Blogging before the age of blog software

I have a question for all you die-hard bloggers out there: before there was blogging software, such as WordPress, how did you blog? Manually writing HTML and uploading it with FTP? Manually writing PHP?

This question is related to my MA research on Blogs and Blogging Software (with a focus on WordPress) and I am really interested to hear what it was like before the age of blog software. I have read We’ve got Blog and there is some general information on the history of blogs but I am looking for a bit more detailed and technical description.

(And if you have any spare time left: What are you using now? Is it an improvement over how you used to do it? What are the major differences you experience?)


4 thoughts on “Blogging before the age of blog software

  1. Although not a diehard blogger, what I used to do back in highschool for my band was just uploading news messages with the date above it. Very Web 1.0-ish of course… But perhaps connections can also be made with the forum for interactivity.
    Is blogging software perhaps the operating system for blogging, taking additional layers away? Pre-installed everyone can work with it, but setting it up is still a hassle. Anyway, just some thoughts!

  2. My article on Are You a Lazy Blogger? pretty much describes how it “was” and compares it to how it is now for modern bloggers.

    And your question isn’t clear at all. Before blogging software, PHP was barely accessible for the average user. There was only hand-coding (manual) HTML to create static web pages, one HTML for every web page. No dynamically generated web pages. Many used WYSIWYG programs when those became available, which actually did more harm than good with their table-based, non-standarized code. Programs like HotDogPro, FrontPage, etc., started getting competition in the early 1990s as everyone wanted HTML publishing in every program they created. Word, WordPress, spreadsheet programs, presentation programs, email programs, even text editors were adding web publishing to their software. This created a huge rash of horrid web designs and non-standard code on web pages across the web that are still out there, ignored by SEO because they don’t meet basic web standards, and looking like bad desktop publishing flyers.

    As I pointed out in the article above, the process of blogging has become easier. The real question is whether or not that ease has changed or improved blogging. Blogging is easier, but the content out there is rarely original and unique, mostly link lists, and recommendations on reading the few original and unique articles out there, or linking to blogs that link to blogs that link to other blogs, who link to the actual blog with the original content.

    Good luck with your research.

  3. While travelling Australia in 2002 I would just update html-files and upload them, date and location above it… Called it my Australia Log before I had heard of weblogs or blogs…

  4. … a late comment:

    I started out using Blogger in 2002 and actually went back to hand-coded HTML a bit later. In a lot of ways using ‘old-skool HTML’ was a lot easier & quicker for me: writing text & design in one textfile instead of having to click on buttons or working online with slow software. — But after some time I began to miss the possibility to use comments & tags & categories… and that’s not so easily done ‘by hand’.

    Btw: very nice blog :-)

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