sounds like Live Journal is a real winner here. As far as I know, I’ve never heard of online journals taken to this extent.
The site’s not available yet, but here it is: http://journal.live.com/