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Who Had the First Geology Blog?

By December 9, 2007

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Originally posted 9 December 2007

I was not the first blogger by any means; in fact I didn't start my own personal geology blog until just 11 weeks ago. But when About.com adopted a blog-style (WordPress-based) front page in summer of 2003, I was eager to use it and have been happy doing it ever since 24 June 2003. However, it didn't allow comments at the time, so I was reluctant to call it a blog until comments were enabled last year. [About.com terminated all of its blogs on 1 June 2014. Until that day, mine was the oldest active blog devoted exclusively to geoscience.]

All this is to say that I'm not trying to claim a title of first geology blog. I'd just like to hear from other geology bloggers from the Paleozoic era of blogging, before mid-2003. Maybe someone already knows who had the first geology blog.

People were talking about geology online long before the Web, in listservs and on Usenet as well as on for-pay sites like the Well and Compuserve (those were the original "ask-a-geologist" sites). And from the beginning of my time at About.com, in 1997, I was encouraging geologists to get online and tell the public what they were doing. Many of them, notably teachers and grad students on their college faculty pages, were doing that long before blogging. Blog software just made it easy for anyone to post essays and get into organized conversations about them. Call blogware the innovation that sparked the "Cambrian explosion" of geological online discourse. Today I feel us creeping into the Ordovician, whatever that may be.


December 9, 2007 at 10:02 pm
(1) Ron Schott says:

Fred Siewers at Western Kentucky University blogged about geology at geoblog.blogspot.com during the 2000-2001 academic year when I was there on a one-year leave-replacement assistant professor gig. Unfortunately I can’t find his earliest posts, but I know that I made a couple of guest posts on his site that year. The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine preserves entries as early as February 15, 2001 (http://web.archive.org/web/20010223032443/http://geoblog.blogspot.com/). Unfortunately none of my own entries on Fred’s blog appear to have been archived. At the time I had my own hand coded web pages and didn’t really see the importance of the “weblogging” phenomenon, thus I didn’t officially get on the Cluetrain myself until March 2005.

December 10, 2007 at 9:56 am
(2) yami says:

How much geology do you have to blog to be considered a geology blog? Not that I know of anyone that can beat Fred Siewers.

I think we’re still in the Vendian.

December 10, 2007 at 3:57 pm
(3) Geology Guide says:

Well, that’s the thing. Then, as now, you search for “geology” and it’s nearly all students saying “I gotta study for geology lab” or something trivial like that. But both you guys qualify because you’re in the life and speak with that authority.

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