Peterme calls it quits
February 3, 2003 3:52 PM   Subscribe

The inventor of the term blog is giving up his verb. "I've gotta do something else with this site," says Peter Merholz, who began one of the first 25 weblogs in May 1998. "More essays. No blogging."
posted by rcade (25 comments total)

 
"blogout, v., to run out of nothing to say"
posted by precipice at 4:13 PM on February 3, 2003


Give the man a break, huh? He's one of seven partners in a busy young consultancy, he's a new homeowner...I'd say he's entitled to a life.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:25 PM on February 3, 2003


I think a lot of people could take a hint from him, too.
posted by angry modem at 4:26 PM on February 3, 2003


In what sense did weblogs begin in May 1998? That's when the term was invented?

The style of website that eventually came to be called a weblog or blog existed well before 1998.
posted by techgnollogic at 4:57 PM on February 3, 2003


Quitters never blog, and bloggers never quit.

Maybe...
posted by davidmsc at 5:07 PM on February 3, 2003


techgnollogic: 1998 was the year that publishers of these reverse-chronology sites began to consider what they were doing to be distinct from other styles of Web content.
posted by rcade at 5:19 PM on February 3, 2003


In what sense did weblogs begin in May 1998?

I think what rcade meant was that Peter's weblog began in May 1998.

The style of website that eventually came to be called a weblog or blog existed well before 1998.

Do tell.
posted by jjg at 5:20 PM on February 3, 2003


I hear there's a mountain in Idaho where they're carving out the busts of the Twenty Five Original Bloggers.

Some say they came from the East.
posted by ntk at 5:27 PM on February 3, 2003


Do tell

At the time, I remember sites that said "under construction", sites that focused on one certain thing (example: A Green Day fansite), sites that posted journal-type entries on a schedule (prehensile.com) and then there were ones that wrote about whatever they wanted to as often as they could, with links a plenty.

I changed my site from an art gallery to a running list of links and thoughts in the summer of 1998, thinking "well, I can't write as well as prehensile.com, but maybe quantity can beat quality!"

Then prehensile changed to daily, and I thought "aw crap. there goes my niche."
posted by jragon at 5:28 PM on February 3, 2003


Sites like Infosift... nyuck nyuck... my jjg.net bookmark is ancient, playa.
posted by techgnollogic at 5:34 PM on February 3, 2003


who began one of the first 25 weblogs in May 1998

i can't really get my head around this statement. which "first 25 weblogs"? though, as a few have noted above, there were "blogs" pre-98, and you've clarified what you meant, i still am curious who the 25 are.

hell, after almost 2 years, i stopped blogging in 98. ;)
posted by dobbs at 7:39 PM on February 3, 2003


The ye old skool section of this old InfoSift page lists 23 of them.
posted by rcade at 7:56 PM on February 3, 2003


I patented the term Blog™ back in 1995.

You all owe me $5.00!
posted by cinematique at 8:09 PM on February 3, 2003


I'd always heard that it was Jorn who invented the blog.
posted by crunchland at 8:13 PM on February 3, 2003


I'm more elite than you are! NyahNyah.
posted by HTuttle at 8:34 PM on February 3, 2003


Technically the first blog was also the web's first page, in which Tim Berners-Lee linked to new sites and pages on the web.

Add sites like that to the personal journals and other sites that existed as part of home pages, and the whole "25 first bloggers" thing is definitely ridiculous. There is an argument to be made, I think, about which bloggers were most influential in setting the standards that current bloggers have adopted consciously or not. But were they the first? No.
posted by realityblurred at 9:12 PM on February 3, 2003


That page is old school; I haven't been on WWA since the last millennium. Sheesh, Jesse!

Make no mistake: those of us in the vanguard (and I consider myself at the very tail end of the vangaurd, being one of the first Blogger users, along with Tom Coates and Anil Dash, among others) knew full well that there were precursors -- from the seminal links.net postings to the very first What's New page at CERN. Lots of people are willing to give Dave Winer credit for being the longest-running blog per se blog. Jorn was certainly early, but he gets credit enough for inventing the word weblog. Saying that Peter is one of the first bloggers is a perfectly legitimate claim, especially since Peter and others in that group have never said that they invented the form out of whole cloth -- only the sense of common purpose, form, and community. It's the difference between someone kicking a ball around in a street, and soccer.

Anyway, I don't think Peter's need to change his approach is that much different from the sideblog concept Anil Dash has been promoting. One may also recall Ben Brown's 3000 evangelizing, pushing for longer-form posting of original content as opposed to link-mongery. All blogs have a natural lifespan, and many more have gone the way of the dodo without a Metafilter thread.
posted by dhartung at 9:23 PM on February 3, 2003


Technically the first blog was also the web's first page, in which Tim Berners-Lee linked to new sites and pages on the web.

I don't know why people keep saying this. There is nothing about this page that resembles a weblog.

Saying that Peter is one of the first bloggers is a perfectly legitimate claim, especially since Peter and others in that group have never said that they invented the form out of whole cloth -- only the sense of common purpose, form, and community. It's the difference between someone kicking a ball around in a street, and soccer.

Nicely put.

Anyway, I don't think Peter's need to change his approach is that much different from the sideblog concept Anil Dash has been promoting.

Indeed, that's how Peter was doing it originally. Everything old, new again, and so forth.
posted by jjg at 9:49 PM on February 3, 2003


I don't think we should be encouraging Merholz's ongoing delusions of grandeur. Weblog postings were bad enough, but now he threatens us with essays?
posted by joeclark at 5:24 AM on February 4, 2003


Add sites like that to the personal journals and other sites that existed as part of home pages, and the whole "25 first bloggers" thing is definitely ridiculous.

Even if you don't think the first weblogs were structurally distinct from prior content, which is reasonable, weblogging is as much a social phenomenon as anything else. That movement began in 1997-98 with a small group of people who considered weblog content distinct enough to seek out others practicing the same kind of publishing.

I'm not claiming that Merholz or his peers invented the form or deserve credit for the million-blog world we're moving into. However, everything has a beginning, and his history among the first self-described blogs -- and his coining of the term -- makes the closure worth noting.
posted by rcade at 5:48 AM on February 4, 2003


Ahh, kids...
posted by GrahamVM at 7:05 AM on February 4, 2003


what about Links.net. That is some old skool bloggin too....
posted by ejoey at 7:38 AM on February 4, 2003


My first blog was in 1996. Does that make me cool?
posted by waldo at 7:49 AM on February 4, 2003


My theory is that people will abandon weblogs just at the moment when everyone thinks that any website should include a weblog. Going mainstream means the scope of weblogs is increasing, not their popularity. I was reminded of this on a recent visit to state.gov.
posted by rschram at 9:57 AM on February 4, 2003


I think a lot of people could take a hint from him, too.

We can only hope.

My first blog was in 1996. Does that make me cool?

Despite the popularity contest mindset associated with blogs, no.
posted by valerie at 10:55 AM on February 4, 2003


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