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Non-Frontier sites in 1999

2003-05-09 21:29:57.360757+00 by Dan Lyke 19 comments

Earlier today I asked for counters to Dave Winer's claim that all weblogs in May of 1999 were in Frontier. Via personal correspondence, confirmed that the site actually existed:

This is harder than I thought, because a few sites that I didn't think were Frontier based were, like Now This and Robot Wisdom. So there are a bunch of sites from that era that I could be wrong about. If you ran a weblog in May of 1999, how about adding in the comments your Frontier situation.

[ related topics: Jorn Barger Cameron Barrett Interactive Drama Weblogs Dave Winer Robotics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2003-05-09 22:59:02.297131+00 by: Anita Rowland

I think pitas.com must have started in May 1999, at least that's the date on my earliest weblog entries there.

I examined my emails when I signed up at .blogtree.com to figure out which weblogs I was reading before I started my own, that I interacted with in a significant way. Mr Pants I cited as an inspiration, certainly not Frontier-based.

#Comment made: 2003-05-10 16:11:10.401802+00 by: Dan Lyke

Jesse James Garrett (whose blog was run with Frontier) adds a bunch that I thought weren't Frontier, but wasn't sure about:

obscure store
and the late lamented lemonyellow

#Comment made: 2003-05-10 16:12:48.592833+00 by: Dan Lyke

And Tara Calishain adds Research Buzz.

#Comment made: 2003-05-10 16:45:44.20599+00 by: John Anderson [edit history]

Ironically, 10 May 1999 was the day I *stopped* using Frontier to do Genehack.

#Comment made: 2003-05-10 18:21:19.747223+00 by: Michael Hanscom [edit history]

I've had my site up (under various names and hosts, but currently at djwudi.com) since '95, and while I no longer have the static pages to verify my claim, I was using a weblog-style format in '98 to keep my family up to date on my life. My comments on Dave's statement are here.

#Comment made: 2003-05-10 19:41:25.325561+00 by: Dan Lyke

Hmmm... Somehow you got an extraneous %0d in that link, the one that works is: http://www.djwudi.com/longlett...5/09/two_dave_winer_grumbles.php

#Comment made: 2003-05-11 14:54:27.589129+00 by: Laurel Krahn

Thanks for the list. I remember there being some Frontier sites, but that most sites were handcoded (and by May 99 some were developing their own tools).

One nit: the URL you list for Windowseat is actually the front of my site, the weblog is at http://www.windowseat.org/weblog/

#Comment made: 2003-05-11 17:47:34.977283+00 by: Dan Lyke

The software I used to run Flutterby, and which may have even been used at Hotwired by May of '99, went live in February of '88.

#Comment made: 2003-05-11 17:49:48.441368+00 by: Anita Rowland

Feb 88? Dan, how web-prescient of you!

#Comment made: 2003-05-11 19:06:56.250664+00 by: Dan Lyke

D'oh. Although I did write my first HTML browser in '93.

#Comment made: 2003-05-11 20:09:44.767483+00 by: iand

Strange serendipity. On 24 May 1999 I wrote about discovering GeneHack and suggested that we make a list of weblogs not based on Frontier. Anyway, Internet Alchemy wasn't then and has never been run with Frontier.

#Comment made: 2003-05-11 20:23:54.058083+00 by: andyed

I used frontier (at psyberspace.net, now surfmind.com), but Dave didn't release a usable weblogging tool for years after I started using ocha.net's news-suite. Never understood why the functionality wasn't available earlier.

#Comment made: 2003-05-11 21:14:18.241702+00 by: John Anderson

suggested that we make a list of weblogs not based on Frontier

Better late than never, eh? 8^)=

#Comment made: 2003-05-12 05:26:15.227658+00 by: webwide

I was using Newwwsboy in '99 - but I have no idea what I was using when I started my weblog in 1998. I did try the Radio Userland interface briefly in 2001 or 2002 - way too klunky for me, ended up rolling my own in VBScript and ASP.

For those who wish to double-check sites as of 1999 the WayBack Machine is very handy. Here's a link to my own weblog as cached on their server from April 27, 1999.


#Comment made: 2003-05-12 17:18:11.561957+00 by: jjgnet

I think it's also important to note that, at the time, Frontier only had the most rudimentary (read: not very useful, never mind usable) weblog publishing functionality. Most of those who were using it did so because they needed a freely available Mac database on which to build their own CMS.

#Comment made: 2003-05-12 18:03:43.589602+00 by: John Anderson

Most of those who were using it did so because they needed a freely available Mac database on which to build their own CMS.

Or because they were already using the website templating functionality (Frontier's real intented use) and knew enough UserTalk (Frontier's internal scripting language) to kludge up something that would do a weblog -- that would be the camp I would fall into.

#Comment made: 2003-05-19 20:44:27.981439+00 by: Chuck

I'm cheating a bit, as my weblog Looka! didn't start until July 1999, but it was hand-coded then and still is. Yep, once a dinosaur, always a dinosaur.

#Comment made: 2003-05-25 23:34:45.132684+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Today Dave says "let's not waste our chance":

I wonder why some weblogs so openly say things that are just plain wrong, that are so easily refuted, without presenting the opposing data, or even suggesting it might exist with a disclaimer like imho, or ymmv, or ianal.

#Comment made: 2003-05-26 21:48:48.943914+00 by: John Anderson

I've got a caseload of irony meters on order; holler if you need a new one now.