Blogging has come a long since its humble origins in the 1990s. Based on Tumblr data, we estimate that there are about 310 million blogs worldwide, with millions and millions of posts each day. So, how has the blogosphere evolved over the years?

Recently, HubSpot’s Amanda Zantal-Wiener helped us answer this question:

“We’ve found that there’s quite a history behind blogs. According to the documentation we uncovered — and will share with you below — they’ve been around since 1994. They looked a lot different back then, and had many different names and meanings.”

  • 1994-1997 — “Many original bloggers, despite not having yet earned that title, were the same people who first understood the value of the  Web in the 1980s. One of them was then Swarthmore College undergrad, Justin Hall, who created a site called in January 1994. It was essentially a review of HTML examples he came across from various online links, but it was enough for the New York Times Magazine to dub him the “founding father of personal bloggers’.”
  • 1998-2001 — “The later part of the 1990s saw an uprising in resources created for bloggers. Open Diary launched in October 1998 and became one of the most pivotal blogging platforms. The name was a nod to its community approach to blogging; it was the first to have a membership model that allowed members of the community to comment on the work of others.”
  • 2002 — “Technorati, one of the first blog search engines (but today a company of “advertising technology specialists”), launched in February 2002. That month, blogger Heather B. Armstrong was fired for writing about her colleagues on her personal blog, While it’s not clear if she was the first blogger to be terminated because of her personal Web site’s content, it sparked a conversation about privacy and freedom of expression for bloggers.”
  • 2003 — “TypePad and WordPress launched in 2003, offering new platform options to a growing number of bloggers. That year, live blogging was estimated to have started — the Guardian was one of the first outlets on record to make use of live blogging during the 2003 prime minister’s question time.”
  • 2004-2005 — “It wasn’t until the middle part of the decade that visual content really had the opportunity to take root. In February 2004, videographer Steve Garfield , who went on to be one of the Web’s first video bloggers, declared it to be the “year of the video blog.” YouTube launched only a year later in February 2005, shortly thereafter inviting the public to upload their own videos. It actually began as a short-lived dating site. YouTube turned its focus to general video uploads (which seemed to take effect by June 2005). Huffington Post launched that May.”
  • 2006-2007 — Microblogging was introduced (sharing stories, news, and other content in the smallest format possible). “The start of life in 140 characters (or less) began in March 2006, when Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey sent out the world’s first tweet. Microblogging continued to gain momentum in February 2007 with the launch of Tumblr — yet another blogging platform that encouraged users to be brief. Being able to comment on blogs was becoming less of a novelty, and more a point of contention.”
  • 2008-2011 — “During this period of four years, there weren’t many major events that propelled how or why people blogged. By 2010, 11% of bloggers reported earning their primary income from blogging.” Google  made some changes that would impact bloggers in 2011 with its rollout of the “Panda” algorithm change. A lot of that had to do with bloggers having a lack of inbound links — a link to your Web site that comes from another one.”
  • 2012In August, a co-founder of Pyra Labs — the creators of Blogger — Evan Williams, created Medium, one of the newest blogging platforms. Today, people can use it to write and publish original content, like most other blogging platforms. But Medium is continuing to blur the line between news reporting and blogging. On its Web site, the company describes itself as serving up ‘daily news reimagined, straight from the people who are making and living it.’ That year, LinkedIn introduced its Influencers program, which recruited notable business figures to guest blog on LinkedIn’s publishing platform.”
  • 2013-present — “Recently, the creators of WordPress announced they would be rolling out the .blog domain. Until November 9, 2016, users have to apply for one of the highly-coveted domains. [and it won’t come cheap]. But here’s the cool thing about .blog — even though it was made by the creators of WordPress, you don’t have to use the WordPress platform in order to build a blog on that domain.”
  • Forecasting the Future — “How blogging continues to change will determine what our careers look like, and  all marketers, corporate or otherwise , are encouraged  to blog on behalf of their respective brands. It might seem like a lot of work, but if the evolution of blogging has indicated nothing else, it’s that the sphere will only continue to expand. And that’s something marketers should continue to pay attention to — not just the growth of blogging, but how many different interpretations [platforms] of it exist.”


Click the image to read a lot more by Zantal-Wiener.


5 Replies to “The Fascinating Evolution of Blogging”

  1. The evolution of blogging moved at a rapid intense pace and it still is. Blogging has not only turned into writing and recording to the final product of a post but now “bloggers” are blogging in real time. Live streaming websites like Twitch and Youtube have introduced the idea of being able to stream instantly out to their viewers. The most recent innovation of this would be Facebook’s new “Live” feature bringing the steaming mobile. Personally this past weekend at the debate I saw tons of students, journalists, and especially bloggers using this feature on their phones to bring their audience to the debate with them.

  2. Blogging has truly advanced over the past twenty years or so. I think the key feature to its current and continuous evolution is the various platforms, such as Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn’s Influencers Program. Blogs can be used for recreational, educational, business purposes and much more. The versatility, of blogging, caters to many different groups of people and has contributed to its widespread success.

  3. The development of blogging moved at a quick exceptional pace despite everything it is. Blogging has not just transformed into composing and recording to the last result of a post however now “bloggers” are blogging progressively. Live gushing sites like Twitch and Youtube have presented having the capacity to stream in a flash out to their viewers. The latest advancement of this would be Facebook’s new “Live” element bringing the steaming portable. By and by this previous weekend at the open deliberation I saw huge amounts of understudies, columnists, and particularly bloggers utilizing this element on their telephones to convey their group of onlookers to the civil argument with them. Blogging has taken over the world.

  4. Blogging has continued to grow and advance since the early 90s. As blogging developed, people realized the usefulness of it and the ability to express themselves on the web. Bloggers use the web to express themselves and what they love while allowing others to give feedback and appreciate their posts. Blogging has created an open forum that has become extremely popular as the internet has become focused on personal thoughts. With the development of twitter, people got a taste of what it was like to write about what they like in only 140 characters. With that, blogging expanded greatly and more and more people opened blogs. Now it is not only blogging, but vlogging, which is video blogging. This has become very popular on Youtube. Instead of writing about their lives and interests, a vlogger shows us their life. Blogging as well as vlogging has been proven to be successful and popular as many of the more followed bloggers are able to make a living off of their stories. I think that this is really cool because it is a forum that allows people to express themselves while others to learn and help each other.

  5. I think it is really interesting to see the progression and history of blogging through this post. I think the main part of blogging that I really relate to is being able to express yourself to others in whatever way or manner that you want to without anybody really knowing who you are (if you choose to make it that way). It is such a great way to present ideas and ways of thinking to other people. I know many of my friends who have made their own blogs regarding to places that they have traveled around the world. This is a great way to find new and fun places from the recommendation of another person. I use blogs on a daily basis when it comes to things such as finding a new place to eat, or what type of makeup product to use. Blogging is a great universal tool to spread all different ideas and recommendations to people that need them.

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