The Development of the “weblog” to the “blog”.

An interesting fact I found about the history of the Internet was the “weblog” created in 1997. In the reading The History of the Internet in a Nutshell, it states that “the first blogs had been around for a few years in one form or another” but 1997 was the year the term “weblog” was first used. The term “weblog” refers to a website manually updated by its user through articles posted in reverse chronological order. The blog transformed from many different stages throughout the years. In Blogging by Jill Walker Rettberg, she claims that the first “blogs” started off as Usenet, then developed to online bulletin boards and finally moved on to online diaries, the first being Justin Hall and his website Justin’s Links. Rettberg states that the “most early websites were imagined as finished products rather than constantly updated blogs and social media we are familiar with today” (7).

I found this history of the blogging world interesting because in today’s modern society, the blog has transformed into something much bigger than an online diary or online forum. A blog is now a business or even a career. Compared to the old “weblogs”, where the websites were run by one individual posting online diary entries, blogs now contain a team of workers, writers, and creators. For example, the famous blogger Chiara Ferragni (link attached below) started her blog The Blonde Salad as a place to share photos with her friends. On her blog, Chiara writes that she started TheBlondeSalad.com as a way to express herself and her love for fashion. However, today, she admits TheBlondeSalad.com is so much more than just a personal blog; it’s a business and career. Chiara Ferragni works with major fashion designers, appears in the world’s top fashion magazines, created her own popular shoe line and has been named by Business of Fashion as one of the most influential personalities of the international fashion world. She even had a case study done on her at Harvard business school because of her success in the fashion industry.

Looking at the history of the internet and the “weblog” and comparing it to the blogging world today proves how much the Internet has affected our modern era.  The “weblogs” of the Internet started off more personal and as a form of expression, like a diary. Now, because of the development of social media and the spread of the Internet across the world, blogs have transformed into a business. Chiara Ferragni has a network of people working for her blog. Her blog has become not just her hobby or passion, but also her job and living. Social media has also allowed blogs to transform into more of business by spreading news and information around the world. Anyone can access the blog and be updated on new content through social media handles, thus transforming a personal space into a public business. Because of social media and the development of the Internet in a capitalist society, blogs have become a job or business, allowing bloggers a career in writing and posting pictures online. Thus, the development of the blog proves that the Internet has transformed into more than a way to connect with people; it is also an economic media market.

 

Sources:

Blogging by Jill Walker Rettberg 2014.

The Blonde Salad – Chiara Ferragni

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2 Comments

  1. It’s so interesting that the development and rise of the online blog sort of coincides with the evolution of the internet from something to which only a few groups had access to something that is used by millions of people worldwide. I think that the development of the blog from personal diary into a sort of “business” or platform for creating a personal brand is also really telling when you think about how social media “experts” are being hired by businesses just to tweet at and respond to customers. It’s amazing that so many people are able to create blogs and express themselves, but has blogging and social media use in general become too commercialized and/or artificial?

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  2. I was surprised when I read that “weblogs” really took off in 1997, because they’re already such a prevalent part of online culture. I’ve actually been following Chiara Ferragni for the past couple years, and used her as an example in my research paper that I had to write last year on “fashion blogging”. I personally think it’s great the internet has enabled people to utilise these creative platforms to act as businesses and allow creators to make an income from it. Weblogs are the perfect example to show how the internet has turned the consumer into the creator.

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