The word blog did not exist before the era of online content, when was formed to conveniently shorten the term weblog.
It is generally accepted that the first blog was created by Justin Hall, who in 1994 started publishing a personal collection of links with short reviews. And while his Links.net was, at the time, referred to as a “personal homepage,” the New York Times Magazine honoured him as the “founding father of personal bloggers”.
The term weblog was coined in only 1997, by Jorn Barger, creator of the Robot Wisdom website, to describe a “log” of his internet activity. Berger described his intention as: “I decided to start my own webpage logging the best stuff I find as I surf, on a daily basis. This will cover any and everything that interests me, from net culture to politics to literature etc.”
The term web log, itself, with the meaning of ‘a file storing a detailed record of requests handled by a web server,’ was first attested in use in 1993.
And weblog was shortened to blog by programmer Peter Merholz, who in 1999 broke the word into ”we blog”, recorded in www.bradlands.com on 23 May: “PeterMe decides the proper way to say ‘weblog’ is ‘wee’- blog’.”
The new term stuck as both a noun and a verb to mean a personal page to which new short entries are regularly added and which often contained hyperlinks to other online resources, along with the activity of updating and maintaining such a web page.
The first major free blog platform and online community, Live Journal, was launched in April 1999 and later that year, the platform, that would eventually become Blogger, was started by Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan at Pyra Labs.
Blogging was brought to the mainstream in the following years, strongly influenced by the user friendliness of WordPress, released on May 27, 2003. In 1999 there were around 25 blogs on the Internet, compared to over 50 million blogs by mid 2006.
The first blog post with a video came out on January 2, 2000 when Adam Kontras added a video to a blog post as an update of what he was doing, followed by Adrian Miles, who in November posted a video of changing text on a still image and naming it a vog. The term developed into vlog (‘video’ +’blog’), to be first recorded in print in 2002.
Shortly, blog monetarization became a norm, to later see new Google algorithms penalising most blogging black hat practices, and the rise of informative news blogs of big media outlets, organisation and politicians (The White House blog debuted in January 2009).
Nowadays, that pretty much everyone has his own blog, according to rough statistics there are around 300 million active blogs worldwide with circa 2 million new blog posts created every day, it is the user experience what defines whether a blog will be a failure or a success.
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