Twenty years ago, on October 7, 1994, software developer Dave Winer published his first blog post. The date is important because Winer also wrote the first blogging software which opened the doors to blogging as we know it today. Winer also invented podcasting and was involved in developing RSS, the syndication system that bloggers and Newstex use to automatically distribute content to audiences around the world.
A lot has changed since Winer published his first blog post, which you can see here. From the software to the publishers, the evolution of user-generated content ushered in a media explosion. Blogging became the “it” thing to do, but as with all new tech toys, it lost steam over the years. Many bloggers and blog readers shifted their time to social media sites.
John Naughton of The Guardian explained this evolution eloquently when he wrote:
“In the two decades since Dave Winer more or less invented the genre, blogging has been through the usual internet hype cycle: lauded breathlessly as the new, new thing; rapidly taken up until it reaches a peak after which boredom sets in and the quest for the next new thing begins. At the moment, the crazes are microblogging—twittering—and ephemeral communications such as Snapchat, but these too will pass. And when they do, people will suddenly rediscover that some of the most interesting writing, thinking and discussion in the world still goes on in the wilds of the blogosphere, far away from the big-name media brands and online publications.”
Naughton’s spot on with his analysis. Over the past 5-10 years, we’ve seen big brands and media organizations stake a claim in the blogosphere and world of social media. We’ve witnessed small blogs turn into media behemoths, and we’ve seen an influx of low quality content. While it might seem like online content is dominated by a few big names—both individuals and brands—there are better sources out there if you take the time to find them.
For every Huffington Post (which arguably started as just another blog), there is a smaller Authoritative Content publisher that might not have optimized headlines, a staff or writers, and a team of social media experts pushing their content to the masses, but that Authoritative Content publisher does have consistently useful, reliable, and trustworthy content.
This is one of the main reasons that brand marketers are returning to blogs. The claim that said blogging was dead a few years ago never came to pass, and this month, we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of blogging thanks to Dave Winer.