Wednesday, November 22, 2006

blog history timeline

I'm thankful for the pioneer bloggers.

Many more would be included in this list, but they fail to include an archives link, an historical note on when they started, or any other way to determine when their first post was published.

I hope to do further research and expand on this timeline below.

Why has no one done this yet?

As incomplete as my Blog History Timeline is, it's the best thing available today, as far as I can tell, as of the date of this post. Be sure to read Rebecca Blood's insightful "Weblogs: a history and perspective". She mentions how the early bloggers were aggressive in expressing their opinions.

Now for my timeline. I'll be adding to this as I gain more info. I'll email a number of bloggers and rattle their cages for their Blog Start Dates. To know where we're going, it helps to have some idea where we came from. How many ideas from blogging's past are still in need of deeper appreciation and further development?

Blog History Timeline

January 1992 -- Tim Berners-Lee "What's New"

January 1992 -- Doc Searls "Reality 2.0" featuring: "Time to Grow Up" (share economy)

June 1993 -- Marc Andreessen "What's New"

January 1994 -- Justin Hall "Links from the Underground"

January 1995 -- Carolyn Burke "Online Diary"

August 1995 -- Michael Sippey "Stating The Obvious"

April 1997 -- Dave Winer "Scripting News"

June 11, 1997 -- Cameron Barrett "Camworld"

September 1997 -- Rob Malda "Slashdot"

December 1997 -- Jorn Barger "Robot Wisdom"

1997 -- John Hagel III and Arthur G. Armstrong, book: Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities

May 1998 -- Peter Merholz "Peter Me"

September 1998 -- "MemePool"

April 1999 -- Cluetrain Manifesto

1999 -- Brigette Eaton first blog portal Eaton Web

1999 -- Andrew Zeepo first to offer automatic HTML blogging template Pitas

March 1999 -- Brad Fitzpatrick "LiveJournal"

Fall 1999 -- Doc Searls Weblog

August 1999 -- Evan Williams "Pyra Labs" that becomes "Blogger"

September 1999 -- Tom Peters (starts as book list: "what Tom's reading")

November 1999 - Marc Ginsburg, John Hiler, Biz Stone, and others launch Xanga

December 1999 -- Rusty Foster "Kuro5hin"

February 2000 -- Boing Boing

September 2000 -- Rebecca Blood "Weblogs: a history and perspective"

August 2001 -- Glen Reynolds "Instapundit"

September 2001 -- Christopher Locke, book: Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices

September 2002 -- Biz Stone, book: Blogging Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content

May 2003 -- Dave Walker "The Dullest Blog in the World"

2004 -- Biz Stone, book: Who Let the Blogs Out?

2005 -- Hugh Hewitt, book: Blog:Understanding the Information Reformation That's Changing Your World

2005 -- Elizabeth Castro, book: Publishing a Blog with Blogger

2005 -- Reporters Without Borders, e-book: Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents

2006 -- Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, book: Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers

NOTE: Corrections and additions are welcome. Don't be shy, tell me when you started. Thanks.


doc searls said...

Hey, I'm (Vaspers the) Grateful for you too!

For what it's worth, I did not blog, as a blogger, on actual blogware, until Fall of 1999.

And Dave Winer gets all the credit for making that happen.

And I get much of the credit for dragging my ass for months before that, so blogging failed to make it into The Cluetrain Manifesto, which it should have. (We wrote the book in Summer of 1999.)

Also for what it's worth, many online writers were doing something like blogging long before blogging came along.

Dave's DaveNet went out to a mailing list -- and up on the Web as well -- since the Early 90s.

My own online essays in Reality 2.0 go back to '92, with Time to Grow Up. (Although other essays there go back as far as 1986.)

Anyway, thanks to other bloggers (you for instance), it's never stopped being a fun ride

Biz said...

Here's a couple more from my perspective:

November 1999 - Marc Ginsburg, John Hiler, Biz Stone, and others launch

September 2002 - Biz Stone, book: "Blogging Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content"


steven edward streight said...

Thanks Biz. I truly love "Who Let the Blogs Out" and think it's probably the most important book on blogging that has ever come out.

Love the Blogger Buzz site too.

Was not aware that you were involved with Xanga.

Cameron Barrett said...

My blog ( started on June 11, 1997. It lived under the domain until late August 1997 when I registered and used that as my peronal brand.

steven edward streight said...

Cameron: thank you for the clarification, and I will make the correction now.

I certainly appreciate you, a pioneer blogger, coming here to comment.

I truly respect and admire you early bloggers, for the Blog Revolution is a huge transformation of human expression, communication, and social networking...a massive seachange of an order of magnitude, as the scientists say.

michaelo said...

Interesting list, Vaspers - you've covered a lot of the most significant milestones.

A few suggestions:

- you might want to include Chris Locke's blog. Entropy Gradient Reversals (EGR) was an e-zine long before it was a blog, but I think the first thing you could call a blog post went up onto the EGR site around July 2000. Chris inspired A LOT of people to start blogging when I sent this note to his EGR email list.

- ditto David Weinberger, whose first post was November 20, 1999 or November 15, 2001 - depending on one's POV. More (here)

- I'd have been tempted to include the launch of BoingBoing (Jan or Feb 2000, at a guess).

- might be worth pointing to some of the early blog search/meme-tracking engines (Blogdex, Daypop, etc.)

- Oh, and I'd definitely have included that day in Feb 2003 when Google acquired Blogger - that was intense.

If I think of any more, I'll let you know. Thanks for building this timeline project. V. cool.


steven edward streight said...

Michaelo: Thanks so much for the input.

Yes, I know that I left out many vital items, but I used the Meatball Wiki as a guide, and now I can't even find that page, so I'm glad I printed it out.

This was just a hurried attempt to slap something together. I was wanting to transfer the project to my JotSpot wiki, but I let it languish too long, and now, since Google bought JotSpot, I can't get into my own wiki and they aren't accepting new accounts.

But I think a wiki would be the way to go with this Blog History Timeline. I should check out Wikipedia also, to see what they have lately.

michaelo said...

A wiki is a great idea. I think the format would lend itself particularly well to a project of this nature. Be happy to help, if you need it - I've done a fair amount of playing around with the MediaWiki software and SocialText's stuff. Actually, this is precisely the kind of project Ross & Adina at SocialText would probably be interested in getting behind - so it might be worth giving them a ping.

danah boyd has been doing some terrific work, pulling together a "social networking timeline" using wiki software, here. Worth a look.

Also - I realised you'd pulled the list together fast, and hope I didn't come across as too critical in suggesting my additional links. Much easier to criticize than to create, and what you've started to create here is genuinely useful and good.

Thanks again.


Doc said...

While it's cool to be second in line behind TBL, the stuff I wrote in 1992, and published in Reality 2.0, appeared first on the Web in 1996. That's when hit the Web. (Might have been '95, but just to be sure I'll say '96.) It was into Reality 2.0 that I dumped a bunch of essays that had gone unpublished before that time. Also, I was inspired, and led, by Dave Winer's DaveNet, which began in 1994.