Ever wondered about the history of blogging? Who was the first blogger? And where did blogs originate from? Blog writing is an important part of our everyday life, with many featuring useful and interesting content – they’re a great way to capture the reader.
Having a solid content strategy for your website has never been so important, and no matter what your area of interest, you’ll find a blog worth reading. We take a look at the history of blogging and how they have evolved over time.
Blogs have a short history. It is generally thought that the first blog was published in January 1994. Justin Hall is known as the first blogger – at the time, he referred to it as his ‘personal homepage’. He created a website called links.net which documented his time at university. Hall says: ‘When I first started doing it, they called it a personal home page, then they said I’m one of the first web diarists, and now I’m one of the first web bloggers.’ But by the mid-1990s, the term ‘blogger’ had evolved significantly.
In 1997, the term ‘weblog’ was created by Jorn Barger, which reflected the process of logging information on the web. In 1998, Jonathan Dube published his blog on Hurricane Bonnie on a traditional news site – an important moment in blogging history. It wasn’t until 1999 that the term ‘weblog’ was shortened to ‘blog’ as we now know it.
In the year 2000, only 23 blogs were listed on the Internet, but by 2006 an amazing 50 million blogs were registered. Some blogs introduced in this era include Weblogs and Huffington Post. The former, started by Jason Calacanis, was eventually sold to AOL for US$25 million.
2001 saw the introduction of different types of blogs such as how-to-guides and meta blogs. The development of WordPress began in 2001, but this wasn’t released until 2003. In 2002, Heather Armstrong’s blog got her into trouble – she was fired from her job for writing about her colleagues on her personal blog. This was controversial and highlighted the importance of online privacy and freedom of speech for bloggers.
The introduction of video blogs (‘vlogs’) in 2004 marked an important point in the history of blogging. This created a platform for users to create unique content and build a rapport with their users – this emerged a year before YouTube was introduced.
Twitter may be your first thought when you think of microblogging – sharing stories and communicating with readers with as few as 140 characters. But there are many other sites, such as Tumblr, which started in 2007. This allows for different types of posts and has features such as reposting and likes.
By 2010, there were more than 152 million active blogs online. This also saw the rise of businesses and media outlets having their own blogs to reach out and engage viewers. What’s more, many individuals had their own blogs to document their personal experiences.
Before the introduction of social media, blogs were a crucial point of communication among individuals online. Blogs also allows users to share their opinions and thoughts, making it a great tool for feedback. Vlogs and podcasts have now increased in popularity, with many bloggers using these tools to engage with their audience. Not only that, blogging has increased lead flow by up to 700% in some organisations.
Looking at the rise and increase in influencers, the future of blogging looks strong. There’s plenty of room for innovation, too – and there are no signs of the popularity of blogs coming to an end.