The First Community Blog?
October 24, 2002 5:56 AM   Subscribe

The First Community Blog? Five years ago today, Caleb Donaldson pulled the plug on Geek Cereal, a social experiment that began on March 21, 1996. Some of the links don't work like they should anymore, but the calendar will get you to all the juicy bits. An interesting little time capsule. The site's demise is mentioned in this Ghost Sites 1997 obit, and in this virtual eulogy from Caleb's dad on MIT's website.
posted by (6 comments total)
Great find. Can anyone find a community site that predates March 1996? ( launched in July 1995, but I don't think that counts because it was mostly fiction.)
posted by waxpancake at 7:13 AM on October 24, 2002

I've thought about this, and wouldn't parts of the old Bianca's be considered a blog, because they were separated into different communities. Each posted personal and funny information at times. And that was one of the first sites I saw.

(the link is back to 98', but I want to say I was there in Late 94, and in 1995)
posted by mkelley at 7:20 AM on October 24, 2002

The Well started in 1985 and in more or less it's current form goes back to, what, 1993-1994? I joined it briefly in 1993 and it looks pretty similar today to what it did then. And Electric Minds started in 1996, too. But I don't know how "bloggy" you'd really consider them.

What surprises me a little, is that Geek Cereal started as late as 1996. I remember reading it at the time and I remember the Stone article, too. I even seem to recall Cyborganic Gardens getting a mention in Playboy. But I'd have said 1995 or late '94 if anyone had asked me. It all seems like much longer than 6 + years ago.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:38 AM on October 24, 2002

Oh give me the internet of 1997, when everything was fresh and pop-up free.

Geekcereal is a great historical read (internet years being like dog years) and neatly predicted the pending dotcom implosion and subsequent doom by a full two and a half years.

From optimism to disillusionment, same as it ever was.
posted by mark13 at 11:40 AM on October 24, 2002

From optimism to disillusionment, same as it ever was.

You're preachin' to the choir here, buddy.
Don't try to teach grandpa how to suck eggs, buddy.
Get in line, buddy.
Something like that.
On the sentiment, not the topic.
posted by y2karl at 8:47 PM on October 24, 2002

Geek Cereal was built around a journal structure, so it doesn't really count as a "blog" per se, but it sure is nice to see those old pages again. And Bianca's was the first web-based chat system, started in '94. So, again, not a blog, but a definite first on the web. (What's with the blogification of everything, anyway?)

Geek Cereal and Bianca's both came out of the same Third Street building that housed HotWired, where I worked in 1996 as a html monkey - my first real job out of college. Everything was new, then. And, in hindsight, small. All the churn the webloggers go through today was gone through by the webgeeks then. It was just smaller, really. Smaller web, smaller community, same big ideas, same big dreams. Maybe bigger.

I have to admit, sometimes I really miss those days.
posted by fraying at 4:01 PM on October 27, 2002

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