Blogging as we know it today began about 1994 as an online diary which was simply an online running account of one’s personal life. These online diaries were created by updating the components of a common website which required much technical skill. The writers of these journals were known as diarists, journalists, or even journalers. Two of the names associated with earliest bloggers include Justin Hall and Jerry Pournelle. Dave Winter’s Scripting News is recognized as one of the oldest and longest running blogs. An early blog which combined text, video, and pictures as an online shared diary of a personal life transmitted live was Wearable Wireless Webcam.
As blogging evolved, tools were created to facilitate the creation and maintenance of posting the articles in reverse chronological order. This resulted in the publishing of blogs that we readily recognize today. The tools, requiring much less technical skill than updating the websites, made the creating of blogs much more feasible and appealing to a much larger population.
Being quite technical in its early beginnings, blogging got off to a slow start but rapidly gained in popularity. It was during 1999 that blog usage began to spread rapidly. In 2002 blogs were recognized for coverage in breaking news stories and political news. Bloggers, the modern journalists, join in sharing passionately about many issues at hand, whether political or social. Eventually blogging was finally accepted and given credibility by the mass media as a means of applying political pressure, as well as a logical news source. Bloggers have been recognized as a way to bring key information to public light forcing mass media to follow their lead.
For the most part rather than setting the trend, blogs tend to be a reaction to mass media news accounts. It is these reactions to the mass media news that sometimes generate an in-depth analysis. It was in 2004 that blogs became increasingly acceptable. Political consultants, newscasters, and political candidates began using the blog as a tool for outreach into the political arena. Blogging by politicians is a means of connecting with the constituents which they serve. It was just in January 2005 that Fortune magazine listed eight bloggers that business people could not ignore. Thus, an interest in blogging was generated in the business world. Even some of our national governments have an official blog with Israel being one of the first.
Blogging has had a dramatic impact on mass media in recent years and blogs are being recognized as a way to generate interest, expose an issue, keep others informed, as well as generate a group of followers. Many are acknowledging the emerging influence that blogging has placed on society today. However, as we leap into the blogosphere, we must remain open-minded as we consider the facts and the context of the issues at hand rather than relying on blogs as factual information. We must learn to differentiate opinion versus the logical presentation of factual information.