History of Blogging: Key Dates [1994-2021]

Blogging is an integral part of our online experience. Today there are millions of functioning blogs. We read them every day or even become their contributors. In fact, last year I even shared some of my favorite tech blogs.

But, have you ever wondered how it all started? Let’s take a look at the fascinating history of blogging.

1994: Justin Hall created the first personal blog

The first blog was created 27 years ago by a Swarthmore College undergraduate, Justin Hall. In 1994, he started his blog called links.net.

However, the term “blog” was not even coined at that time. It was referred to as a “personal homepage.” Hall used it to share useful links and his own writing. The idea found its followers, and the number of similar personal pages and online diaries started to grow.

1997: Jorn Barger coined the term “Weblog.”

Jorn Barger, a creator and editor of Robot Wisdom, coined the term “weblog.” The term reflects the process of “logging the web.

1998: The launch of Open Diary

Open Diary became the first major platform that allowed users to share their writing with the world. Over the years, it became home to thousands of online journals. Additionally, Open Diary reimagined blogging, giving users the possibility to comment on publications.

1999: Blogger, LiveJournal, and the term “Blog.

Blogs got their actual name only in 1999 when Peter Morholz shortened “weblog” to “blog.” This was the beginning of a new era for blogging.

Blogs became easier to upload with the emergence of new blogging platforms. Brad Fitzpatrick created LiveJournal to communicate with his high school friends, but the platform outgrew the initial aim and rapidly became popular among users worldwide.

Soon after it, Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan launched Blogger. At first, it was a commercial product. However, Google acquired it four years later, making it available for everyone.

2002: Significant changes in blogging

The year 2002 brought some important innovations in the sphere of blogging. First of all, blog search engines were introduced.

Secondly, the debate about privacy and freedom of expression on the internet started with Heather B. Armstrong losing her job because of her colleagues’ posts on her personal website.

Thirdly, we should not forget about the popularity of parenting blogs like TheMommyBlog.com, which became extremely widespread at the time. Another important change is the possibility of blog monetization with BlogAds.

It turned to blog into something bigger than a hobby, bringing in new opportunities. Finally, the number of blogs and blogging platforms like Gizmodo and Gawker also continued to grow.

2003: WordPress, TypePad, and first live blogging attempts

The emergence of WordPress and TypePad is the most influential event of 2003. It widened the blogging opportunities and tools. Besides, it was the year when the Guardian first tried live blogging during the minute-to-minute prime minister’s question time.

Another important event of 2003 is the purchase of Pyra Labs by Google, which also meant the acquisition of Blogger. This event fueled the growth of the sphere and monetization of blogs.

2004: The year of video blogs

Although first attempts to post video blogs were taken early in 2000, they became popular only in 2004. Steve Garfield was one of the first video bloggers who shared recordings of protests and other events on his personal website.

Besides, in 2004, the word “blog” was called the word of the year by Merriam-Webster dictionary. It shows that blogging became significant and impactful.

2005: The launch of YouTube

In 2005, YouTube was different from what we know today. Initially, it was meant to be a dating website where people were sharing videos to introduce themselves to potential partners.

YouTube switched its focus to general video uploads only when it was purchased by Google the following year.

2007: Twitter and Tumblr introduced microblogging

Sharing stories in 140 characters⁠—this was the start of microblogging with the launch of Twitter. Although it was introduced in 2006, Twitter experienced significant growth a year later, in 2007.

Such a small format encouraged people to write and generate content even more. This was also a year when Tumblr was created, another microblogging platform for short posts with images, videos, and gifs.

2012: Evan Williams created Medium

Evan Williams, a co-creator of Blogger, launched Medium. It welcomed both professional and amateur bloggers, essay writers, social journalists, and other contributors.

Back then, it was an open platform for publishing and sharing. It was somewhere in the middle of blogging and news reporting sites.

2016: WordPress introduced the .blog domain

By 2016, we witnessed a rapid increase in blogging. It motivated WordPress to create the .blog domain. It allowed users to take that domain regardless of the publishing platform.

Blogging Today

Blogging continues to develop today. People share thousands of blog posts and comment every minute. Blogging has become a crucial component of the development strategies of numerous organizations.

It is enhanced by social media and the ability to share multimedia content on different platforms. Blogging changes and evolves continuously. We can expect it to increase its value and expand even more.

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