For those Wonkospherians interested in their place in history, here is an interesting post by Andy Carvin at NPR called “The Evolution of the Blog.” The first part is a standard Internet timeline. But then Carvin pegs this year as the 10-year anniversary of the blog:
December 1997: Jorn Barger starts a daily log of interesting Web links published in reverse chronological order, calling it Robot Wisdom WebLog. The term “Weblog” is soon generalized by other online publishers to include any page with frequent short posts in reverse chronological order.
The birth of the political blog is a little harder to pin down. This paper by Kathy Gill at the University of Washington lists the MediaNews blog of the Poynter Institute as one of the first media blogs, Talking Points Memo as one of the earliest blogs focused on politics, and Howard Dean as the first presidential candidate to have a campaign blog.
The impact of political blogs is still uncertain, according to one of the most recent academic studies. Our research here at Wonkosphere indicates that political blogs supplement the MSM, rarely breaking new stories. However our measure of buzz share predicts movement in the national polls about 3 weeks out, suggesting that political bloggers are opinion leaders who detect agenda-setting news ahead of the general public.