Antecedents

The previously link-referenced Wonderchicken Joint. It’s a sign! Just click it…

Warblogger roots

Rock ‘n roll never forgets

The search for the world’s first weblog continues because somebody’s got to do it, and I have found an early iteration of Robot Wisdom here (although I was distracted by all those links that haven’t rotted yet — I was distracted from the search by Camille Paglia’s columns in Salon, United Media’s Dilbert, Chicagoland Gangs — and I was frustrated to find so many of the links rotted, particularly US journalism. The BBC does a good job preventing linkrot. Why can’t The Nation?)

One reference keeps popping up, a reference to the first list of links on the world wide web, or perhaps the second if you count Sir Tim’s jottings, a reference found everywhere from Scripting News to objective scholarly work. A log was maintained by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois: What’s New With NCSA Mosaic and the WWW. Most of this seminal document seems to have rotted away entirely, so if you need to find the original hyperlink to the FishCam, well… you can’t do that, but you can Google it, or look it up in Wikipedia.

Peter Merholz, a blogger with wayback roots took some time off from blogging in January, 2003 and then returned with a WordPress blog in March, 2003. You can access his archives from March, 2003 forward just by changing the yyyymm date in the address line in your browser. I mention this because as I’ve been digging into the whos and the whens of emergent blogging, Peter showed up as a person with consistently interesting things to say and consistently interesting links pointing away from his blog. The whole question about who “invented” blogging is nonsense of course. Samuel Pepys (pronounced like the marshmallow easter candy, but more nutritious) invented blogging but he got the reverse chronological order part backwards. And the issue about who was FIRST and/or MOST INFLUENTIAL with a weblog remains a competition with a single entrant, and I think everyone has agreed to give him the gold medal when he decides the race is over. The value for me today in reprising the satirical “I invented blogging” competition from 2002 is in reconnecting some of those pathways that were obscured in the last year or so, and in finding new connections, new ideas whether profound or simply mind candy.

A day or two after September 11, 2001 Beth and I were outside and we looked up into the blue sky. We saw something that is increasingly rare, a sky with no contrails. Aircraft were grounded everywhere in North America and the paths of their passage had blown away, wisps on the wind. Peter Merholz pointed at this incredible animation last summer, and it shows me what was missing that beautiful fall day. What it doesn’t show me is the data on greenhouse gas emissions of aircraft or the even subtler environmental pressures air travel imposes. You should click through because you will enjoy it and it only lasts a minute or two…

I’m guessing it will remind you of the Internet.

* * *

(pssst… wanta learn Ruby? MarekJ pointed to this excellent documentation a couple of years ago. He’s probably the guy who invented blogging, too…

…also, the documentation contains foxes, cartoon foxes.)

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