IMHO, and chronologically speaking, The University of Pennsylvania’s “Ranjit’s HTTP Playground” was the true first blog. Blogger Ranjit Bhatnagar wrote about what he ate for lunch everyday. Chronologically reverse, the posts began with the newest information about his lunchables starting at the top of the page.
I believe from a fundamental sense (and that’s what my argument will pertain to) that Justin Hall was the true first blogger. The title of Chapter 1 of Say Everything is “Putting it all out there ” and I believe that this statement captures the essence of blogging. Justin’s Links.net was the first site to truly explore the core purpose of blogging, which is to “expose yourself publically” (credited to Carolyn Burke, historically known as the first blogger). Because Justin was already exposed publically through his existing website, primarily forum for his links, his blog quickly had a dynamic and interesting following.
Justin began a “revolution” of information sharing and storytelling but also Justin inherently maintained and exuded the “core competencies” of what blogging was to become. “One Dude’s Run Amok” is a great comparison of Hall’s personality with dynamic what’s next nature of blogs. Justin understood the difference between the web and the blog- the first entity market driven vs. the later, heartfelt. And as we have learned through everything about him turns out to be more complex than it appears, also comparable to blogs through mechanisms such as tags, via links and even photos.
Winer’s 24 hour project proved that the component of “unedited voice” of a person is key in blogging. His main quotes, “You should always do what you least want to do as long as it’s safe. That’s how you learn.” And, “the strongest man in the room is he who stands most alone.” Helped create and establish him an information source within the blogging community as with regards to RSS feed domination, audio blog, and the like.
Barger’s use of filters was also impactful and the highlights of “prior art” including many bloggers who could’ve been first, but in this post, as with many, nothing’s better than brunch, and in this case, Brunch is Justin Hall.