by Edward Driscoll, Jr.
On the Internet, 2004 seemed to be the year of the
Weblog. Time Magazine even created a new category
for them for their traditional year-end “Man of the Year”
issue, and handed out their first “Blog of the Year” award.
There are now over seven million Weblogs — more than
the number of readers of the New York Times, or viewers of
CNN or Fox News. (Before I forget, my blog is at the eponymously titled www.eddriscoll.com.) A few years ago, a
blogger named William Quick of www.dailypundit.com
coined the term “The Blogosphere” to somewhat humorously refer to this ever-expanding universe of Weblogs.
But it took quite a while for the Blogosphere to reach
its current plateau — and as you’ll eventually see, there is
room for more — including you.
Why would you want a Weblog? The reasons why people start them are as varied as blogs themselves. Many listen to Peter Jennings or Bill O’Reilly on TV, disagree with
their take on events, and rather than throwing bricks at their
TVs, start typing into their Weblogs. Others have thoughts
on burgeoning new technologies, or have electronic projects of their own to share. Or
they wish to criticize the
movie or TV show they saw
last night. Or they have photos or self-produced music or
videos they’d like to expose
to a wider audience.
Glenn Reynolds — popular
blogger and creator of the
InstaPundit.com weblog site.
A Lot of
History in Less
Than a Decade
As you can see, Weblogs
have evolved into a multifaceted platform designed to
quickly and easily disseminate any idea their human
owners want to share with others. But there are several
interesting twists in their evolution. When the format
debuted in the 1990s, many of the first blogs were online
diaries, consisting of posts describing “day in the life”
events and the author’s thoughts about them. (Hence the
“log” part of the now frequently contracted word Weblog,
often shorted to simply blog.)
Beginning with September 11, 2001, Weblogs came of
age as an entirely new medium, offering news and opinion.
Because the magnitude of that day’s events overwhelmed
the servers of traditional news sites, many Internet readers
stumbled across smaller one-man Weblogs who offered
commentary based on what they were seeing on TV, presenting links to websites that appeared to be still online,
and generally sort of directing online traffic that day.
Then, as the dust settled, media bias started rearing its
ugly head again, especially in newspapers, where the
reporters seemed to work from style guides left over from
the Tet Offensive. Quagmire! Failure! Evil imperialism! The
InstaPundit.com — one of the most popular weblogs.