back to article Blogging: made in England?

Here's a quote from an interesting time in the past: ten years ago. You know, a decade back, 1997, when (It says here) 'Jorn Barger, who started his Robot Wisdom weblog in 1997, is "regarded by many" as the "first blogger".' Was he heck. The first blogger was Rupert Goodwins. He started his blog in 1996 - and very popular it …


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  1. Andrew Moore

    I would just like to say...

    ...that a blog is somewhere I go when I want to take a schlit.

    (sorry, it's Friday...)

  2. John A Blackley


    'nuff said.

  3. Tim Porter

    Oh Please....

    "The irritating thing is, the site which hosted his blog went and lost most of the stuff from those early years. It's a loss, pretty much on a level with the BBC's decision to re-use the video tapes which contained "Not Only But Also" with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, or the loss of the Goon Show audio grams earlier."

    I'm assuming that this is a kind of wind-up.

  4. Samuel Penn

    1996 is two years late

    Steve Jackson Games (the ones who got raided by the US secret service for writing a game about 'hacking') started in 1994.

  5. Franklin


    Since the invention of fingerd


    The fingerd utility appeared in 4.3BSD. )

    "blog" has just been a neologism awaiting some life form with a sufficient surplus of cerebrospinal fluid for coinage and this article is like some disgusting nerd fight over whether a roll of <3 for cha results in a ginger or not.

    In the World of Real, Honest Things, the hairless post-card has served as ample warning of the potential to abuse any device for banal folderol, doubly so when cheap, trebly so when attached to semi-anonymity and Meret knows the hair.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Dan O' Brien's NTK seemed like an early blog....especialy because it was so smug and smart-arsed.

  7. Wonderkid

    I posted my first blog in 1995...

    It was originally entitled 'MyTV' and I even purchased the domain, that I subsequently neglected. I renamed it to RealityBytes (hosted at and then renamed it to Vision Aforethought. Of course, back then, the term (web) log had not been conceived. I will dig my writings out one day if i can find them as little is online any more. we need something new, and i think i may have my company develop it so that blogging can be made effective while not trouncing on the rule of law or due process.

  8. J


    "the site which hosted his blog went and lost most of the stuff from those early years"

    The Internet archive thing wasn't running at the time yet then, I suppose? Anyway...

    <partial sarcasm>

    Of course the Americans invented the Web! And blogs. And pizza, and automobiles, etc...

    </partial sarcasm>


  9. Mike Wallis


    Monochrome BBS had a "Diary" function. Anybody remember that? People could read each others diaries and people would spend all day posting updates to their "online diary". I can't remember when it started, but IIRC it was circa 1995.

    However, the .plans at iD were probably the first proper widespread, regularly viewed by hundreds of thousands of people online diaries. 1993. Gawd bless 'em.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    its a bit like...

    arguing over who invented "lol" or :) or chess or arghhh!!! who cares!!!. Open the door and take a step outside.

  11. Simon Greenwood

    For that matter...

    I did a page on Easynet's website that collected interesting links (a log of the web, if you will) from October 1994 into 1995. Fortunately it's just outside of the limit of the Wayback Machine... I fondly recall getting hate mail from someone because I had a picture of a dollar bill doctored with a Dobbshead on the page.

  12. Stephen Clifford

    Re: Monochrome

    Yep - I remember Monochrome and the diaries they had. Must've been in 1995 when they launched because I was still at Uni and I graduated in 1996.

    Monochrome is still around though - and I suspect the diaries are still there.

  13. Nìall Tracey


    The WayBackMachine at alledgedly starts at 1996.

  14. Andy Bryant

    First travel blog?

    Can I claim the first travel blog?

    I posted these originally in July 96, from Cyber Cafes as I was travelling around Australia. It saved writing a load of post-cards to the family and friends!


  15. Matthew Cochrane

    First blog

    Surely the first blogger was Dougie Howser M.D., it just wasn't online that's all...

    He is what I always think of when I see most bloggers anyway.

  16. Snafu

    @ Tim Porter

    Not in the slightest. IIRC someone (possibly Cookie himself) offering to pay the BBC the going rate for new tapes, simply to retain the archive. They declined :((

  17. tony trolle

    not new

    the ZDnet 'blog' was not the first by a long way. Not too sure but seem to remember some stuff b4 www.& internet, a diary by some tower BBS sysop ?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who cares?

    Blogging may seem like an amazing social revolution to uncultured, historially ignorant geeks - but to those of us who actually have a bit of social perspective blogging is on a similar level to the thankfully obsolete practice of people sending regular round-robin letters to everyone they know to dispense unwanted information about their children's accademic success or their latest minor hospital procedure.

    At least 99.99 percent of blogging is pointless twaddle with no intrinsic value, and should be expunged from the internet to cut down on unecessary CO2 production. If anything, we should hunt down the originator of the web log in an attempt to hold them responsible for the terrible social plague they have unleashed upon us.

    Once this is done we can go after the creators of MySpace (which is like a giant virtual school yearbook made up of biographies of people you don't care about, only less interesting) and rought them up. Next, hunt down the originators of Second Life and teach them (with the help of large sticks) that flirting with some woman who lives five thousand miles away is NOT as worthwhile as forming a relationship with someone actually in the same room.

    On a more positive note, my website is getting 5 million hits an hour. I expect that soon everyone will be producing their own sites based on my idea and this exciting new social phenomena of internet based paint-themed edutainment will revolutionise the way we all live our lives.

  19. Richard Lloyd

    Or my lottery blog...

    I'm sure blogging probably began around the time the Web surfaced (1993), but I've been running a lottery blog since 17th Nov 1994:

    Hardly earth-shattering and not updated every day (does that have to happen to be called a "blog"?), but still 2 years before anything in the article and still running almost 13 years later (which I suspect none of these "early blogs" can claim). Yes, it could indeed be the longest-running blog in the world for all I know - I'd be interested to see if someone has a longer-running blog...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Origin of the Species

    No matter how early you go, there's always something earlier. Perhaps there were people in the early 1980s who posted their thoughts daily to rec.arts.mumbling, or something along those lines. Or perhaps there were internal corporate email blogs at Xerox in the 1970s that were only read by a few hundred people, but which were nonetheless sufficiently bloggy to lay claim to novelty. Perhaps, back in the early 1990s, there was an online porn star who posted a diary of her thoughts in a style indistinguishable from a blog, but which will never be cited because it was porn and not e.g. meaningless drivel about how the writer has just bought a laserdisc player and an Apple's Newton, and how tomorrow he is going to buy a bunch of laserdiscs, and a huge-ass 21" monitor.

    I think the lesson is that the past is unknowable and that history is a lot of cherry-picked, filtered, bashed-about nonsense.

    "Not Only But Also"

    I have often wondered which is the most recent major television programme, or recordable event, to be wiped from history - it would have to be something that no-one thought to keep, or videotape. There were rumours that Rentaghost or The Adventure Game or Now Get Out of That had been destroyed, but this was apparently not the case. I'm not sure the loss of an early blog has the same impact as the loss of Not Only but Also - blog entries generally aren't much fun to read, they don't have lasting value, and they don't tell us anything about society outside the tiny, tiny, King Louis XVI-esque bubble that surrounds computer professionals. But then again Not Only but Also didn't make me laugh, and I can't see Peter Cook's fame lasting beyond the current generation. Perhaps the lesson is that nothing lasts, especially not the tiny, tiny, King Louis XVI-esque etc we live in.

  21. Andy Worth

    Re: Who Cares?

    Just a point here. If you're going after MySpace and Second Life, for completion you have to go for Facebook as well. If anything that should be your first target.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Samuel Pepys

    I remember him doing something back in 1664.

    Come on, blogs are just diaries, who cares who's doing it. If it's worth reading, great, if it's not, fortget it. If you want to be recognised as a revolutionary on the internet, get off your fat arse and do something. I'm staying here.

  23. Tim Porter

    re: Origin of the Species and Snafu

    With regards to your comments about 'Not Only, But Also'', Guy didn't pick a very good example when he compared blogs to this. If 'lost' blogs are no longer on the Net, but are preserved in some way (e.g. on a printout or hard drive) then the content has been preserved; although we still have scripts of the shows that 'NOBA', it's hard to to get a sense of what they were actually like performed when you are unable to see it. It's a little like if every single recording by Hendrix was destroyed, but we had his work transposed to sheet music - we might get the gist, but it would be hard to realise the full effect of his work by being unable to judge it work the way it was performed.

    Whether or not, NOBA made you or me laugh is irrelevant - in terms of TV comedy, it was ground-breaking. Peter Cook was a huge influence on many, many comedians (the Pythons would be the first to admit this) and he played a huge role in the Sixties satire scene - without him, there probably would have be no That Was The Week That Was (if for no other reeason, that David Frost was a slavish imitator of Cook). Personally, because of stuff like that and Private Eye, I reckon Cook's name will live on for a little while longer...

    But all this misses the point that Guy was trying to make - that somethings are worth preserving historically, but through carelessness, they are being lost for the ages. In the case of NOBA, Peter Cook offered to pay for the tapes to have safe storage, pay for new tapes so they NOBA ones wouldn't have to be wiped etc etc. But the BBC decided no, because it couldn't see the point and disn't want to deal with the paperwork.

    @ Snafu - I was just commenting that you (well, not you) can't really make this comparison (not well, anyway) well are blogs and performed comedy are two different types of media.

  24. tony trolle

    re:Samuel Pepys

    thinking earlier myself : New Testament, dead sea scrolls........and damn those Upper Palaeolithic human rock/cave paintings; they even used a 'pointing device'. lol

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