“Blog” is an everyday term now (except in my Microsoft Word program for some reason), but most of us can remember a time when the idea of keeping a journal on the internet seemed strange and bizarre. (And another time when the idea of the internet itself seemed strange and bizarre, of course.) Have you ever wondered who the first bloggers were, and what prompted them to share their lives with the world? Let us unearth some of that ancient history.
What many claim to be the earliest blog started in the 1980s on a forum called mod.ber. The forum was run by Brian E. Redman, who, with a few associates, published regular posts and links. In the early 1990s, online diaries began springing up. Check out the Online Diary History Project to read the reminiscences of some of the earliest online diarists.
In 1998, Cameron Barrett began publishing a list of links to blogs on his site, Camworld, becoming one of the first of many sites to identify that clumping a bunch of blogs together in one place would be useful for people. In 1999, Peter Merholz announced that he would be calling them “weblogs” (which he pronounced “wee-blogs”), a term later shortened to “blogs.”
In July of 1999, Pitas launched the first free blog-building software. And thanks to this small revolution, and the people who built on these foundations, we are now free to write posts about our cats, our teachers, or the weird growths on our feet all the livelong day. Three cheers for the blog pioneers!
Want to see how those old sites looked? The Wayback Machine lets you view archived webpages from as far back as the ancient days of the mid-nineties! Check it out here.