What are the 'classics' of the blogging era?
June 29, 2011 3:59 AM   Subscribe

Influential blog posts anyone? What are the 'classics' of the blogging era?

After a recent mission transferring a bunch of stuff from Delicious to Evernote I came across this blog post - something that was very influential on my thinking after reading - but was only available on the internet.

So that got me thinking - what are the masterpieces of the blogosphere - that people would look back on and somehow regard as classics of blog writing.

I'd been adding a bunch of interesting articles to Evernote for rainy day reading from lists on AskMeFi like this, but was wondering if anyone had any interesting web-only (ie not published anywhere else and preferably from non-professional writers ie blogs) reading material that they would consider interesting or influential on them.

Personally, my interests lie in many areas like photography, philosophy, food, science, psychology, technology - but I'd really welcome anyfink you'd have to throw at me.
posted by letsgomendel to Writing & Language (33 answers total) 125 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't know if this is quite what you're looking for, but there was the day that Heather Armstrong (dooce.com) got fired because of her blog. That was back in the day when people hadn't really considered that the internet was really public and that you could be held accountable for what you said there.
posted by Kimberly at 6:13 AM on June 29, 2011


For some reason, this post, about the absolute hopelessness of American politics, has stuck with me for years.
posted by mneekadon at 6:15 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population. Its future influence is probably fated to wane because of how thoroughly the framing is bound to its specific wacky time in American politics (future wacky times will of course be their own beast), but the core Crazification Factor deserves to be recognized as truly insightful.
posted by Drastic at 6:28 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tanta's series which eventually came to be called "The Compleat UberNerd" stand out as pre-housing-bubble collapse awesomeness.
posted by procrastination at 6:31 AM on June 29, 2011


This one, also by Dooce, really demonstrated how powerful a blogger with a following can be - it woke some companies up and probably launched the marketing-through-bloggers movement.
posted by Mchelly at 6:51 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


BTW, love your initial link to "The Multiple Self." It's CBT translated into Geek.
posted by mneekadon at 7:11 AM on June 29, 2011


Thanks guys - this'll give me something to go on for a while - and keep 'em coming.

@mneekadon - yeah it was quite revealing to me to read through the 'self' article and suddenly realise that I wasn't completely at the controls. Liberating and scary at the same time.
posted by letsgomendel at 7:35 AM on June 29, 2011


Also - regarding the 'self' article - interesting that the comments at times are as revealing as the article itself - another feature of blogging: when the readers are as smart and insightful as the author and the post becomes a springboard for a wider discussion.
posted by letsgomendel at 7:40 AM on June 29, 2011


Stuff.
posted by chez shoes at 7:43 AM on June 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


Hmm perhaps there's a couple of Mefi threads in here - the interesting content-wise blog post/influential blog post. I'd probably say I'm leaning towards something that is more interesting to read personally (ie the 'Stuff' post) than influential in the general blogosphere - but I'm happy to be informed about either.
posted by letsgomendel at 7:55 AM on June 29, 2011


I think Dooce's most linked and commented posts were about her post-partum depression.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:42 AM on June 29, 2011


John Scalzi's Being Poor was circulated pretty heavily at the time.
posted by frecklefaerie at 9:17 AM on June 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


Justin Hall's Links.net is the canonical personal website/blog in my opinion. It takes some exploring to "get" why and how it's interesting, but I find it to be very important in the way that it pushed the limits of personal sharing on the web. He's had a documentary made about him, called "Home Page," he's inspired and collaborated with many web pioneers (Howard Rheingold, Lawrence Lessig, Joi Ito), and the sheer immensity of his site and the intimacy of his sharing give it a sense of immediacy that is very inspiring. One post called "Dark Night," where he videotaped a "breakdown" he was having, led to a hiatus in his blogging and got a lot of attention from the media.

Dark Night
posted by jayder at 10:54 AM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Addiction Is. I believe the author was fired or suffered some negative consequence over the post and is thus dissociating his name from it.
posted by Manjusri at 11:00 AM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


The D-Squared Digest One-Minute MBA should be mandatory reading.
posted by mhoye at 1:11 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I remember a time when i could search for "cam" and the first link would take me to Cam's world. A lot of the "classics" of the blogging era are hard to reach nowadays. Or simply not there. Sad. So sad.

Anatomy of a Weblog January 26, 1999

Rebecca Blood's weblogs: a history and perspective might send you in the right direction.

But so much is already missing, like eatonweb, the last wayback machine archive is from 2000. Yet Brigitte was hugely influential long before that. In both her telling of personal stories and her cataloging of what was happening 'out there'. And in her response to reader feedback.

I wish I could give you a better answer, but so much has already been lost.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 4:41 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


John Holbo's review of David Frum's Dead Right.
The Donner party? Where did all these people go? Into each other, to a dismaying extent.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 8:25 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Couple of sprigs of thought that have sprung from this.

-Re the lost posts, it's interesting to note something of an ephemeral nature for the digital age - that's almost analogue...

-There's so much difference between the suggestions here that it shows how varying the forms of expression can be within this medium. I guess we're perhaps in the Lumiere Brothers stage of the form... still searching, testing, trying, experimenting, evolving.
posted by letsgomendel at 4:56 PM on June 30, 2011


for a good jolt of nostalgia, i always like to go back and read carl steadman's old single-page blog at freedonia.
posted by Hackworth at 2:53 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of my all-time favorites from the oldschool Online Journaller world is the entry from Pamie about how a dollar is change.
posted by cmyk at 3:00 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a kind of self-double-post, Paul Ford on the rubble of the bubble in early 2001:
We may be owned by corporations, and our hopes of a cyber-utopia may have been complete bullshit, but maybe - now that the schlock-thought and bar graphs seem irrelevant as Silicon V/alley companies burst into flames - we can sell back in, get our hands dirty again, and start doing neat things with networks, in our spare time, even if we can't buy helicopters on the proceeds.
And the late, so-dearly-missed Leslie Harpold's How To Write A Thank-You Note. (I'd link to the Hoopla/Harpold 500, but that's archaeology.)
posted by holgate at 3:02 PM on July 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


For crazy self-referentiality, I point you to Metafilter's own post 1142, referencing Ben Brown's post on long blog posts & a million other things.
posted by judith at 3:03 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm a fan of Merlin Mann's better.
posted by justgary at 3:20 PM on July 11, 2011


I can't remember the origin of this meme, but the Girl on a Bike post showed up simultaneously one day on Kottke.org, Megnut.com, Tom Coates's blog (plasticbag.org? or was that later?), and I think Sippey.com, and then everyone just copy/pasted it as a new post and it sort of ran around the nascent blogosphere and was often jokingly referenced years later.
posted by mathowie at 3:28 PM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


True Porn Clerk Stories
posted by almostmanda at 3:41 PM on July 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


The best I can speak to is what spoke to me. Here's some stuff I linked to back in the early days when were still figuring out how to bang the rocks together guys:

Peter Merholz "I want my passion back"
http://www.peterme.com/index071998.html
(which inspired my pre-blog post http://www.metagrrrl.com/metagrrrl/1998/10/passion.html )

David Weinberger "The Longing: The Web and the Return of Voice"
http://www.hyperorg.com/misc/thelonging.html

The deeply missed Brad Graham "Why I Weblog"
http://www.bradlands.com/weblog/comments/essay_why_i_weblog/

Ben Brown "How to Become an Internet Rock Star"
http://www.uber.nu/2000/05/22/

Unfortunately a lot of the women I was linking to back then have either re-arranged their websites so the posts are gone, weren't using permalinks so it's nigh impossible to find the relevant bit again, or had all her writing removed from the web by their relatives upon her demise. :(
posted by MetaGrrrl at 6:58 PM on July 11, 2011


Here's something I wrote about blogging in 2000: What the hell is a weblog? Almost all the links in it are dead now.

Naturally, it included a posting area where others weighed in, including a few people with names you may recognize.

Good times.
posted by fraying at 11:46 PM on July 11, 2011


"She Hates My Futon" was an ongoing serialized story I remember reading back in the late 90's, maybe? It was the first thing I remember reading online where I was always eagerly waiting on the next installment.
posted by falfa at 6:39 AM on July 12, 2011


It's not a particularly good article, but it's the start of Suck. Also, Havrilesky ages well.
posted by togdon at 7:27 AM on July 12, 2011


It wasn't technically called a "blog," but Bobby Burgess's "perceptions.diaryland.com" journal was once incredibly widely read. Mostly by teenage girls.

I can still quote entries.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:59 AM on July 13, 2011


My very own Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Wonderchicken was very widely read and argued about back in the day, probably more than anything I've written since.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:34 PM on July 13, 2011


Majusri, the writer of “Addiction is…” is reasonably well known and not difficult to Google. Based on other information I have read, it is more plausible that the post goes unsigned to honour the principle of anonymity (or at least pseudonymity) in support groups.
posted by joeclark at 10:43 AM on July 15, 2011


Thanks for all your answers guys - will take some time to go through everything here but now I have somewhere to start from at least.
posted by letsgomendel at 3:31 AM on July 30, 2011


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