How Blogging grew into Microblogging

So far I’ve written about how blogging got started, its fairly interesting from a historical point of view but the story doesn’t have any quirks. Microblogging has at least some irony to it as blogging, the writing of posts and articles grew into something smaller.

With the advent of Web 2.0 social media kicked in, rather than just reading about news or businesses people where encouraged to write about themselves for friends in a socially interconnected setting, most probably on myspace or bebo.

As you can imagine writing a decent blog post about what your doing can easily take an hour or 300 words (and even then its a little short) so with today’s small attention span people rarely made the effort. With people wanting updates but not willing to read/write that much posts got shorter and shorter. When facebook and its traditional 4-6 word sentence came along everybody jumped on-board, you could connect just as easily and small updates were the focus of the main feed.

Meanwhile, blogging and content management systems soon started incorporating smaller scale posts called ‘asides’ into their feature set. On a persons blog you’d find a long stream of content and in the sidebar (hence asides) were smaller, more frequent updates to keep your interest between the main article releases.

Now there are the above mentioned social networks focusing on connectedness and blogs concentrated on content. By combining peoples ability to mini post with similar content you quickly get updates on the variety of content you choose which gives rises to websites such as Twitter and Moodmill devoted to just the 30 second / 140 character post. No longer do you have a main feed with all the drivel about causes, quizzes and games controlled by a complex set of privacy and filter settings that few understand or care to adjust but a main feed of what you do or do not want to follow.


There you have it peer pressure turned what essentially started out as an intellectually stimulating analysis of the social scene into pithy comments on day to day rituals.

How Blogging got started

The 140 character twitter update has become common knowledge, by text or web you can publish a quick little thought, witty remark or titbit about what your doing. Somewhere just outside of your full attention you’ve heard the term microblogging, if twitter is micro-blogging then what is blogging?

The word blog is a portmanteau of website and log (as in Captain’s Log), usually when anyone starts saying something enough it’ll get shortened to maximize information conveyance and to save effort. (See what I did there?) so web-log was used, and eventually it was shortened to simply to one syllable; blog! Knowing the name explains a lot, a captains log is a journal of his activities aboard ship and so a blog was a website about what you are upto.

According to wikipedia it started off with one guy talking about what was going on around campus as an online diary of sorts, heres more on that article of blogging.

It was all self hosted then, certainly no social network websites like facebook or myspace, you would have to setup your server, make your pages, and if you were really good you could use a program to do it for you, and they were very hard to use compared to today’s standards.

As time does, it passed, better programs and tools became available and people not only started writing about their lives but their businesses, the first being journalists that wanted to share a story and created news blogs or j-logs (combination of journalism and blog). Soon entrepreneurs started seeing a niche for reading news as an online business and focused entire blogs and there posts around being read to generate revenue.

This practice continues today, however not all blogs are used with good intentions. There are things called splogs (spam and log) where people setup a site on Dogs for example and leave it to grab traffic from search engines to earn money from the ridiculous amounts of advertising on it.

Despite their use by the unscrupulous sort blogging has been a great source of information online, if you look at the resources section on wikipedia you’ll often see a few blogs listed. If you are really keen to learn about a subject there is more than likely a blog out there for you, finding a really good one though is quite tricky as there are so many listed online these days.


So far we’ve only looked at blogging and articles, Thursday we’ll quickly sneak past how social networking affected blogging and gave rise to microblogging.

Everything on Pirates: Origins

I’ve just been watching a National Geographic documentary on the notorious pirate ‘Blackbeard’ called Blackbeard’s Lost Pirate Ship. Personally it raised a lot of questions on what I don’t know about pirates (which are considered one of the coolest things to be in pop culture). They’ve always had a certain cool factor and this has only grown with the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies. I suppose what I know started when I was little, I was introduced to the common stereotype is an eye patch wearing, peg legged, parrot adorned, black bearded captain flying a jolly roger from his ship. And its not surprising that a lot of that is an amalgamation of several people! To keep things simple I’ve started at the earliest known reference and I’m going to work my way forward hopefully you enjoy it.

Pirate Origins: The Sea People

The earliest consistent known acts of what we consider piracy happened in the late Bronze age, 13th Century BC, by the Phahroh Merneptah, he simply refered to them as “the foreign peoples of the sea” and drawn in the Medinet Habu with feathers. Whilst not the traditional view of pirates with cannons and galleon ships they made many inventions which aided sailing helping to keep them ahead of the local authorities and are still in widespread use today. Such innovations include the loose-footed or ‘free’ lower yardarm which greatly improved sailing under unfavourable wind conditions, the crows nest for early warning alarms and the reintroduction of the eastern use of ashlar (dressed and mortar-less brick) which was first seen 2700 years earlier! The sea peoples were also had origins of many ideas we have of Vikings, having horned helmets and identical prows at stern and aft.

Alas their raiding of undefended/unfortified ports finalised a collapse of Egyptian economy but not before they were attacked en masses and soon got them a reputation, which lead to attacks struck back at the Egyptians by sea and by land with help of the Libyans. Despite having less advanced ships the Egyptians were able to outmanoeuvre the Sea Peoples with oars and sails inshore in southern Canaan (Philistia). This coupled with bombardment of the shieldless Sea People with arrows from Seaborne archers prevented their swordsmen and javaliers from succeeding on land.

Those that weren’t killed or captured are presumed to have merged with the local indigenous peoples maintaining their enigmatic origins to this very date. (Which is why I’ve linked out to so many places as information is very, very scattered!)