On that original web server, Tim maintained a "What's New?" newsletter that included news about developments in the technology of the Web. He also wrote about, and linked to, new sites as they came online. Naturally, Tim's page included a brief description of these new places on the Web, and often Tim added his opinion of them. This style of web page—periodic, subject-specific, linking to interesting sites with commentary—is the very essence of the first weblogs.
After Tim's page, came the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) "What's New" page (now archived at http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/SDG/Software/Mosaic/ Docs/whats-new.html), which ran from 1993 to 1996. Significantly, this page dated its entries, with the newest entries at the top of the page. Each month, NCSA started a new page and created a link to the previous pages, forming the archives.
As the Web grew, personal pages began to appear. They were created by people studying and working in universities, as these were often the only people who had access to the Web. Their sites usually contained links to papers and research materials pertinent to a their academic projects. Soon, as a natural progression, because people want to talk about themselves and share their interests, many of these pages became personalized. They contained items such as a bit of personal history or someone's opinion of the latest Star Trek movie and links to other Trek fans' pages. They also sometimes included links to the older pages, the archives.
With the growth and commercialization of the Web, personal pages soon became available to the general public. Companies began providing a little Web space to individuals, and pretty soon every Tom, Dick, and Harriet had their own homepage. These were filled with content such as pictures of their pets, detailed essays about themselves and their hobbies, or pages in praise of their favorite pop group. And always, there were links—links to other people who shared their passion, links to new and interesting pages on the Web, links to other people's pages of links, and so on.
People were publishing themselves. People were finding their voices and inviting the world to hear. These pages became the precursor to the other side of blogging: journals or personal diaries.
Was this article helpful?