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FAQ User Journal System


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Welcome to the Japan Forum, and thank you for joining our community!

This is the fifth of a multiple-page help series to guide you on how to use the website. This page will give you an overview of how to use our user journal system.

We have been using blogs on JREF since 2007, moving to different systems thrice. UBS (User Blog System) is tightly integrated into our forum and the most advanced and feature-rich blog add-on so far. Due to the multiple conversions, some of the older blog entries could not be ported over properly (resulting in invalid links, broken attachments, or garbled text). We reorganised the category structure and cleaned up as many entries as possible (in particular mojibake). However, some chores still need to be tackled. Meanwhile, we are looking forward to your journals!

Here's how to use them:

1. Creating a journal

You first have to create a journal. You can create multiple journals, if you are planning on writing about different topics, language blogs, cooking blogs, travel journals, or whatever.

Click the "Journals" link in the top menu.


Once on the journal index page, click the "Create journal" button.


The following form will open (see the explanation below):


1. Title: use something short and meaningful to describe your journal.

2. Journal details: describe the purpose and topic of your journal. This is just your journal's description, so do not use this field for journal entries!


3. Upload image: please upload a cover image to your journal (maximum size 500MB), any personal image that is representative of your journal. We want to remind you that our general rules for uploaded content apply.

4. Is community journal: community journals are journals other members can add entries to as well.

Click Save to create your journal.

2. Creating your first journal entry

Clicking the "Post entry" button will bring up the following form:


You can select to add your entry to

5. Your journals: those are the journals you have created or to

6. community journals created by other users.

Once you have selected the journal, choose a category.


7. Add your entry to one of the following categories: Blogroll, Cuisine, Culture, Language, Life in Japan, or Travel & Nature.

Next, fill the entry form:


8. Entry title: enter a descriptive title (at least 5 characters)

9. Journal entry: this is the textfield where you enter your journal message (50 to 10,000 characters allowed)

10. Upload image: please upload a cover image to your journal entry (maximum size 500MB), any personal image that is representative of your journal. We want to remind you that our general rules for uploaded content apply.


11. Tags: enter tags that describe your entry, so that it can be found across all other modules (forum, gallery, articles, reviews, etc.)

12. Description: this field is optional and allows you to add a concise summary to your entry.

13. Location: enter the location of a venue, an event, etc. to display a link to Google Maps in the sidebar.


Fill the other fields and click

14. Save to publish your journal entry, hopefully, the first of many.

More to follow. :)
Last edited:
A few more remarks on the usage of journals:

  1. General questions and requests should be posted to the appropriate section of the forum, not to the journals. So far, we have removed dozens of language-related questions and blog entries from members looking for lost Japanese relatives or friends. While the journals do have the functionality to convert journal entries into forum threads, we'd rather you post to the correct section from the start.
  2. Journals vs. forum posts: use the journals for online diaries, personal thoughts on particular topics, ongoing projects, hobby-related activities, etc. Use the forum to post questions or topics you would like to discuss with other members. You can leave comments on journals; if however, you intend to trigger a discussion, please post your message to the forum.
  3. Journal topics: not necessarily Japan-related, although definitely preferred.
  4. Please upload cover images to your journal and your journal entries.
  5. Our Terms of Service and Rules are applicable to journals and journal entries as well.
Thanks! We are looking forward to reading your entries and hope that our veteran members will start sharing their experiences through blogging too. :geek:
We have updated the OP that explains how to create journals and journal entries. Also, we have simplified the set-up procedure and limited the number of journal categories to just six.
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