Its mind-boggling to think about how much the internet has changed over the past 10-15 years – and on the same page – it’s just as mind-boggling to think about how many people have influenced its creation and evolution.
The power and reach of the internet is amazing. The internet in 2010, has become an eat-breath-live kind of tool, a means of communication and information-sharing that we utilize day-in, day-out, AM to PM. It connects the people around the world with ease and clarity, a concept that would baffle the minds of early innovators.
The same concept applies to the creation and evolution of blogs. The blog we recognize today was built through a plethora of ideas and trial-and-error, a collaboration of thousands of avid internet users and techies.
But where did the blog begin, someone should be given credit, right?
I believe it is important to “give credit where credit is due”, its human nature, although to give credit to the first blogger is a little far-fetched, for two reasons:
- The internet is massive
Even during the early days of the internet, there were an incomprehensible amount of people exploring the internet – many were eager to learn the ins-and-outs.
- Lots of early internet explorers and innovators
There were a lot of hands in the pot, and a lot of areas for innovation. Early users recognized the internet as an outlet with unlimited capabilities and possibilities for information-sharing and communications, thus many were developing platforms (within the net) to share their “voice”.
On a second level, the ability to recognize any new technology, idea or concept, revolves around reach, audience and connectivity. It is probable that many internet users created blog-like platforms but nobody knew they existed… they didn’t have the capability to gain as much attention as they do today.
Now days, internet taxonomy and search engine optimization, has made it easier for people to be recognized and get their voice out. In addition, the information-sharing system is more fluid and easily assessable. The common term “going viral online” wasn’t even imaginable during the early days of blogging.
Now to the point of the blog…
Due to the mere expansiveness, it is hard for me to comprehend, much less defend the notion that a single individual can be given credit as the first, definitive blogger. During the early days of the internet, I imagine many internet-users were creating and using blog-like platforms.
I believe those credited, as in the book Say Everything, by Scott Rosenberg, were the first blogs to gain expanded recognition, and because of their recognition, people were apt to look towards them as the pioneers of blogs, and as a resource for further stimulation.
On a second note, although I don’t agree that they were necessarily the first, I do believe they influenced the blog as we know it today.
For some more information, check out:
- Blogs turn 10–who’s the father? (CNET News)
- The Evolution of Blogging (Time Magazine)
- Scott Rosenberg: Say Everything: How Blogging Began (Berkeley Arts and Letters and The Berkeley Cybersalon)
- Jurassic Web: The Internet of 1996 is almost unrecognizable compared with what we have today. (Slate)
- Scott Rosenberg Traces the Blogosphere’s Origins (Media Shift)