Last week, Blog Trackr began a mini-series of blogging articles dedicated to exploring the history of blogging. In this segment, we will discussion how blogs started to expand in the early 2000s as they increased in number.
The End of the Nineties
At the end of the 1990s, more resources emerged for aspiring bloggers. One of these, called Open Diary, became a pivotal blogging platform as it was the first time others could comment on others’ works.
Clearly, this was a major development because it allowed for bloggers to engage in a dialogue with their readership.
As mentioned in the last installment, 1999 saw the term “blog” take form and included the emergence of Live Journal, Blogger and Xanga all launched as blogging software options. They all proposed unique features designed to distance themselves from these new competitors.
Expansion in the Early 2000s
As blogs started to populate the internet, the most popular were political blogs. In one famous incident in 2002, US Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott praised US Senator Strom Thurmond and even going so far as to say the US would have been better off had he won the presidential election of 1948. In this post, Lott incited controversy as Thurmond was a supporter of racial segregation.
Blogs were becoming a form of expressing your ideas and creating a dialogue among those to discuss them. In-depth topic blogs examined contemporary issues in more depth than traditional media sources and blogs could even comment on what the traditional media was reporting.
In 2002, the same year Lott wrote his controversial post, Mommy Bloggers started to form. Melinda Roberts founded TheMommyBlog.com creating a category of blogs that would only accelerate the number of bloggers in the future.
2003: A Pivotal Year for Bloggers
2003 was an important year for bloggers. The blogging platform WordPress started in 2003 and that same year also saw the inauguration of the AdSense advertising platform which was the first ad network to match ads to the content on the blog.
AdSense made it possible for first-time bloggers to start making money off their blog even if payments to low-traffic blogs was not huge.
Once bloggers had the chance to make money off their blog, the number of blogs only skyrocketed. Bloggers like Darren Rowse and John Chow used their blogs to give advice on how other bloggers could turn blogging into a full-time career.
In 2002, Newsweek predicted that blogs would soon replace traditional media sources as a go-to place for the public to search for news. Examples like the Lott episode clearly show that blogs were here to stay.
In the next installment, we will examine how blogging expanded in the mid-2000s and what impact YouTube had in blogging’s development.