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The History of Blogs

By Charles Hopkins Published 01/17/2007 | Blogs

To date, the history of the Internet is short, and the history of blogs is even shorter. But overall, blogs have been around almost as long as the Internet they just were not originally calls blogs or even weblogs. They were often called diaries, journals, perzines (which stands for personal ezines), or chronicles.

Before blogs were used, the cyber population used bulletin boards, also known as forums, email discussion lists, and Usenet newsgroups to communicate. Blogs as we know them today were originally called online diaries or online journals. They were typically used for personal journaling, and blogs are still used in this fashion today.

The earliest known blogger is Justin Hall, who began blogging in 1994 and continued for eleven straight years. He still blogs today, but his blogs are a bit different. His original blog started right after his high school graduation he is now in Graduate School in California, so his original blog was retired.

Back in 1994, it wasnt as easy to blog as it is today. Blogs were simply websites that were constantly updated with current content. Blogs werent even called blogs until about 1997, when Jorn Barger came up with the term weblogs and then shortened to blogs by Peter Merholz in 1999.

Xanga, which launched in 1996, was one of the first websites that offered the general Internet public the ability to blog, using blogging software that listed blog posts in reversed chronological order. By the time Xanga was a year old, there were only 100 people blogging on the site. Today, there are over 20 million personal blogs hosted at Xanga.

Xanga was followed by Open Diary in 1998, Live Journal in 1999, Pitas in 1999, and the ever popular Blogger in 1999. Blogger is owned by Google today. These blogging sites made it easier to blog, and the blogosphere grew. The blog explosion occurred between the years of 2001 and 2004. Blogs were no longer just something that people did for private journaling. Businesses and corporations started using blogs, political figures were blogging, and Hollywood stars even got in on the action.

In 2001, professional journalists and journalism schools starting taking notice of blogs and the blogosphere. Most didnt like blogs, because they felt like blogs somehow undermined their profession and industry. Many still feel that way today, but blogs are not going away. Average people have found a voice on the Internet in the blogosphere, and they arent going to give that up.

By 2004, those who started blogging back in the early days were starting to make noise about business usage of blogs. These bloggers felt like big businesses were invading their space and that they were commercializing the blogosphere. But just as professional journalists couldnt prevent bloggers from blogging, bloggers couldnt prevent businesses from cashing in on the blogging craze.

Today, there seems to be a happy medium. Individual bloggers are still blogging, and businesses are still cashing in with blogs and even professional journalists have gotten in on the blogging craze as well.