Blogs mark the first 10 years

Reply Sat 7 Apr, 2007 01:40 am
And A2K is nearly half that time part of it ... well, kind of, if we were really 'only' a blog http://i13.tinypic.com/44kje34.jpg :wink:


Blogs mark the first 10 years

After a quiet start they revolutionised the web; now one is born every second

Bobbie Johnson, technology correspondent
Saturday April 7, 2007
The Guardian

"Check this out. Amazing!" It took just a brief sentence, and after those four words a revolution followed.
The first entry on Scripting News effectively ushered in the first blog 10 years ago. In the intervening years these online diaries have been touted as the future of media, labelled "pathetic drivel", and caused court cases, prison sentences and international incidents. But love them or loathe them, bloggers around the world have ensured incredible growth for the medium. Latest figures indicate an estimated 70m blogs in existence, with around 1.5m posts being written every day.

Scripting News, written by the prickly New Yorker Dave Winer, began with a whimper rather than a bang: his first entries were little more than a list of websites he had visited that day. But despite its lacklustre launch, the site became one of a small coterie of online destinations that began the revolution.
The word blog was not officially coined until two years later, but over the past week bloggers have gathered around the web to celebrate this ad-hoc anniversary.

"Try to imagine the breadth of changes they brought to the web," said Anil Dash, an early blogger who now works for the software company Six Apart.

"Blogging has gone from an unnamed or even nebulous concept to helping form a nascent community, and then to the fundamental evolution of the social web."

The hobby started to become increasingly popular thanks to the Blogger.com website, founded in 1999, gaining further momentum after the September 11 attacks. "We're seeing about 120,000 new weblogs being created worldwide each day," said Dave Sifry, the chief executive of the blog monitoring site Technorati. "That's about 1.4 blogs created every second."

Technorati's figures suggest that the medium is dominated by Japanese and English-speaking people, who contribute around two-thirds of all posts on the web. Most sites are read by a tiny group of friends and family, acting like public noticeboards, but some have grabbed headlines and helped build careers for their authors.

Many writers - some of them anonymous - have signed lucrative book deals on the back of their blog's success, and others have become minor celebrities.

Every subject from farming to finance has bloggers writing about it in their spare time. Businesses are using the medium to reach out to customers, while news organisations, including the Guardian, now run stables of blogs to try to bring readers into closer contact with their journalists. There are also significant minorities blogging in politically repressive countries such as Iran and China, which has led many to hail blogs as a powerful force for challenging the establishment.

"Blogging and other kinds of conversational media are the early tools of a truly read-write web," said Dan Gillmor, author of citizen journalism bible We The Media. "They've helped turn media consumers into creators, and creators into collaborators - a shift whose impact we're just beginning to feel, much less understand."

In China, 50 bloggers and "cyber-dissidents" have been imprisoned in the past eight years, and most recently a man known as Kareem Amer was imprisoned for three years in Egypt for insulting Islam and the country's president, Hosni Mubarak, on his blog.

Not everyone believes the influence of blogging will be long lasting. Andrew Keen, a former dotcom entrepreneur and the author of the forthcoming book Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture, says that though it is enticing to believe that online diaries are empowering, the hype is dangerous.

"It's seductive in the sense that it convinces people to think they have more to say and are more interesting than they really are," he said. "The real issue is whether it adds any more to our culture. Most of it is just so transient and ephemeral."

The rise of the blog also triggered the explosion of other sites on which ordinary people share their experiences, from social networks such as MySpace and Facebook to the video-sharing website YouTube. Mr Keen says this "digital narcissism" is spurred on in large part by the internet's overemphasis of a libertarian political outlook, and a tendency to make individuals talk to themselves about themselves.

But he admits that there have also been some important contributions.

"Not every blogger is a narcissist who has nothing to say. In particular there are people in China and Iraq who are blogging - and that is very brave," he said.

"But generally I don't see a social benefit. It's just a great vehicle for next-generation media personalities. Why do I want to know what some guy sitting on the west coast of America thinks about Iraq? Would you pay to listen to this person?"

A decade on: media milestones

April 1997
Dave Winer helps kick off new kind of website, and the name weblog is coined in December to describe the phenomenon

August 1999
Blogger.com, a website which helps popularise the form, is launched

September 2001
Big growth in American blogs after the terrorist attacks

December 2002
Pressure from bloggers helps force out the Republican majority leader in the US Senate, Trent Lott, after he appears to praise racial segregation

February 2003
Blogger.com bought by Google

March 2003
Iraqi architect known as Salam Pax becomes one of the most important voices to come to prominence since the invasion. Pax remains influential, with a book and work for the Guardian and Newsnight, among others

October 2003
Belle de Jour, the anonymous writer of a blog chronicling the life of a high-class London escort, gets a publishing deal, setting a precedent for so-called "blooks"

May 2004
Jessica Cutler, a congressional assistant, details her sex life on her blog, Washingtonienne, sparking a scandal

July 2005
Blogosphere now doubling in size every five months

April 2007
Around 70m blogs in existence, according to Technorati.com
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Reply Sat 7 Apr, 2007 03:48 am
Blogs are evil.

Actually I had a bloggery once...abandoned the thing when I realized it was just mindless useless rantings (which clearly I could just deposit here Laughing ).

Som 10 years, eh? How time flies.
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Reply Sat 7 Apr, 2007 06:57 am

I'm glad you gave me the opening. Remember the Pamper Rebellion back in the Abuzz Days?

Abuzz and A2K are tangled in the World Wide Web with a number of strange bedfellows.

From this week's edition of U.S. News & World Report's article "Flush with New Ideas about Ads".

&G discovered that online power in 1999 when it created Pampers.com. The site is loaded with information from the company's research on new and expecting mothers. Pampers sites are now in 49 countries. "Moms would rather be part of the Pampers community than get their diapers for 50 cents less," contends Liodice.

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Reply Sat 7 Apr, 2007 07:17 am
I've maintained a blog for at least a few years now. I use it for self promotion, promoting it by use of Blog Explosion.
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