Origins of "Blog" and "Blogger"
JMB at STRADLEY.COM
Sun Apr 20 17:12:50 UTC 2008
"Blog" is of course a contraction of "weblog," generally agreed to have
been invented by Jorn Barger as a name for his Robot Wisdom web site in
December 1997. The earliest use seems to have been by Peter Merholz,
who wrote in a sidebar on the home page of his weblog, Peterme.com, "For
What It's Worth: I've decided to pronounce the word "weblog" as wee'-
blog. Or "blog" for short." An archive of his historic mot juste is at
Current historical records do not permit an exact dating, but it clearly
was not before April 28, 1999, when the Wayback Machine shows that the
sidebar was not yet present, and not after May 23, 1999, when there was
a reference to it on Bradlands.com.
Merholz's passing remark probably would have produced few ripples, but
for Pyra Labs, which chose to refer to weblogs as "blogs" and to name
their own product "blogger." The domain name blogger.com was registered
on June 22, 1999, probably the first public use of the word. According
to Meg Hourihan, an insider at Pyra Labs whose email is reproduced
below, it was Evan Williams who devised the name "blogger."
From: Meg Hourihan [mailto:meg at megnut.com]
Sent: Friday, April 18, 2008 3:26 PM
To: Baker, John
Subject: Re: Origin of the Word "Blogger"
Yikes! Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you about this,
hopefully it's not too late. The use of "blog" came from Peter. We
were friends with him in San Francisco and so know about his joke to
change the pronunciation of "weblog." At the time everyone said
"weblog" and "weblogger" so picking up his pronounciation, Evan
Williams came up with the name "Blogger" for our product. When we set
about to write the copy for the site, we used the word "blog" for
every instance of "weblog." There was no other service at the time
that used that term. When we added hosting, we named it "Blogspot"
because it was a spot for one's blog.
I think it's fair to say that the popularity of our service led to
the popularization of the term "blog" and its now ubiquitous use.
Let me know if you have any other questions, I promise a prompter
reply next time!
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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