Blurty is a web journal service that uses the same code and setup as Livejournal, Deadjournal, AboutMyLife (which was once UJournal) and GreatestJournal.
As is the case with similar journal services, Blurty offers several different account types.
- Early adopters: users who have joined before April 17, 2003. They receive more features than free users.
- Free users: the standard account type. Blurty limits its free users to ten friends and they must use overrides to customize their journals
- Paid users: While Blurty does not yet have a paid account system, their site says that plans for one are in the works. It will work in a similar fashion to the livejournal paid account system.
- Permanent accounts: This account type is, as with most other journal sites, only available to people who make contributions to the site or who are involved in its administration.
Unlike other journal services, Blurty requires that people signing up for accounts there are over the age of 18. Blurty also does not employ the use of access codes in order to create accounts but, as was the case with the other services that it emulates, may do so in the future.
The most major difference between Blurty and its counterparts is its age requirement as the service is provided to adults. This is partially because of the 'personals' section.
After Livejournal rid itself of its invite codes, Blurty's popularity began to decline. One of the main attractions of the "underground" journal services that used the same code and setup as Livejournal was the lack of invite codes. Users were always free to sign up for as many accounts as they pleased and were offered most of the same services that they would have received at Livejournal. Now that Livejournal has abolished the codes, its user base has increased and the overall popularity of smaller services has been in steady decline.
Blurty's approach to deleted journals also differs greatly from that of Livejournal (and possibly other similar services). Users have the option of deleting their online journals (as they would with more or less any service) and are told that they have a 30 day grace period in which to change their minds. After the 30 days their content will be deleted from the server. While this warning is handed out to people who delete their Blurty accounts as well, it doesn't look like they actually delete the content. I "deleted" my Blurty sometime in 2003 and, after stumbling on the site again recently (late 2004), logged in and re-activiated my account. My entries were still there and it was almost as though I'd never left.
Blurty functions much like the journal services on which it is based in terms of communities. Any user has the ability to create a community and to determine whether or not any other user can automatically join (approved membership means users have to apply). Moderation tasks also include deciding whether or not all members are allowed to post to the community.
Blurty communities are generally much smaller than Livejournal communities because of the service's smaller user base. Even the most popular communities often go days without posts from members.
Users can see which communities are the most popular on Blurty's main page. Recently updated journals and communities also appear on the front page, along with the first paragraph (give or take) of the most recent entry -- provided that the entry was created publicly and was not "locked" by the user. The front page also features a list of the ten most recently created journals and the ten most active journals and communities. (For the record, the most popular community is currently devoted to emo lyrics. Go figure).
One of the more 'unique' features is its personals section. This appears to be fairly in-depth, as it offers webcam support and can be accessed by mobile phone. The personals section is run by a service called Web Date; the Blurty section is like its own community within the larger dating service. It has a section devoted to testimonials and success stories, which I suppose is kind of nice if you're into that sort of thing. Registration, like the journal portion of the site, is free.
This seems to be what keeps a lot of people coming back to the site, since changes to the general state of the online journal have decreased its popularity as of late. That said, it's still entirely functional and might still be of interest to people who might be irked with the Livejournal-SixApart merger or Deadjournal's use of invite codes.