Exploring the world of social media

WEEKLY #2: And the first blogger award goes to…

Since 2002, the popular blog search engine, Technorati, has indexed more than 133 million blogs.  And each day, an average of 900,000 new blog posts are added to the Web (The Future Buzz). Blogging has broken its way into mainstream culture, and the content created through blogs has an undeniable impact on society.

In thinking about this significant impact, and blogging’s rise to prominence, it’s worth asking the question: Who deserves credit for being the first real blogger?

Scott Rosenberg’s book “Say Everything” chronicles the evolution of blogging and describes a number of people who played key roles in making blogging what it is today. His book begins by introducing readers to Justin Hall, a guy who maintained a candid Web site with daily postings about his life back in January 1996. There’s also David Winer, whose DaveNet generated online discussion as early as 1994. And there’s Jorn Barger who actually coined the term “weblog,” which was later shortened to “blog” by Peter Merholz in 1999.

All of these people, along with others, played a role in the creation of blogging and can be considered candidates for the prize of “first real blogger.”

But alas — as “Say Everything” states, “The efforts to identify a ‘first blog’ are comical, and ultimately futile, because blogging was not invented; it evolved” (Rosenberg, p. 81) Trying to pinpoint the exact moment and specific individual that created blogging is impossible. No one person can be said to have had an idea to create blogs — personal sites with links and commentary in reverse chronological order. Instead, blogs and the art of blogging as we know them today are a result of contributions made by multiple people and communities. They are a result of various experiments with the Web and different ways to share and organize information, ideas, and experiences.

And so, the first real blogger award goes to….

….no one.


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