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Weblog Central

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Oct. 6, 2003 / 9:41 PM ET

Last week marked the first anniversary of Blogspotting at’s Weblog Central.

Veteran bloggers can trace the origins of blogging to somewhere in the mid to late ‘90’s. While it is important to maintain an accurate historical record, it would be a mistake to overlook the historical significance of the achievements by the blogosphere in the past year, which Blogspotting has been fortunate to bear witness to.

Thinking back to a year ago, the only time Weblogs were mentioned in the press was in tech articles explaining that there was a new trend on the Web. And back then it was exciting to see any article about blogs because it meant that mainstream media was catching on.

disputedGlenn Reynolds and refer to him as the Blogfather. Which reminds me, a year ago everything that had to do with blogs had to somehow be named with a pun, either beginning with “bl” or ending with “og” or with “blog” somewhere in the middle., arrived in the mailbag over the weekend.

Excerpts from an e-mail exchange with

“The purpose is to show up at an specific day at one weblog and post a lot of comments. There’s no specific goal other than have a big “party” at the chosen blog. What determines which blog will be “attacked” is simple: the person whose blog was chosen chooses the next one, and so on. The first Flash Mob was Tuesday, the 26th, at Angela’s blog. The second one will be in my blog, this Sunday the 31st. And the person who came up with this idea is our great friend Matusca, and he chose Angela’s to be the first blog to be the target of the first Flash Blog.”

“One of the “rules” of the Flash Blog is that the person has to reply each and every comment! And the comments are very funny, everyone asks a lot of questions, it’s the best part!”

In answer to my asking if they’d ever bombard someone who didn’t speak Portuguese or who didn’t have any idea about flash blogs:

“There isn’t an effort to pick a blogger who doesn’t know. Actually, as you know, they just did the first flash blog, so I really don’t know how things will work from now on. But I think it would be very hard to keep a secret in the blogs. If you post announcing the flash blog you have no control about who is reading what you wrote, right?”

Will replies: Good point, Funny. Thanks for all of your help.

Name: Colin“In its infancy, flash blogging seems to be a bit like Christmas caroling, as the Hairy Eyeball notes, and not yet the eerie coordination of total strangers, run by autonomous software agents over wireless networks, envisioned in Bruce Sterling’s story “Maneki Neko” (from A Good Old Fashioned Future).”

Name: Duncan Riley“Just a short note on the Flash Blogging in Brazil: I have recently posted an article to my Blog on the subject that may be of interest.”

Will adds: It bears pointing out that the flashbloggers described in the Blog Herald link above are not the same as the Brazilian flash blog activity enjoyed by Funny Valentine, top, so it’s reasonable to guess that lots of different people are coming up with this idea at the same time.

Flash blogs? Can someone who reads Portuguese explain this to me (in English)? The Babelfish translation isn’t helping much. What I gather is that bloggers in Brazil are following the flash mob model by all showing up at one blog at the same time and posting comments on one entry. If there’s a goal it would appear to be to score high placement on the Toplinks list, but like flash mobs it doesn’t appear to be about any real goal other than to do it.

The Funny Valentine blog translates pretty well with Babelfish, but I still feel like I’m missing the details. What determines the focus of the mob each time?

Maybe it’ll get a mention on the always interesting Blogalization.

Take this blog and shove it: We’ve seen people fired for blogging at work and we’ve seen people fired for what they blog about work and we’ve seen people fired for blogging at all because it conflicts with work interests and we’ve even seen bloggers in flame wars try to get each other fired. But as far as I know, this is the first time someone’s been fired for just reading a blog. (via Kottke)

Court blognographer: While some trials are mired in debates over whether to allow cameras in the courtroom, blogs are proving to be a handy tool for trial reporting. Sarah Stewart from NBC affiliate KFOR in Oklahoma City is filing hourly reports on the trial of Jim Pavatt, accused of killing Oklahoma City advertising executive Rob Andrew. Stewart is writing essentially a trial blog.

Entering post-blog? I found the above item by way of the fine folks at Poynter Online. At the end of the entry they make the final note that, “KFOR isn’t calling this a ‘blog,’ but that’s basically what it is.” In yesterday’s post, below, we saw Cory Doctorow pointing out another example of blogging that isn’t labeled as such: “This is blogging, plain and simple.”

I’m wondering if these are indications that we are entering the post-blog period. It wasn’t long ago that blog proliferation was the story. Any article to mention blogs was usually about blogs, and started with an explanation of what they are and how the name comes from contracting Web and log. But lately we see the word blog tossed around in common use. Blog even made it to the new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Now it seems like the format is secondary to what’s being done with it, how it’s being applied. I don’t think this is a sign that the fad is passing, I think it’s a sign of mainstream acceptance.

259 pages and they’re all numbered “1” And speaking of yesterday’s item about TV folks highlighting stories in newspapers, today Ben at Magnetbox shows usToday’s Front Pages: 259 front pages of newspapers from 34 countries, updated every day. Fascinating.”

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