Have you ever wondered how the term or rather genre of Weblog came to be in existence ? Weblogging is certainly of recent origin, but how recent ? Let me tell you that it was sometime in mid 1990’s while India was still reeling with few computers or say computers still seemed as a novelty, an unimaginable thing. Weblog later became famous in its short for’Blog’. Blogging has certainly changed the world- there are not just amateur bloggers who just blog as a hobby or passion, there are many educative ‘paid’ blogs, blogs which feature ads and earn money per click or even per view.
A blogger has a to make a selection as to where his/her blog to be featured in what are its advantages over the others, what are the ‘add-ons’ available on that site and so on… To some blogging give a creative satisfaction, to others its a means of lively-hood or at least as some means of earning money and to some a way of expressing their talent.
So lets see how the genre of blogging came to be known so.
The first use of the term weblog in relation to the delivery of content on a website came from the delivery of a paper titled “Exploiting the World-Wide Web for Electronic Meeting Document Analysis and Management” by G. Raikundalia & M. Rees, two lecturers from Bond University on the Gold Coast, Australia made to a conference on August 14, 1995.
Interestingly the term “Weblog” was not featured on the remaining record of the paper, which is now hosted at the Charles Sturt University website, but is featured in its correct context in a Usenet post promoting the papers delivery at Bond posted on August 6, 1995.
Popular use of the term Weblog as we know it today came from Jorn Barger of the weblog Robot Wisdom (robotwisdom.com) in December 1997.
The origins of modern blogging are often as argued about as what blogging is.
Many point to blogs as websites or webpages that provided links and comments to other pages, and its is from this basis that modern blogs emerged.
Tim Berners-Lee, father of the World Wide Web, first posted a web page in 1992 at CERN that kept a list of all new web sites as they come online.
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) started a What’s New list of sites in June 1993. Notably the site provided entries sorts by date and the What’s New links included commentary. This service was eventually taken over by Netscape in what became on of the more popular web sites of its time.
In January 1994, Justin Hall launches Justin’s Home Page which would later become Links from the Underground. The site included links to and reviews of other sites. Notably on 10 January 1996, Hall commences writing an online journal with dated daily entries, although each daily post is linked by through an index page. Of the journal he writes
“Some days, before I go to bed, I think about my day, and how it meshed with my life, and I write a little about what learned me.”
In February 1996, Dave Winer wrote a weblog that chronicled the 24 Hours of Democracy Project.
In April, Winer launches a news page for users of Frontier Software, that goes onto became Scripting News in 1997, one of the oldest weblogs remaining on the net today. The company he heads, Userland goes on to release Radio Userland, one of the first blogging software tools.
After Jorn Barger introduced the term weblog into popular use in December 1997, blogging as we now know it continued to develop.
In November 1998, Cameron Barrett published the first list of blog sites on Camworld.
In early 1999 Peter Merholz coins the term blog after announcing he was going to pronounce web blogs as “wee-blog”, that was then shortened to blog. At this stage, a list maintened by Jesse James Garrett recorded that there were 23 known weblogs in existence.
As blogging started to grow in 1999, the first portal dedicated to listing blogs was launched, Brigitte Eaton launched the Eatonweb Portal. Eaton evaluated all submissions by a simple assessment that the site consist of dated entries, one of the criteria we use to day in identifying a blog.
In May 1999, Scott Rosenberg at Salon.com wrote one of the first media articles on the emergence of weblogs and refers to the growing number of “Web Journalists”.
In August 1999, Pyra Labs, today owned by Google, launches the free Blogger blogging service, that for the first time provides an easy set of tools for anyone to set up a blog. Other services launched around the same time include Pitas and Groksoup, neither of which capture the imagination of bloggers in the same way as Blogger did.
Blogger and Typepad are the biggest players in blog-sites followed by WordPress which was started in 2003.
Chronology of Weblog development:
Like with the start of many things, early bloggers did not have a name for what they were doing. While it took some time for the genre and the name to develop, blogging has been around since the begining of the internet. Below is a history of early blogs in timeline form.
Dawn of Internet Time: Tim Berners-Lee at CERN begins keeping a list of all new sites as they come online.
June 1993: NCSA’s oldest archived What’s New list of sites.
June 1993: Netscape begins running it’s What’s New! list of sites.
Jan 1994: Justin Hall launches Justin’s Home Page which would become Links from the Underground.
April 1997: Dave Winer launches Scripting News. His company, Userland, released Frontier, Manila and Radio Userland, all website and blog content software.
Sept 1997 Slashdot launches their news for nerds.
Dec 1997: Jorn Barger coins the term web log.
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November 1998: Cameron Barrett publishes the first list of blog sites on Camworld.
Early 1999: Peter Merholz coins the term blog after announcing he was going to pronouce web blogs as “wee-blog”. This was then shortened to blog.
Early 1999: Brigitte Eaton starts the first portal devoted to blogs with about 50 listings.
July 1999: Metafilter’s earliest archives.
July 1999: Pitas launches the first free build your own blog web tool.
August 1999: Pyra releases Blogger which becomes the most popular web based blogging tool to date, and popularizes blogging with mainstream internet users. It is later owned by Google.
The year 2000 onwards Weblogging sites have exploded and there are many popular sites WordPress, Live journal, Xanga; even social websites also include feature of blogging so that their users don’t turn away to other sites just for blogging.
So, this is a great history of Weblog. Everybody, from a common man to a celebrity, blogging has become an ‘IN’ thing and is certainly considered cool because bloggers by writing are putting forth their creativity and talent, also its a platform for advertising or campaigning their work, business thus making it a means for lively hood.
Some parts of the above given information is taken from a couple of papers presented on history of Weblogging.