In today’s rapidly changing world, we are always trying to gather more and more information. Which politician said something triggering, what the world is angry about today, what’s the backstory of a political trial, how to cook Alfredo pasta, how to decorate your house without spending much money, the list of questions is endless. But blogs have all the answers.
Blogs are quickly becoming an integral part of our lives. Thanks to them finding out everything about an issue has become really easy. Now everyone regularly visits their favorite blogs to get their fix of the news.
As compared to print and electronic media, blogs became an important information gathering source recently. With the advancement in the digital world, people decided to have their own platforms to express their opinions which gave birth to blogs. In 1994 a college student, Justin Hall, created the first blog in the history of the internet titled links.net as his personal homepage. The term ‘weblog’, which meant ‘logging the web’, was coined by Jorn Barger on 17th December 1997. The term ‘weblog’ was later shortened to ‘blog’ by Peter Merholz in 1998. The word blog later became Merriam-Webstar Dictionary’s word of the year. While working at The Charlotte Observer, Jonathan Dube wrote the first blog in 1998.
A list compiled by Jesse James Garrett shows that in 1999, only 23 blogs existed on the internet. However, the early 2000s saw a rapid growth in the number of blogs, as is evident in Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere report, according to which the number of blogs has reached up to 50 million by the middle of 2006. These blogs covered sports, entertainment, showbiz, marketing, and various other topics. The increase in the number of blogs can also be attributed to the influence of prominent political figures like Howard Dean and Wesley Clark who started using blogs to communicate with the public. Politicians saw blogging as an opportunity to build a relationship with their voters, which is why some of the earliest blogs that got famous were political.
Various blogging platforms joined the market to help this new tool of politicians and influencers. In September 2001, Version 1.0 of Movable Type was released.
WordPress, although started in 2001, was properly launched for the public in 2003 along with TypePad, which was inspired by Movable Type. The first major podcasting service, Audioblogger, was also released around this time. In 2004, even a year before the launch of Youtube, the video blogs started.
Also launched in 2003, AdSense helped bloggers to earn from their blogs. Consequently, the number of meta-blogs ascended. Darren Rowse and John Chow belong to the list of bloggers who made a decent amount of money by teaching people how to earn money through their blogs.
According to a study released in January 2005, 32 million Americans, more than ten percent of the population of America at that time, were reading blogs every day. In the same year, Garrett M. Graff became the first blogger to be granted the White House press credentials.
By late-2000s, due to the overwhelming success of blogging mainstream media realize that they have to establish their blogs in order to effectively communicate with their readers. Some decided to team up with bloggers to make their mark in the blogging world. Eventually, all the famous brands, marketing agencies, multinational companies, political parties, started their blogs and hired blogging experts to run their blogs for them. The number of active blogs reached up to 152 million blogs by 2010.
Although many people prefer to read the detailed account of every occurrence, some would rather read the condensed version of a story. To cater to the needs of such people, Tumblr was launched in 2007 as a micro-blogging platform. Twitter is another such successful micro-blogging service. Today, news reaches the majority of people via Twitter.
The dynamics of our digital world are always changing which is why it’s hard to predict the future but it’s safe to assume that blogs are going to stay relevant. For now, blogs are a proper business tool and with effort and creativity, bloggers can ascertain their place in this growing market.