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How does the "browse by topic" feature work?

Instead of starting at people's journals to read journal entries, you can instead read a bunch of journal items from different journals that all related to the same topic. You can find this feature at:

One good example of this feature in action is the "movie reviews" topic category. Within that category, there are tons of topics, one for each new movie that recently came out. A new topic is created when somebody suggests one, and an editor for that category approves it.

How do journal entries get added to topics:

Currently, there are two ways to add journal entries to the topic directory. The easiest way to add them is to use the tool box on the comments page. It's the icon that is the little folder with the plus sign above it. That will take you to the page that lets find where the entry belongs in the topics directory. It lists all categories in the drop down box so that you can narrow it down to the exact place to submit the entry to. Once you find the topic that you are looking for, just click on it and then click on the button on the next page to confirm the process.

The other way to submit the entries is to submit them while looking around in the topic area itself. You have to go to the topic's page, click the link at the bottom of the page to add your journal entry, and fill out the form.

Once the entry is submitted, the editors of that category will be notified and they'll review your submission. Nearly all entries will get approved. The screening exists to keep out annoying users that could otherwise flood the topics with garbage.

In the future, we hope to create some other ways to make submitting to the topic directory even easier. Here are some of the other ideas that we plan on adding in the future.

Automatic Detection:

This isn't working yet, but should soon. Each topic will have zero or more search phrases associated with it. When you submit a new journal entry, your journal text will be scanned for those phrases, and you'll be presented a choice to include your journal entry in the matching topics. So if you happen to see three movies one weekend and decided to write reviews for all of them at once, all three could possibly match and you could choose to list your entry in none, some, or all of them.

We build this into both the web client and Windows client, where you'll have the option to disable it entirely if you wish. The Linux client will likely support it afterwards as well.

Search Engine:

Preliminary work has already been started on a full text search of all journals. This still has a ways to go, but in the future it'll enable topic administrators to search for information to add to their topic.

Last Updated:
greentea, 2002-11-12

I don't want to be in topic directory, so could you remove my entry from the listing?

If you don't want to be part of the topic directory, you can opt out of having your entries displayed there.

1.) Visit

2.) Scroll to the bottom of the page, and uncheck "Allow Topic Directory Inclusion"

3.) Save your changes

If you don't want your posts to be read by anyone, try using the security feature when you post. Only public journal entries can exist in the topic index. Further, if a public entry is submitted and approved and the journal owner later marks it non-public, it will be removed from the directory.

By default anybody can submit anybody else's public journal entries into a topic. This is important to ensure the growth of the index. They are, after all, public.

Last Updated:
greentea, 2002-11-12

Who administers the topic directory?

We're always looking for volunteers to help sort through the topic directory. If you'd like to help out, let us know by contacting an admin at!

Last Updated:
greentea, 2002-11-12


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