Blog writing was not popular until the 1990s. Before blogs came into being, proficiency in Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) were considered essential for all those who want to publish on the web. This made web posting rather a herculean task for the non-technical uses. The widespread popularity of blogs can be traced to the invention of web publishing tools and these tools made blog writing a cakewalk to even the non-technical users.
Two names will be remembered in the history of blog writing: Jorn Barger and Peter Merholz. In 1997 Jorn Barger, who was the editor of an early weblog named Robot Wisdom, coined the term weblog. Peter Merholz shortened the term and made that into blog in 1999.
Today blogging is one of the strongest forms of digital communities. Though blogging is a relatively new form, digital communities took many shapes before the introduction of blogs. Some of the precursors of blogs are:
- Usenet: It is an Internet discussion system which was developed by two Duke University graduate students.
- GEnie: It is also known as the General Electric Network for Information Exchange. GEnie was an online service created by a General Electric and was popular in the 1990s.
- Electronic Mailing List: This platform is a special usage of email. This helped in the widespread distribution of information to many Internet users.
- Bulletin Board System: It is a computer system running software which allows users to connect and log in to the system.
- Internet Forum: It is more popularly known as message board and helps users to be part of an online discussion.
- Online Diary: An online diary is a diary or journal used to record the personal life of an individual and published on the World Wide Web.
Online diary, in its form, stands closest to blogs. One of the most popular online diaries was Open Diary which allowed users to add their comments on posts. All these were happening in the latter part of the last century.
That, however, was only the beginning of what later came to be known as blog. Introduction of blogging services helped the practice of blog writing in an unforeseen degree. These services gave predetermined options to bloggers and helped them to write, manage and publish content without having to write HTML code. This gave blogging a more popular face and attracted people who do not know the technical nuances of web publishing. The most popular blogging services are Blogger and WordPress.
These services changed the face of blogging in yet another significant way: they standardized the format of blogging. Today, even though people use different platforms and apply different methods, the core format of blogging remains somewhat similar.
Even after going through the history of blogging, one question remains: why blog? Wait for tomorrow’s post to know more!