I've been blogging for a really long time. I figure, since 1999 or so in one form or another. My archives, due to a server shut down at the end of 2002 only go back that far, but there was about two years of blogging before that.
The thing about this is that, at this point blogging wasn't hip and new media the way it is now, blogs weren't the kind of things that people set up every time they thought they had a new project, few if any college professors had their classes blog, and small businesses weren't told that having an active blog was the key to success. Hell, commenting systems weren't quite ubiquitous, and contemporary features like trackbacks and RSS were very new if they existed at all. Hell, niche blogging--like KnitBlogs, or TechBlogs and so forth--didn't really exist. In fact most blogging platforms didn't even use dynamic page generation systems...
It was a different world.
I occasionally talk with my friend dave about this period of blogging. We were both online and had sites back then, but never quite made it as bloggers in the way that many other people that were blogging back then did. I was... 13 years old, and my spelling was even worse then; but I think we both had a lot of growing up to do. Also, neither of us were located in a place the real world that would have made it easier to "make it:" you'll see when I get to the list that most of the original core of bloggers were located in L.A., New York, or San Francisco. But my goal isn't to dwell on what could have been, but rather to try to make a list of the old timers.
So here's the list, in no particular order:
- Anil Dash
- `Mathowie <http://www.metafilter.com>`_ (MeFi)
- Meg Hourihan
- Heather Armstrong (Dooce)
- Cam Barret
- Brad Grahm
- Derek Powazek
- Heather Champ
- John Halycon Styn
- Matt Kingston
- Ev Williams
- Chris/Uffish Thoughts
- Choire Sicha
- Ernie/Little Yellow Different
- Rebecca Blood
- Noah Grey
- Rachel James
What this list leaves out are sites like Slashdot and Boing Boing, the former should certainly count, the later is damn close if it doesn't count. It also leaves out the Journaling tradition, which has been around for a lot longer than the 'blog, and uses the same basic form. Indeed, many of the people listed above would probably be considered journal rather than blog types, but it doesn't really matter.
So this leaves me with two questions for you, wise readers, who where the other 7-10 "original" bloggers? I can't think of them, really. I think one would have had to start blogging before Janurary 2001, and preferably have started in the first half of 2000 at the latest.
Secondly--family, and dave are exempt from this contest--not that there are good prizes, but I've met one of these people in real life out of the blogging context, I'll figure out something something for the first person to figure out which one it is....