Blogger’s history re-imagined

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a weblog article with a seriously wrong fact. Author Chris Mooney writes:

Although scattered blogs existed during the late 1990s, it wasn't until 1999 that San Francisco's Pyra Labs created the free Web application Blogger. Originally, the hope was that the innovation would help those collaborating on business projects to coordinate and share information on an internal Web server, a kind of company bulletin board.

Perhaps there was a mis-reading of Pyra's history (we started the company to build project management software and Blogger was something extra we released) or maybe there's a misunderstanding of how Blogger came to be (we published an internal weblog and used that codebase as part of the original Blogger release). But Blogger was never released with business projects in mind, nor with a focus on internal Web server content. It was built to make it easier for people to publish online, no matter where one's content was hosted. Mr. Mooney continues by saying:

There seems to have been little thought about the central role blogging would play in the very external media world.

To which I have to respond: we had dreams about its potential, we just didn't know how it all would play out. I'm not sure how one could be certain of blogging's role when there were at most a few thousand people doing it at the time. To assume that it would play a central role in the media world is much easier in retrospect. At the time it seemed more than a little hubristic to me. [via Anil]