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LiveJournal 2010 Review

Top Ten Reviews no longer updates this category and keeps it here for archiving purposes only. It was last updated in

PROS / This online diary has more features than any other, including an active community, customization options and a bevy of sharing tools.

CONS / The site lacks encryption security.

 VERDICT / LiveJournal is one of the best online diary sites on the web because of its massive amount of features.

LiveJournal, by LiveJournal, Inc., is the ultimate in online diary creation and winner of our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award. This site has thought of every possible tool to make your journaling experience the best that it can be, topping any other site in sheer number of useful features. It does lack hardcore security measures, but completely makes up for it in other more user-friendly security tools.

Usability

LiveJournal (LJ) is a breeze to use. Anyone who has ever written an email will be able to master this online diary site in no time. The site is also very easy to navigate. It has a very clean layout that is intuitive to the average user. All of the options are neatly spread out, placed where you would expect to find them and the text is completely uncluttered, unlike other sites such as DiaryLand (which is far more cluttered), making the site a joy to use.

Security Features

Though LiveJournal doesn't have military level security features like sites such as Penzu, most users will be content with the site's offerings.

There are three levels of privacy for you online diary. You can keep all of your entries private, only viewable to friends or viewable to everyone. You can also choose whether or not search engines will be allowed to find your journal page or the comments.

If you like having your posts viewable to others, but don't want just anybody seeing them, you can choose to keep the site from promoting your posts by deselecting the "Content Promotion" option in the account settings area.

Comments can sometimes be a problem on personal online diaries. If you don't want anyone to share their opinion of your personal thoughts, the comments section of your journal can be turned off in the accounts setting area, as well. If you leave the comments on, there is the possibility that your journal may be spammed.

LJ prepared for this event, as well. You can choose to require visitors to enter a CAPTCHA word to ensure that they are real people and not SPAM bots, before they leave a comment. If a visitor harasses you or becomes a troll, the visitor can be blocked individually from commenting and you can use the IP tracing tool to find out the person's real identity. This can be helpful when reporting threats to the authorities.

Post Organizing Tools

Finding a specific post on LiveJournal is easy and quick, even for beginners. You can search by keyword phrase thanks to the tagging capability and by most recent entries. To search for a post by date, you can either type in a specific date, or view the journal's calendar. The calendar lists each post in a calendar style with the number of posts created each day and links to each post for easy access.

Tag settings can be changed in bulk with the incredibly handy "Manage Tags" option. This option will change tags for your entire journal instead of tediously changing the tags on each post individually.

Customization and Editing Tools

If showing your own style in your LiveJournal online journal is important to you, you're going to love this site. Users can choose from dozens of premade journal designs. In fact, no one can beat this online diary site in the variety of journal designs. You can even create your own design or get one from various online sites and apply it to your account by using the HTML code editor.

Posts are highly customizable, too. Users can add embedded media, photos, polls, tables and more to each post. Users can also mark a post as "memorable" so that others will know that the post is particularly special.

Even users with poor spelling can look like a spelling bee champ thanks to the unusual addition of a built in spell checker. Many similar sites don't include this feature, so it is a rare gem that the self-conscious will enjoy.

If journal writing is your passion, why not make some money with it? LiveJournal offers the option to add Google Adsense banners to your pages. When someone clicks on the ad, you will get a share of the ad revenue. Think ads are tacky? No problem. The Google Adsense program is optional. You can even choose where the regular standard website ads are placed on your journal for maximum compatibility with your journal design.

On the run and don't have time to sit at a computer and post your thoughts? With LiveJournal users can post new journal entries using a mobile phone app, a Voice Post or LJ Talk. The Voice Post allows users to call a phone number and say what you want posted. The program will transcribe the words into text and post it to the journal. No typing needed! Voice posts can be automatically turned into podcasts using this service, as well. LJ Talk uses a service called Jabber to turn instant messenger communication into LiveJournal posts. LJ Talk works with Gizmo Project, Gmail (GTalk), Earthlink and other IM providers.

Publishing/Sharing Options

LJ is all about sharing your thoughts in a variety of ways. When you post a new diary entry, you can automatically share it through social media accounts such as Webblogs.com and Facebook. Users can also find your posts by creating a search using your email address, if you allow your email address to be searchable.

If you're curious about who views your entries, the My Guests option allows users to track how many people have viewed their journal and allows others to see what online diary posts each person has been to. This option can be turned off for those that like to cruse the LiveJournal site incognito.

LiveJournal also has a large focus on community. Users form and join communities on the site, build online scrapbooks for others to view, talk in the LJ forum and have the option of friending people they know. The ability to network and meet others is available to those who are interested. Users can also post and peruse the LJ Classifieds, which includes everything from real estate to job ads.

If you're stuck for an idea of what to write about, the LJ community has that covered, too. The site's homepage features a fantastic writer's block area. In this area, users can find writing prompts to get their creative juices flowing. Diary posts that answer the prompt are linked to the prompt on the homepage using the "Answers" button at the bottom of the Writer's Block area. Users can also come up with their own writer's prompts and post them to the Writer's Block tool or they can subscribe to the tool and have it displayed on their LJ friend’s page.

Feel like reading other's thoughts instead of writing your own? The Random Journal option on the homepage will warp you to a random user's journal for your reading pleasure. Not only is this an interesting way to make friends, it is also a great way to come up with ideas for your own posts.

Summary

Overall, LiveJournal maintains a quality journaling website that will meet and exceed most people's expectations. It features quality security options, a large variety of customization choices and a wide range of publishing and organization tools that make it the best online diary site.