Blast from the Past: Diaryland

Remember Diaryland?

When I started blogging back in 2001 (long before blog was a commonly used term), I used a platform called Diaryland. All things considered it was a decent platform. The platform was easy enough that anyone could sign up and start writing, if you knew some basic HTML, you could take one of their basic templates and make it look halfway decent. It also had a neat feature that let you follow other Diaryland blogs and would let you know the ones that had been updated since the last time you logged in.

Diaryland did have its downsides. Comments weren’t tied to posts (they were left in a Guestbook that resided on a separate page), you had to host images on a different server, and the backend interface left a lot to be desired. However, but back at the turn of the century, those features weren’t that big of a deal. The few other blogging platforms out there weren’t much better.

A couple years later Blogger and Wordpress exploded on the scene and, oddly, Diaryland never tried to catch up or upgrade its features. Bloggers complained and the only thing Diaryland did was offer a Gold Membership that offered images hosting and comments for a price. One by one bloggers I followed on Diaryland left for better blogging platforms. Frustrated at the lack of updates, I joined the mass exodus sometime in 2004.

So this weekend I decided to go see if Diaryland was still around. Much to my surprise, it’s still there. Even a bigger surprise was that, with the exception of the site’s logo, it hasn’t changed since I last used it. Apparently people are still using it though it seems like the number of active users have fallen dramatically.  When I checked my list of blogs I used to follow, only one person still uses Diaryalnd and, sadly, their blog is locked. If there are stats somewhere, I’d be curious to know how many active users Diaryland has and why people continue to use it even through there are far superior blogging platforms available.

Still, it’s amazing that all these years the site remains virtually unchanged. It’s a stark reminder that if you don’t adapt and change, the only thing you’re good for is a nostalgic trip down memory lane.