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Here's what I think. What do you think?

Kristal McKenzie, 23, has a lot on her mind at any given moment and takes any opportunity to tell anybody what is on her mind. Finding that she better relates hers thoughts through typing than talking, Live Journal provides her a perfect medium to express herself.

Kristal McKenzie“It’s a very convenient way for doing what I do,” Kristal said. “It’s a way to document my life and articulate what is in my head to people.”

Live Journal is the most recent web site Kristal has used as an online journal. Before, all her online journals since she started in 1997 were web sites she had designed totally on her own as opposed Live Journal having templates and easier ways to upload an entry as opposed to doing all the coding on her own. Her entries prior to Live Journal, which she started in August 2001, can be found at www.sowhatnow.org.

Kristal considers the process Live Journal provides to be streamlined.

“What had hindered me before was all the coding and design,” Krisal said. “Now I can just write down and post it and not worry about things like the links.”

With less to worry about in terms of coding and design, McKenzie is able to focus on her postings and the discussions that come out of them. The ability for readers to post on a particular comment is “far more encouraging for people to comment rather than sending an email,” Kristal said.

One reason I love paintings is because they freeze a moment. The Van Gogh painting, especially. It's a tragic circumstance and you feel certain it will end badly, but you don't know. Maybe Death stops when Love calls out. Maybe they reconcile, maybe there's a change for the better, maybe Love is trampled beneath the hooves of a horse. There's a beauty in freezing a moment before a crucial decision, because as cynical and pessimistic as I can be, my real nature is one of the completely romantic & idealistic optimist. So I look at paintings and play out all of the ways things could go after this split second moment, but I hope for the best...

-excerpt from Kristal McKenzie's LiveJournal

As part of the features of her paid account, she is able to select whom she wants to allow to read a particular entry. She can allow access to everyone, just her friends, a select group of friends or no one at all.

“You don’t want it for the public,” Kristal said. “If you’re pouring out about your best friend, he can’t see it.”

Beyond the feedback Kristal has received, she has met some of the new friends she has made through LiveJournal. The discussion Kristal encourages allows her to get to know the people who visit her LiveJournal and she takes the opportunity to make new friends. Already she has met six people and plans on meeting more.

Kristal said she is in the process of developing her own web site, but will keep her LiveJournal account and embed it in her new site. The rest of her site will be for her own creations: photographs, poetry, artwork, etc. This will allow Kristal to better fulfill her main goal online.

“There are elements of wanting attention, confessing, becoming a better writer, and showing what made today worth living,” Kristal said.

Kristal's LiveJournal Site