Who has been blogging longer than I?
July 26, 2009 11:12 AM   Subscribe

BlogFilter: Is there a reliable directory of blogs?

My motivation is self-centered, to be sure. Basically I'm interested because I'm quickly approaching my ten-year anniversary and I'm wondering where that places me in the evolutionary chain.

I know that Kottke, Anil, Zannah, and TheBrad have all been blogging (slightly) longer than I've been. But how many others are out there that have blogging since the beginning?

Are there thousands of bloggers approaching their first decade? Hundreds? Dozens?
posted by GatorDavid to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
"Have been blogging" is very subjective. I'm sure there are people who have had accounts at Blogspot open since the beginning, maybe posting as little as once a year or less, and there are certainly people who have had personal websites on their own domain names since the early 90's.

The fluid nature of the blogging "industry", with people entering and leaving at will (sometimes more than once) and with no skillset required to enter would make it very difficult to maintain any sort of "directory". It's possible that directories exist compiled by people (Google certainly returns a few results) but maintaining them thoroughly and accurately would be nigh impossible.
posted by jgunsch at 11:36 AM on July 26, 2009

Seconding jgunsch. I have a "blog" that I've had up and running in some form or another since '99 but since I periodically get disgusted with the whole thing, throw it all out and start over again, any blog directory that listed me would have to be very generous to say I've been blogging since then.

It's embarrassing, but I spend more time re-engineering my blog than I do actually posting anything to it.
posted by JaredSeth at 11:58 AM on July 26, 2009

If you are looking for people who didn't stop or take a hiatus or dramatically change the topic of their website, I'm going to predict dozens. I had my first website in early 1994, and my first blog (before peterme coined the term) the following summer, but I've taken 2 12 -24 month hiatuses from "blogging" (but not webwork or other web-based stuff) and several 1 month hiatuses and one 12 month hiatus from updating a website at all. These corresponded to major life changes -- college -> grad school -> jobs in the tech world -> getting completely burned out -> starting over.

In that time, I've changed base URLs twice, and blog address 4 times. Of the people I personally knew with personal websites in 1994, most of them have modern websites that are completely different (having gone from scientific or historic topics to personal or vice versa), or have chosen to move to other web site styles other than blogs (web-indices, podcasts, anthologies, interactive folderol using flash). Privacy issues forced a few folks to Facebook and others to stop posting anything at all.

Also, back when I was running the Ancient World Web, maintaining that list of live, accurate links was the most time-consuming, frustrating part of that task. (No viable digital tools could handle the load or the content checks) I only had about 9,000 links, but I still couldn't keep up with dying links or URLS taken over by porn or when content that had previously seemed very reasonable and sane suddenly was describing how the aliens who set up Atlantis had also built Stonehenge, and that's why you couldn't buy decent cheese in Glastonbury supermarkets.
posted by julen at 12:06 PM on July 26, 2009

No, there is no reliable directory of blogs.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:09 PM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sites like opendiary, livejournal and blogger have been around for over 10 years and I imagine there are 1000s of their early users still around.
posted by JonB at 12:10 PM on July 26, 2009

I've had a blog since 1997. Back in the day, Brig Eaton used to keep a list of other bloggers which has now morphed into a portal that doesn't have a lot of resemblance to what it was. A few other early bloggers [and MeFites] who has lists include Cam Barret (alas, this list no longer available on Archive.org) and Jesse James Garrett who had this portal (and this, note mathowie and I are on the "people who must be stopped" list), now retired. His wife Rebecca Blood wrote this history article that you may like. The whole idea of a directory of blogs nowadays is sort of amusing, but looking at blog portals circa 2000 or so can give you an idea of who was around when.
posted by jessamyn at 12:40 PM on July 26, 2009

I think what you're asking for is impossible. And if it was possibly you'd be much further down the list than you think. I know several people who have been posting journals or diaries to the web since 94-96. However they don't do it for glory or ad revenue and you've never heard of them, nor will they show up on a Google search.

The term "weblog" dates back to '97. Which means that it was common enough that someone thought to make a new word for it. You might also find some interesting reading on Wikipedia's "History of blogging" page which starts in '83.
posted by Ookseer at 12:41 PM on July 26, 2009

I wasn't blogging that early, but another reason why this is difficult is reflected in my blogging history: my first blog was hosted on my university's servers, and it was all hand coded (I didn't know that such a thing as blogging software existed). I wasn't good about archiving it, and it doesn't exist anymore. My second blog was on livejournal, and lasted for around a year. My third blog is on my own domain, but hasn't seen much action since I found twitter and (frankly) Metafilter.

People spread themselves out all over the internet.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:14 PM on July 26, 2009

Mickey Kaus has been consistently blogging since 1999.
posted by Jaltcoh at 2:28 PM on July 26, 2009

Justin Hall (at Links.net) is sometimes cited as one of the first 'bloggers'.

I guess he started in 1994 and stopped around 2005, but the site looks like it's active again, albeit with modern fancy bells & whistles.
posted by polexa at 3:55 PM on July 26, 2009

Also, the excellent James Lileks has been blogging since 1997.
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:05 PM on July 26, 2009

As Ookseer points out, blogging-type activities were around way before the word was invented, much less commonplace. I used to read a lot of game developers' ".plan" files in the late 90s, which were not meaningfully different from a 'modern' blog.
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:28 PM on July 26, 2009

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