Wall Street Journal Tries to Re-Write Blogging History

July 15, 2007

Tunku Varadarajan at The Wall Street Journal wishes blogging a happy 10th birthday; one problem, blogging is not 10 years old, it’s actually older.

According to my history of blogging (still No. 3 on Google BTW, and heavily researched at the time) blogging turned 11 on January 10, the date in which the first credited blogger (according to Wikipedia as well) Justin Hall commences writing an online journal with dated daily entries, although each daily post is linked through an index page. On the journal he writes ?¢‚Ǩ?ìSome days, before I go to bed, I think about my day, and how it meshed with my life, and I write a little about what learned me.?¢‚Ǩ¬ù

In February Dave Winer follows up with a weblog that chronicles the 24 Hours of Democracy Project.

Winer has often claimed that he was the first blogger, I’ve long disagreed but whether it was Hall or Winer is a moot point: both were blogging in 1996, and yet Varadarajan writes this rubbish:

“We are approaching a decade since the first blogger — regarded by many to be Jorn Barger — began his business of hunting and gathering links to items that tickled his fancy, to which he appended some of his own commentary. On Dec. 23, 1997, on his site, Robot Wisdom, Mr. Barger wrote….”

Um, absolutely not and NO. Barger has always been credited with popularizing the term weblog (although as I found in my research back in 2005 he wasn’t the first to use it the term), but I’ve never read ANYONE claiming that Jorn Barger was the first blogger; even Rebecca Blood’s insular and cliquey history of blogging (written in 2000) which has been at the top of Google for pretty much ever, refers to Berger as coining the term, not creating blogging.

So Tunku Varadarajan: if Barger is “regarded by many” to be the first blogger, name your sources! I checked the first half dozen references on Google, all of them say its Hall except Bloods that doesn’t credit the first blogger. If not: withdraw the article or issue a correction. We expect better from the WSJ, even if most of the rest of the mainstream media has long since moved to the gutter. To others who are blindly joining the celebrations: do some homework before believing everything you read on WSJ.com

Update: Rex Hammock claims in the comments that Dave Winer has never tried to claim credit for being the first blogger, and that this entire article is flawed because that claim is wrong. What’s wrong is that people like Hammond and Varadarajan can’t use Google. To quote Dave Winer on 21 January 2007:

Time flies when you?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢re having fun. The 10 year anniversary of Scripting News is approaching and with it, the ten year anniversary of blogging.

I’m not sure how else to interpret that. As for claims that Varadarajan is more correct than my 2005 history of blogging because he writes for the WSJ and I’m nothing more than a lowly blogger: Rex, if you can find references to prove Barger was the first blogger, show me. I can’t and in all my years blogging (many dedicated to writing on the blogging space itself) I’ve never heard Barger being noted as the first blogger. It is arguable when the first blog is written, however it always comes back to Winer or Hall (1996 v 1994 vs early 1997 as well), but never Berger in late 97.

Update 2: Scoble points out that Berger was using a Dave Winer CMS for his blog. So which came first, the chicken or the egg? 🙂 Hammock still arguing over the Winer point in the comments and via email…obviously the concept of “moot point” doesn’t translate: I couldn’t care less whether Dave Winer claimed or didn’t claim to be the first blogger (although he clearly claimed the anniversary for himself), the point is, and has always been, that Winer and Hall predate Barger. Lee Hind also notes in the comments that he was blogging in April 2006. That makes 3 blogs predating Barger by more than 18 months.

95 responses to Wall Street Journal Tries to Re-Write Blogging History

  1. Part of my paper covers the history of blogging, and as I researched, the WSJ article was the first I’d seen after earlier research this week that stated such a late date for the first bloggers. I’d be willing to bet that outside of the few that are mentioned here, “big names” in blogging, there were a lot of others that were doing what would be considered blogging long before the 1997 date too. I doubt that even though those people were pioneers, that they were alone. Just my 2c! Good for you, Duncan for pointing this out!

    Funny thing is that my paper is about how blogging is changing the face of mass media and what better way than to use your blog as an example of how bloggers can and do dispute the journalism out there.. Thanks. I hope you don’t mind my referencing your article.

  2. Hello to all, its my new pages about cloth
    cloth diaper
    You can buy here 24\7.

  3. Hello, here you can read all info about pen pal

  4. Hello nice blog! !!
    It’s my new page.about pens.

  5. Hello, very nice site, keep up good job!
    Admin good, very good.

  6. You don’t really need or want that lifestyle, it might hurt y’all slowly more…….Just tell him you
    don’t wanna repeat something your not too proud of z7uas.

  7. I got some informarmation that I need to think over.
    Thank you

  8. Thank you. Great history 🙂

  9. Hi Duncan, I agree with you that Winer has claimed blogging kudos. His CV at http://dave.scripting.com/cv claims Scripting News as the world’s longest running blog. And the bio he wrote at http://www.scripting.com/stories/2007/02/21/daveWinerBio.html claims he pioneered the development of weblogs. My vote for first blogger? Doogie Howser MD. Remember he kept an online journal and published it to the web? My vote for first real-person blogger? Brad Templeton.

  10. I would like to see a continuation of the topic

  11. Snx for you job!
    It has very much helped me!

  12. Hi!

    I would like make better my SQL knowledge.
    I red really many SQL books and want to
    get more about SQL for my work as oracle database manager.

    What would you recommend?


  13. ?ê?æ?ë‚Ä°?ꬵ?ê¬??ë?í ?ê¬??ê¬??ë‚Äö?ꬵ?ë‚Ǩ?ꬵ?ë¬Å?ê¬??ê¬æ?ꬵ ?ꬺ?ꬵ?ë¬Å?ë‚Äö?ê¬æ, ?ꬺ?ê¬??ꬵ ?ë‚Äö?ë?í?ë‚Äö ?ê¬ø?ê¬æ?ê¬??ë‚Ǩ?ê¬??ê¬??ê¬??ꬪ?ê¬æ?ë¬Å?ë?í, ?ê¬ø?ë‚Ǩ?ê¬??ê¬??ꬥ?ê¬?…
    ?ꬰ?ë‚Äö?ê¬æ?ꬪ?ë?í?ê¬??ê¬æ ?ê¬??ë¬Å?ꬵ?ê¬??ê¬æ ?ê¬ø?ê¬æ?ꬪ?ꬵ?ê¬??ê¬??ê¬æ?ê¬??ê¬æ ?ê¬? ?ê¬??ê¬??ë‚Äö?ꬵ?ë‚Ǩ?ꬵ?ë¬Å?ê¬??ê¬æ?ê¬??ê¬æ, ?ë¬è ?ë‚Äö?ë?í?ë‚Äö ?ê¬æ?ë¬Å?ë‚Äö?ê¬??ê¬??ë?í?ë¬Å?ë?í ?ê¬??ê¬? ?ꬥ?ê¬æ?ꬪ?ê¬??ê¬æ.

  14. Test message
    Sorry me noob…

  15. There was this guy see.
    He wasn’t very bright and he reached his adult life without ever having learned “the facts”.
    Somehow, it gets to be his wedding day.
    While he is walking down the isle, his father tugs his sleeve and says,

    “Son, when you get to the hotel room…Call me”

    Hours later he gets to the hotel room with his beautiful blushing bride and he calls his father,

    “Dad, we are the hotel, what do I do?”

    “O.K. Son, listen up, take off your clothes and get in the bed, then she should take off her clothes and get in the bed, if not help her. Then either way, ah, call me”

    A few moments later…

    “Dad we took off our clothes and we are in the bed, what do I do?”

    O.K. Son, listen up. Move real close to her and she should move real close to you, and then… Ah, call me.”

    A few moments later…


    “O.K. Son, Listen up, this is the most important part. Stick the long part of your body into the place where she goes to the bathroom.”

    A few moments later…

    “Dad, I’ve got my foot in the toilet, what do I do?”

  16. Wisdom teeth is a nonsense.
    What to me pleasure of what at me in 25-30 years has grown a teeth without which I already easily manage for a long time?
    Where they were, when I in a youth teeth opened bottles with beer because it was abruptly? When I clicked a teeth nuts?
    And then, why from name “Wisdom teeth” – I that, somehow in another way to chew has learnt? Not how earlier when I was the young fool? Whether business if to years to 30 grew, for example, wisdom fingers! Better, of course, on each hand on the additional index. But on the second big – too it is normal. And then it would be wisdom fingers – because now I precisely know, for what I should seize both hands, to hold strong-strong and never to release. Or from what to wave away – yes, now I know, from what I should wave away very much, sometimes so there is no pair of superfluous fingers on hands that from it to wave away.
    Or here, a wisdom eye. It is necessary certainly, to change the passport by 30 years because you on a forehead had one more eye… Well also I represent, as it will be scratched. When it begins to be cut through – hard, yes. But – what pleasure to look in three eyes at that, on what you could not see enough in both in any way… And points cool can be carried – represent, what turn the fashion industry can make!
    I ask me to excuse, it is simple a teeth strongly are ill

  17. The editors of the Wall Street Journal are increasingly divorced from reality. It is amazing that the Republican leadership still tries to follow their economic advice. Fortunately for the United States, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke realizes that he shouldn't follow their advice.

  18. Good answer, I am looking for the solution of the same question. Find the movies or mp3 you are looking for at music-and-soundtracks.com the most comprehensive source for free-to-try files downloads on the Web

  19. graceglmcooke June 26, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    So what do I do when I?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢m up at odd hours? Watch online videos, duh. Here?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s a good one: Connie, at age 6, amazes Simon hrsaccount Cowell on Britain?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Got Talent. Makes me wonder what I?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢m doing with my life.

  20. This is so nice to know that blogging has been around from a long time! thanks for the post.

  21. hanks for giving this information. I am searching for how to change the ip address. and also i found a website for chk the ip address from ip details.com at a free of cost.

  22. Assembly Equipment July 24, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    I had always been a fan of Wall street journal well I can say that they are really great upon the several topics and issues they have tackled.

  23. It would be nice to know who really was the first blogger although it may be an elusive concept, sort of like who was the first person to eat with a fork.

  24. Scoble points out that Berger was using a Dave Winer CMS for his blog. So which came first, the chicken or the egg? 🙂

  25. excellent post, I'll have to check back more often, thanks!

  26. Wall street journal is really great upon the several topics and issues they have tackled.

  27. How can there be a first blogger when there was no blog? In fact, can you be a blogger when the is no blog. So what came first? The blogger – or the blog?? That's the REAL question!

  28. I was also searching for the same. Now I got too. Thanks

  29. I have discovered and learned much from your blog. Your blog is really good.
    charcoal grill

  30. I agree and enjoyed reading, I will make sure and bookmark this page and be back to follow you more.

  31. I agree and enjoyed reading, I will make sure and bookmark this page and be back to follow you more.

  32. i sure it's a good deed

  33. he editors of the Wall Street Journal is e bigmind man

  34. I enjoy reading this article very much and totally agree with the idea in this article. I think it can help me a lot. Thank you.

  35. This rich content of this thank you for sharing with us

  36. This is a great article, didn't know blogging was already present as early as 1997. Thanks for sharing!!

  37. In a globe of fantasy, Coach Factory Outlet Canada is practically nothing but enjoyment for women. You window shop, discover a design you want, also it fits perfectly- finish of story. inside the globe we truly reside in, us females discover detours just like the incorrect size, and never the accurate design to match our needs. The lookup for that wonderful Coach Bags could be prolonged and tireless. this can be in which Coach actions in with their collection of unique Coach Purses. They will end at practically nothing to assure you of your style requires all yr around.

  38. On establishing contact with a louis vuitton outlet hire agency, a few clarifications would need to be put to rest prior to working out a deal.louis vuitton outlet online own a couple of line, color, or the selected theme, it should be a good choice. It may be the place where offer the bag ladies handbag, you will be able to follow a course of education or training receives for the slim project chest strap wallet.It has however getting confirmed how they insure the fact that merchandise you purchase will genuinely be reliable mentor product to louis vuitton outlet store.Designs of this season give you the unlimited cool feelings in this cool summer. The new designs of Louis Vuitton products in the louis vuitton outlet enrich our daily life.The louis vuitton sale online offers lots of stylish goods which are on discounts now. It usually makes advertisements on TV, Broadcasts, magazines, newspapers and so on.louis vuitton outlet store vision system is a visual enjoy, is a visual art. The particular design has been integrated function and the element of elegancy, then show you an exquisite and excellent product.By the fashion, novel appearance, sophisticated technology, superior quality, louis vuitton outlet won domestic and international customers, their products exported to the Middle East, Southeast Asia and other regions.As can be less costly than other European manufacturer 30%-40% price, coupled using the louis vuitton online exquisite texture and more youthful demandsRelying on creditable quality, good prestige, perfect service and reasonable price, louis vuitton outlet store has won the confidence of the customer. Thanks for your support, your cooperation and inquiries will be highly valued. They provide high quality technical support with consistency.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Not really a blogging birthday, but… » mathewingram.com/work - July 15, 2007

    […] Duncan Riley points out, the Wall Street Journal’s article celebrating the 10th birthday of blogging is a little […]

  2. Not really a blogging birthday, but… » mathewingram.com/media - July 15, 2007

    […] Duncan Riley points out, the Wall Street Journal’s article celebrating the 10th birthday of blogging is a little […]

  3. Insider Chatter by Donna Bogatin » Duncan Riley vs. WSJ: How Google AdSense Taints Blogosphere - July 15, 2007

    […] I feel Duncan Riley’s “who needs the Wall Street Journal” pain as he laments mains… […]

  4. Stirrdup Trackback - July 16, 2007

    Wall Street Journal Tries to Re-Write Blogging History

    This story has been submitted to Stirrdup. Your support can help it become hot.

  5. CrunchNotes » Will Someone Who Actually Cares About Blogging Please Write the History Of it? - July 16, 2007

    […] written article on the history of blogging. Duncan Riley writes a response and points to his earlier post saying that blogging began much earlier. He also notes that wikipedia disagrees with the […]

  6. Para la historia de los blogs, mejor creerle a los bloggers que al WSJ — RegioBlogs - July 16, 2007

    […] Duncan Riley de plano dice que el WSJ re-escribi?ɬ? la historia de los […]

  7. rexblog.com: Rex Hammock’s weblog » Blog Archive » The history of blogging founding-myths — based solely on what I can remember off the top of my head - July 16, 2007

    […] a nice piece that shines a glow of credibility on blogging — became the target of a some ever-looping “history of blogging” meme. As the publisher of an American History magazine, I can tell you that one thing is certain: there […]

  8. How Old is Blogging - July 16, 2007

    […] old is blogging? Depends on who you ask. Tags:Blog Blogging Blogs History […]

  9. Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard » Blog Archive » There is no “first blogger” - July 16, 2007

    […] the Journal article came out, the blogosphere’s self-correction mechanism has been going at full tilt. As happens in this medium, lots of good suggestions are coming to […]

  10. Blogging Birthday | Net 2.0 - July 16, 2007

    […] Wall Street Journal Tries to Re-Write Blogging History […]

  11. Basic Thinking Blog » 10 Jahre Blogs - July 16, 2007

    […] Update: natürlich gibt es kein fixes Datum, wann denn nun Weblogs geboren wurden. Manche bezeichnen Tim Berners-Lee als einen der ersten “Blogger”, da er bereits sehr früh schon angefangen habe, Webseiten zu kommentieren, die er auf seinen Surftouren entdeckt hatte. Wie auch immer, anbei zwei Blogartikel, die sich dieses Themas annehmen, wer denn nun der erste Blogger war, was ich für ziemlich müßig halte: a short history of blogging und Wall Street Journal Tries to Re-Write Blogging History […]

  12. Blogiversary | THE blog - July 16, 2007

    […] According to my history of blogging (still No. 3 on Google BTW, and heavily researched at the time) … […]

  13. Livingston, il blog di Marco Mazzei - links for 2007-07-16 - July 16, 2007

    […] Wall Street Journal Tries to Re-Write Blogging History (tags: blog blogging history blogger weblog media) […]

  14. 10 Favourite Blogs - July 16, 2007

    […] honour of the (disputed) tenth anniversary of blogging, Mashable is asking readers to list their 10 favourite blogs. Here […]

  15. » 10th Anniversary of Blogging? Try 12th… | The Apple Core | ZDNet.com - July 16, 2007

    […] Riley’s notes that Justin Hall began an online journal with dated daily entries on January 10, 1996 (which […]

  16. NetInfoWeb 2.0: Soul, R&B, Jazz and Blues on the ‘Net » So, What IS the Real “History of Blogging”?… - July 16, 2007

    […] duncanriley.com: Wall Street Journal Tries To Re-Write Blogging History […]

  17. higher ed marketing » Blog Archive » Blogging turns 10. Or 12. - July 16, 2007

    […] take issue with both of their reports,” O’Grady writes, referring to another blogger’s post that traces blogging’s origins to 1996, “because there were a number of people blogging […]

  18. Who Cares Who First Started Blogging? | Marketing Pilgrim - July 16, 2007

    […] Duncan Riley says… [Jorn] Barger has always been credited with popularizing the term weblog (although as I found in my research back in 2005 he wasn?t the first to use it the term)…Winer has often claimed that he was the first blogger, I?ve long disagreed but whether it was Hall or Winer is a moot point: both were blogging in 1996 […]

  19. Happy Birthday Blogging! My 10 Favorite Blogs | Kyle's Cove dot Com - July 16, 2007

    […] moment as the birth of the weblog, making blogging official 10 years old this year.?Ǭ† Duncan Riley disagrees, stating that blogging recent celebrated it’s 11th birthday in […]

  20. bojo » Good grief - I think Techcrunch may have officially disappeared up its own backside - July 17, 2007

    […] It’s not often I agree with Dave Winer, but I’m with him in regards to the latest post from Techcrunch writer Duncan Riley. […]

  21. Vsaka stvar nekam zadene Kdaj je rojstni dan spletnega dnevni?Ö¬°tva (blogiversary)? « - July 18, 2007

    […] spletnih dnevnikov sta zanimiva?Ǭ†zapisa Winerja in Rileya. Robertu Scobleu, Mikeu Arringtonu in Duncanu Rileyu?Ǭ†lahko pritrdimo, lahko pa tudi […]

  22. I ask you what makes a blog? at myninjaplease - August 14, 2007

    […] reading about the kerflufle over who was the first weblogger, I was amused to hear an appreciation of director Chris Marker on Fresh Air that describes his 1983 […]

  23. Archiving Blogs and the Blogosphere : The Blog Herald - December 3, 2007

    […] December 23, 1997. Not only was the author of the article accused of getting the history wrong and re-writing history it also heated up the debate on what the first blog […]

  24. Masters of Media » It’s the definitions, bloggers. - December 16, 2007

    […] Dave Winer, as the Wall Street Journal and The Guardian contend? Or is Duncan Riley right to insist it was Justin […]

  25. PLSex.Net » Blog Archive » WSJ gets it wrong: Blogging is more than 10 years old - April 20, 2008

    […] thanks to Duncan Riley for catching the WSJ’s screw up, and to Dave Winer for pointing to Duncan and for helping […]