Wall Street Journal gets blogging history wrong

Mike Arrington is right, (so is Duncan Riley) the Wall Street Journal got blogging’s history wrong. Dave Winer had a blog long before Jorn Barger started blogging or came up with the name “blog.” In fact, if I remember my history right Jorn was using software developed by Dave Winer to do his blog.

Dave Winer was certainly at the center of the kind of blogging I was involved in. It’s sad that so many journalists get the history wrong. It’s also amazing that very few (I don’t see evidence that ANY were interviewed, actually) of the pre-2001 bloggers were interviewed for this article.

I thought mainstream journalists were supposed to get it right and leave the inaccuracies and all that to us bloggers…

99 thoughts on “Wall Street Journal gets blogging history wrong

  1. this seems to be a heavy situation. I think if you aren’t the founder or the one who started blogs then you wouldn’t know the history. However i think you have a battle on your hands but if you feel this way its ok to argue your case because I do it all the time, but its hard for me because people don’t understand me. last but not least argue for what you believe in.

  2. this seems to be a heavy situation. I think if you aren’t the founder or the one who started blogs then you wouldn’t know the history. However i think you have a battle on your hands but if you feel this way its ok to argue your case because I do it all the time, but its hard for me because people don’t understand me. last but not least argue for what you believe in.

  3. For me, the first blog that was remained in my consciousness was Magdalena Donea’s online journal, which I believe dates back to 1994.

    There was a chronology, there were tidbit insights and personal revelations, all fleshed out with quotidian detail (e.g., “I am listening to…”).

  4. For me, the first blog that was remained in my consciousness was Magdalena Donea’s online journal, which I believe dates back to 1994.

    There was a chronology, there were tidbit insights and personal revelations, all fleshed out with quotidian detail (e.g., “I am listening to…”).

  5. @31 Aahh yes, “Hwy 17 Page of Shame”, one of my early favorites.

    Everyone knows that Justin Hall started the modern blog and Jorn Barber coined the phase blog. We know it’s true because Wikipedia says so ;-)

  6. @31 Aahh yes, “Hwy 17 Page of Shame”, one of my early favorites.

    Everyone knows that Justin Hall started the modern blog and Jorn Barber coined the phase blog. We know it’s true because Wikipedia says so ;-)

  7. @25 “What about the ancient Sumerians? They were making weblogs well before anyone else. Hammurabi was the first blogger.”

    C’mon! You know as well as I do that according to Scoble and Winer, communication didn’t exist before the invention of the internet.

  8. @25 “What about the ancient Sumerians? They were making weblogs well before anyone else. Hammurabi was the first blogger.”

    C’mon! You know as well as I do that according to Scoble and Winer, communication didn’t exist before the invention of the internet.

  9. Which brings us back around to the point. Blogs weren’t a new idea, just a new way of organizing, presenting, and (with RSS) distributing stuff that had been going on for a number of years.

    For my two cents, anyone remember Robert Sideman’s Online Insider?

  10. Which brings us back around to the point. Blogs weren’t a new idea, just a new way of organizing, presenting, and (with RSS) distributing stuff that had been going on for a number of years.

    For my two cents, anyone remember Robert Sideman’s Online Insider?

  11. At least your caveating it as “the kind of blogging I was involved in”. Too often you (and others) mistake your limited circle of friends for the web as a whole. There are entire enclaves of people who were blogging before Winer and who have never heard of either of you.

  12. At least your caveating it as “the kind of blogging I was involved in”. Too often you (and others) mistake your limited circle of friends for the web as a whole. There are entire enclaves of people who were blogging before Winer and who have never heard of either of you.

  13. What about the ancient Sumerians? They were making weblogs well before anyone else. Hammurabi was the first blogger.

    This is silly. Jorn Barger gets credit because he coined the term weblog and his was about the links, not some kind of update page.

  14. What about the ancient Sumerians? They were making weblogs well before anyone else. Hammurabi was the first blogger.

    This is silly. Jorn Barger gets credit because he coined the term weblog and his was about the links, not some kind of update page.

  15. “If I remember my history right Jorn was using software developed by Dave Winer to do his blog.”

    Winer is now taking credit for developing plain text and HTML? Wow!

  16. “If I remember my history right Jorn was using software developed by Dave Winer to do his blog.”

    Winer is now taking credit for developing plain text and HTML? Wow!

  17. According to Dave Winer (here http://oldweblogscomblog.scripting.com/historyOfWeblogs) “The first weblog was the first website, http://info.cern.ch/“, I would have to agree (to an extent) that this is the first weblog. I kept a “weblog” for a very short time back in the early 90′s and hosted it on my PC so people I knew online could see what sites I had found and liked. The entries were chronological and displayed in reverse-chrono order. Now – my weblog was basic HTML and was stored locally on my machine (so only available when I was online) This is not “blogging” as we currently know it however (unfortunately *grin*). Justin Hall is definitely the first “blogger” (IMHO).

  18. According to Dave Winer (here http://oldweblogscomblog.scripting.com/historyOfWeblogs) “The first weblog was the first website, http://info.cern.ch/“, I would have to agree (to an extent) that this is the first weblog. I kept a “weblog” for a very short time back in the early 90′s and hosted it on my PC so people I knew online could see what sites I had found and liked. The entries were chronological and displayed in reverse-chrono order. Now – my weblog was basic HTML and was stored locally on my machine (so only available when I was online) This is not “blogging” as we currently know it however (unfortunately *grin*). Justin Hall is definitely the first “blogger” (IMHO).

  19. Who cares? Seriously… the constant mutual masturbatory practices of that entire circle of people makes me sick. I did online picture sharing and journaling in 1997. What do I win?

    These guys may have created a name for it, but give them credit for the name, not for inventing something countless others were already doing.

  20. Who cares? Seriously… the constant mutual masturbatory practices of that entire circle of people makes me sick. I did online picture sharing and journaling in 1997. What do I win?

    These guys may have created a name for it, but give them credit for the name, not for inventing something countless others were already doing.

  21. I did use Userland Frontier, but I had to rewrite the macros in the ‘newspage suite’ to fit my own style, so I wasn’t just imitating Dave’s definitions. Dave has never followed strict reverse order, he’s always featured Userland-related news items at the top of each daily entry. I abstracted the ‘logging links’ function, emphasizing the importance of keeping the newest links always at the very top, and that’s what the term should really mean. 99% of people who use the term ‘blog’ have no idea that logging links is what it’s really about.

  22. I did use Userland Frontier, but I had to rewrite the macros in the ‘newspage suite’ to fit my own style, so I wasn’t just imitating Dave’s definitions. Dave has never followed strict reverse order, he’s always featured Userland-related news items at the top of each daily entry. I abstracted the ‘logging links’ function, emphasizing the importance of keeping the newest links always at the very top, and that’s what the term should really mean. 99% of people who use the term ‘blog’ have no idea that logging links is what it’s really about.

  23. I went to college with Justin Hall at Swarthmore and he used to recruit students who were studying on the lawn –like a rabid leader of a political party– to go take his free workshops in the computer science department, and learn what the web was “the beginning of real democracy…” He was a complete nut, but a passionate nut; only, you didn’t want to get too close to him for fear that details of the most personal nature would appear the next hour on his site. Doug Block directed a HBO documentary about him -which now seems ridiculously dated- called Home Page.

    For me one of the most startling things about Justin’s work was the intimate point of view and how he wrote and photographed (and eventually video taped) his daily life. The “reverse chronological order/dated posts” attribute is important, but I think that personal “point of view” aspect is critical to the definition of a blog: while it’s expanded in scope, most are still opinion journalism, and independent viewpoints –not a directory of press releases or corporate-controlled information.

    People may argue with me on this, but if independence wasn’t part of the expectation of blogs, then no one should have a problem with the pay-per-post guys, the people ready microsoft campaign that FM got involved with…or the censorship rant about creative cow’s post-deletion. If it was just dated posts, more sites/services would apply and the issues of transparency, sources and viewpoints would be less controversial.

  24. I went to college with Justin Hall at Swarthmore and he used to recruit students who were studying on the lawn –like a rabid leader of a political party– to go take his free workshops in the computer science department, and learn what the web was “the beginning of real democracy…” He was a complete nut, but a passionate nut; only, you didn’t want to get too close to him for fear that details of the most personal nature would appear the next hour on his site. Doug Block directed a HBO documentary about him -which now seems ridiculously dated- called Home Page.

    For me one of the most startling things about Justin’s work was the intimate point of view and how he wrote and photographed (and eventually video taped) his daily life. The “reverse chronological order/dated posts” attribute is important, but I think that personal “point of view” aspect is critical to the definition of a blog: while it’s expanded in scope, most are still opinion journalism, and independent viewpoints –not a directory of press releases or corporate-controlled information.

    People may argue with me on this, but if independence wasn’t part of the expectation of blogs, then no one should have a problem with the pay-per-post guys, the people ready microsoft campaign that FM got involved with…or the censorship rant about creative cow’s post-deletion. If it was just dated posts, more sites/services would apply and the issues of transparency, sources and viewpoints would be less controversial.

  25. I remember messages on the public city bulletin boards that you would call with a local number on my commodore 64. They were public computer news announcements by the BBS operator, and thus they were blogging.

    This was about in 1985 or 86. city dial in bulletin boards always had a news section that was regularly updated. This was in effect the first version of blogs.

  26. I remember messages on the public city bulletin boards that you would call with a local number on my commodore 64. They were public computer news announcements by the BBS operator, and thus they were blogging.

    This was about in 1985 or 86. city dial in bulletin boards always had a news section that was regularly updated. This was in effect the first version of blogs.

  27. What about Good Morning Silicon Valley? I personally read it for 8 years until Packzowski left for All Things Digital. And I know it’s been around for a lot longer than that. If it wasn’t one of the first blogs, it was certainly very early. It also may have been the first tech news blog. And it was created by The Mercury News, which shows that some in MSM really do get it and got it long before a lot of other people.

  28. What about Good Morning Silicon Valley? I personally read it for 8 years until Packzowski left for All Things Digital. And I know it’s been around for a lot longer than that. If it wasn’t one of the first blogs, it was certainly very early. It also may have been the first tech news blog. And it was created by The Mercury News, which shows that some in MSM really do get it and got it long before a lot of other people.

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