Blogging Historical Timeline

This historical overview of blogs is part of a set of blogging resources for students and faculty.

1990s

  • January 1994
    Swarthmore student Justin Hall launches Links.net, a prototypical link blog, long before the form had a name.
  • April 1997
    Dave Winer launches ScriptingNews, which contains both commentary and link posts.
  • December 1997
    Online diarist Jorn Barger coins the term “Weblog”.
  • August 1998
    The Charlotte Observer uses a blog format to report on Hurricane Bonnie; this is the first known use of the form for reporting breaking news.
  • 1999
    The Poynter Institute hires Jim Romenesko to produce the “MediaNews” blog.
  • March 1999
    Netscape releases the first RSS specification.
  • April 1999
    Brad Fitzpatrick launches LiveJournal. In January 2005, Six Apart (6A) would purchase Danga Interactive, the company that operated LiveJournal. In December 2007, 6A would sell LiveJournal to SUP Fabrik, a Russian media company.
  • April or May 1999
    Programmer Peter Merholz shortens “Weblog” to “blog.”
  • July 1999
    MetaFilter launches.
  • August 1999
    Pyro lags releases Blogger, the first popular, free blog-creation service. The founders would eventually launch Twitter.
  • Late 1999
    Dave Winer introduces Edit This Page.

2000-2003

  • January 2000
    BoingBoing.net, the blog, is born; the zine was born in 1988.
  • June 2000
    Dave Winer releases an RSS spec that is not compatible with Netscape.
  • November 2000
    Josh Marshall launches TalkingPointsMemo.
  • October 2001
    SixApart launches Movable Type, a blog publishing system. In December 2007, MT would be recast as free software under the GNU General Public License.
  • 2002
    Analysts estimate the universe at 500,000 blogs.
  • February 2002
    Google buys Blogger.
  • February 2002
    Heather Armstrong is fired for discussing her job on her blog, Dooce. “Dooced” becomes a verb: “Fired for blogging.”
  • June 2002
    BlogAds testing begins. The company launched in August.
  • August 2002
    Nick Denton launches Gizmodo, the first in what will become a blog empire.
  • August 2002
    Blogads launches, the first broker of blog advertising.
  • October 2002
    The Christian Science Monitor implements an RSS feed for the entire newspaper.
  • December 2002
    Josh Marshall and other political bloggers, such as Atrios and Glenn Reynolds, highlight Trent Lott’s racially charged comments; 13 days later, Lott resigns from his post as Senate majority leader.
  • December 2002
    Nick Denton launches Gawker, feeding off the human propensity to gossip.
  • Late 2002
    The RSS-Dev Working Group releases RSS 1.0.
  • 2003
    AOL implements a version of blogging.
  • 2003
    WordPress starts, based upon “a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPL.” In June 2010, WordPress.com hosted 11.4 million blogs and there were another 13.8 million that used WordPress.org software.
  • March 2003
    Salam Pax, an anonymous Iraqi blogger, gains worldwide audience during the Iraq war.
  • June 2003
    Google launches AdSense, matching ads to blog content.
  • August 2003
    The first avalanche of ads on political blogs.
  • September 2003
    Jason Calacanis founds Weblogs, Inc., which will grow to a portfolio of 85 blogs before being purchased by AOL in October 2005 for $25-30 million.
  • October 2003
    SixApart launches Typepad, a premium hosted blogging service based on MovableType software.

2004-

Resources On Blogging History

  • Rebecca Blood: Weblogs, A History (July 2000)
  • Kathy Gill: How Can We Measure The Influence Of The Blogosphere (May 2004, pdf)
  • Kathy Gill: Blogging, RSS and the Information Landscape – A Look At Online News (May 2005, pdf)
  • Jeffry Zeldman: The History of Blogging (April 2009)
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