by Richard Gavins
Today, it’s hard to find a business without a blog.According to Web Tribunal, out of the 1.9 billion websites, 600 million are blogs. What started out as a hobby in the early 1990s has now become an integral part of doing business. If you haven’t started a blog yet,The Blog Starter has everything you need to get going.
How did blogging become so popular that it’s now considered a necessary business tool? It all started as a simple way to post information and over time, blogging became a marketing staple.
Here’s a brief timeline from 1993 onward.
June, 1993 – the first blog post is published
Although most people attributethe internet’s first blog post to Justin Hall in 1994,Rob Palmer beat that by about six months. In June 1993, Palmer published a story to his company’s online journal about geeky researchers who studied ant colonies to use their “social intelligence” to create self-healing telephone networks.
At this time, the word “blog” had not been invented yet and people would print articles they liked and read them on paper instead of on the computer.
October 5, 1997 – SlashDot is born
As one of the first “social media” blogs, Slashdot is a news website that originally used the tagline “News for News. Stuff that Matters.”
September 1997 – The term “weblog” is created
A man named Jorn Barger coined the term “weblog” to refer to sites that published articles online. Barger ran a highly influential blog calledRobot Wisdom.
The term “weblog” was derived from the act of “logging the web” and was eventually shortened to “blog.”
August 1998 – the first news blog is published
A journalist from the Charlotte Observer named Jonathan Dube posted an article online about Hurricane Bonnie. The article was titled Dispatches from along the coast.
October 1998 – Open Diary is launched
When non-programmers wanted to start their own blog, they were prevented from doing so because there was no actual platform to make it easy. Blogs had to be coded by hand in HTML.Open Diary changed that by offering users a unique web address where they could keep a journal online through the Open Diary website.
March 1999 – RSS facilitated blog subscriptions
Long before email marketing, bloggers relied on Really Simple Syndication (RSS) to get new content to readers. Some people would receive RSS digests as an email, while others would check the feed on the publisher’s website.
April 1999 – LiveJournal is born
LiveJournal is a free blogging platform that is a few steps up from Open Diary. It was more user-friendly, had a nice interface, and offered community posts. LiveJournal grew quickly and is still running today.
August 1999 – Blogger is launched
A fierce competitor with LiveJournal, Blogger made it easy for everyone to create a blog. Because of the design, writers chose Blogger over other platforms. Today, Blogger is WordPress’ largest competitor, although it trails far behind.
Early 2001 – cafelog is born (the first version of WordPress)
A French programmer named Michel Valdrighi decided to share his personal blogging software with the world. At the time, it was known as b2/cafelog. This was the first self-hosted platform available to users and it quickly became popular. However, in 2003, the project was abandoned and its source code was used to create WordPress, which was released in May 2003.
August 2002 – Blog ads begin
With the rising popularity of blogs, one company saw the advertising potential and started Blogads, which allowed bloggers to monetize their posts. Google launched AdSense less than a year later in June 2003, and became the number one paid ad platform.
February 2004 – Video blogging begins
The first vlogger was a videographer named Steve Garfield. He uploaded short videos to his blog covering various newsworthy events. Others followed suit and ‘vlogging’ was born. In February 2005, YouTube was launched, which made it possible for everyone to publish videos.
March 2006 – Twitter is launched
Twitter was the first microblogging platform and has been running ever since.
February 2007 – Tumblr is launched
Tumblr is another microblogging platform, but started out allowing more than Twitter’s 140 characters. Tumblr allows users to reblog other people’s posts, comment, follow accounts, and more.
2008-2011: Nothing much happened
There weren’t many developments during this time period, but there was one thing that started to change…
2011: Google cracks down on “thin content”
Around this time, people realized they could gain search engine ranking by overusing keywords and getting links from other blogs. The result was a bunch of blogs with thin content that Google deemed low-quality. Bloggers began getting penalized.
2011-now: WordPress dominates the blogging industry
Today,WordPress powers 43.2% of all websites and is the preferred content management system (CMS) for 63.3% of people.
What does the future hold for blogging?
It’s hard to say if there will be many blogging advancements in the future since there isn’t much left to innovate. Perhaps we’ll see new self-hosted platforms that provide built-in features you can’t get with WordPress. Or, maybe we’ll see more hosted options that support freedom of speech. It’s hard to say. The only certainty is that blogging will continue to be a valuable tool for writers and marketers alike.