weblogs: a history and perspective
7 september 2000
In 1998 there were just a handful of sites of the type that are now identified as weblogs (so named by Jorn Barger in December 1997). Jesse James Garrett, editor of Infosift, began compiling a list of “other sites like his” as he found them in his travels around the web. In November of that year, he sent that list to Cameron Barrett. Cameron published the list on Camworld, and others maintaining similar sites began sending their URLs to him for inclusion on the list. Jesse’s ‘page of only weblogs’ lists the 23 known to be in existence at the beginning of 1999.
- early 1999 – Peter Merholz produces a ‘wee-blog” shortened to ‘blog’.
- Eatonweb portal produced by Brigitte Eaton as a compilation of all weblogs
- July 1999 – ‘Pitas’ the first free build your own weblog tool released
- August 1999 – Pyra releases ‘Blogger’
- late 1999 – ease of use software means some weblogs are being updated several
times a day with people’s thoughts
- strong reciprocal linking allows users to navigate quickly between bloggers
who are involved in discussions
- cults of personalities spring up
- certain names and articles begin appearing over and over as they are re-blogged
- why?? Do people have an inate desire to appear witty or hip?
- so… is the weblog of interest to any but those who produce them?
- do bloggers actually discover what it is they are interested in through
the process of writing publicly abouit it?
- will the blogger become a more competant writer?
- could some bloggers become experts?
- do some bloggers create personas?
- has the ability to comment and reflect on bloggers writings created an empathetic
and more communicative world [for those involved]?
- are those who are not involved [third world etc] becoming more disadvataged?
- is blogging realising the dream that every person can publish?
- is the massive proliferation of weblogs defeating the very purpose for which
they have been developed? i.e. becuase usres are lost in a maze of logs
- are weblogs just another deluge of data? or are they allowing people to
be proactive rather than reactive?