My historically early proto- eLOG

It was back in the summer of 1999 that I had the idea of a web file on which I could add on comments and ideas at the top, without the bother of setting up links to file in the usual web site format. I felt that the internet should ideally permit a certain degree of spontaneity, of quick access not only to reader but also to writer, and I devised a format which had six inch lines, as easy to read like a book, with wide margins as if reading on a well printed large-paper printed editions. I had my first experiment in this style ready to read on the web for New Year's Day 2000 and received comments on the clean appearance of the file from a number of people.

This was an early virtual "BLOG" on the web although without that ugly sounding and dysphonic name. It was in the following year that a smart group came up with, which swept the nation and the world instantly. The idea of a fluid and flexible personal site which w could be adduced easily by a person with few or no computer skills, was immediately a hit. And beyond that, it was (amazing in a commercial world) --- free. BLOGS spawned up everywhere, thousand then millions and the word became a part of the internet terminology.

Now toward the end of 2006 there are some 2.57 billion BLOGs on the web. Since I ahve never been a joiner of trends or a follower of mass movements, I revert to my original term of "e-LOG". This is different from most online logs, because it is personal and serious, it is in my code and design just as I wanted it to stand and it carries no ads or side-bar sales pitches. In the meantime ELOG with all caps., has appeared as a rival to the original BLOG, with a mere 3.2 million appearances on the web; but this is not to be confused with my private and personal eLOG.

Here is a little history of the blogging movement:

Dec 1997: Jorn Barger coins the term web log.

November 1998: Cameron Barrett publishes the first list of blog sites on Camworld.

Early 1999: Peter Merholz coins the term blog after announcing he was going to pronouce web blogs as "wee-blog". This was then shortened to blog.

Early 1999: Brigitte Eaton starts the first portal devoted to blogs with about 50 listings.

July 1999: Metafilter's earliest archives.

July 1999: Pitas launches the first free build your own blog web tool.

August 1999: Pyra releases Blogger which becomes the most popular web based blogging tool to date, and popularizes blogging with mainstream internet users.

The blogger's BLOG does offer a lot, it has clever avenues of access from various points, it allows editing ones own site at any time of night or day, it does not have limits of space or time and is permissively friendly. But as the blog count went up in the millions, it was bound to attract the attention of advertisers, and at the present time i there are serious plans to increase advertising traffic on the blog world. First stage seems to be placing an ad for a related topic on a unsuspecting blog, and see if the connection brings in an increase in sales. There are now even plans to share some of the profits with blog writers and pay a small amount per hit on global traffic. One thing is sure, there is going to be serious attention paid by commercial advertisers to the ubituitious and growing blog population, and it is going to take away some of the free and open quality of our blogging use.

You will find that this page is clean for reading and free from external tampering, and you are welcome if you want to try something similar, to use my markup, which you can copy from the SOURCE on your browser menu. It is is well proofed and will work on any browser. Best of luck for personal blogging!

William Harris
Prof. Em. Middlebury College