Commentary

An Online Private Web Service? Really?

  • by , December 4, 2009

A while back I read about a web service called “Penzu” which essentially acts as an online private diary. According to Mashable, it’s like blogging, but sometimes “you just want to record your thoughts and keep them private.” The article then closes with “If you want to keep a record of your thoughts, but you don’t want to share them with the world… you might want to give Penzu a try.”

Is it just me or is this totally unnecessary? If you have in mind that you want to keep a particular piece of writing private, why are you posting it to the Internet in the first place? Use a text editor on your own machine and be done with it. Then if you decide you want it public, post to your blog or Facebook or Twitter or any of the other millions of possible outlets.

I mean, I love social media, but I think this is just a little too much.

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Plus, the same day that I first read about Penzu, I read this article on Mashable that discusses how Twitter accounts that have been marked private are still being searched by Google. So hopefully, this same bug doesn't affect Penzu, or their one hook will be gone.

The only real positive thing that I could see about using a service like Penzu is if you have a Netbook running the Chrome OS... but then why wouldn't you just create private document on Google Docs?

By the way, that's how I originally wanted to open this post... kind of a back in my day, we had to use private documents on Google; we didn't have these new-fangled Penzus.

But what do I know? The comments following the article are nothing but praise for this service, so there must be a market for it. Just not here with me.

1 comment about "An Online Private Web Service? Really?".
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  1. Matt Lovett from BoMedia, April 5, 2010 at 1:18 p.m.

    As much as I agree with you on a degree of overkill in Social Media, I have to disagree with you on Penzu. For those people like myself who have spent countless time on lined-paper journals yet stopped journaling when so much moved online, Penzu has the power to change you and bring back the writer in you.

    Google Docs lacks a lot the basic journal-like functionality which Penzu has, and honestly, who wants to be staring at a bunch of work-related documents when they are trying to journal their personal life?

    Penzu may only exist to serve a niche market, but the niche market they serve, they serve well. Kudos to their team.

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