Blogging: A history and where I am in the picture.

I have been “blogging” since 1998! That is a long time. I even went to the trouble of working with a Perl programmer in Plano, TX on developing what I considered the first online service for that purpose. I even flew to Plano from N.C to consult. Oh, yeah companies like ZDNet or CNET had internal systems at the time for posting, but they didn’t call it blogging and it wasn’t available to the public for rent, free or otherwise. We didn’t even call ours blogging, just “.Plan Files,” and I don’t know how that name came about. Don’t believe me? It was the first “.plan file” engine for 3dretreat.com, a site that I hosted for Aaron, nickname “Snicker,” for a year or so. Before the miracle that the Perl programmer worked up, Aaron and his frequent news posters had to drag out the HTML editor and edit the news with that. Before we invented the wheel, we looked the Internet up and down to find an “off the shelf” or otherwise solution. We never found one so we started the programming ourselves. What happened, you might ask? I think that larger programming coops started working on the “problem at hand” about the same time. We just deployed ours first. We didn’t have the ability (read here: money) for the advertising and such. Hence, we faded and other small companies or coops flourished. After a while, almost every service that was fee based either went “free” or faded. Thus, the rest of blogging history is…well, history.

Microsoft has a way of developing tons and tons of little “nothing” freebie applications that just never turns my head. Remember, when in Windows ’95 there was a “Front Page Express.” Stuff like that is more frustrating to use than useful. But, I saw on a blog that I frequent that the editor used by the author was something called “Windows Live Writer” and it is a freebie from Microsoft.

The whole “Windows Live” suite of tools is anything from the old MSN IM, now called Windows Live Messenger, to Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Spaces and on and on. It is amazing that Microsoft used to be an innovator and now they are just basically a “reactor.” Meaning they react to what everybody else is doing. For example, with Windows Live Spaces it is simply Microsoft’s attempt to replicate the success of MySpace.com and what Google is doing. Of course Google is the reason behind the “Live Search.” Just go to Google.com and compare that to search.live.com. They look almost alike.

There is one difference in the Microsoft freebies of today and ten years ago. They work and are usually useful, with a few exceptions. This Live Writer flat out rocks. Before now, I almost always used Macromedia (Adobe) Dream Weaver to edit a blog and I would use the code view to copy and paste the code into Word Press or Blogger’s dashboard. In that way, I could create post with rich features, including some serious hyperlinking with a breeze. I still use DW sometimes, but this Live just works very well.

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