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The Web the Way It Was
by Leander Kahney

3:00 a.m. Feb. 23, 2000 PST

In a sign that content is once again king, one of the Web's earliest and most interesting publishing activities -- weblogging -- appears to be undergoing a huge surge in popularity.

Thanks to new easy-to-use software, the number of weblogs on the Net seems to be growing at an unprecedented rate.

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A weblog, or blog, is a regularly updated list of links and commentary to interesting material on the Web. Because the majority are self-published, precise numbers are difficult to gauge. Observers, however, agree that weblogging is growing like never before.

EatonWeb, one of the most comprehensive lists of active weblogs, has grown from fewer than 50 listings to more than 500 in less than a year.

"I can't keep up with them all," said Brigette Eaton, who maintains the list and publishes her own weblog. "I think part of the explosive growth is due to tools being developed that allow easy entry. Blogger, Pitas, Groksoup, and Editthispage, all have gotten huge numbers of participants. None of those services were around six months ago."

Pyra, which publishes Blogger, a Web-based editing tool, has registered 3,000 users since its launch late last year. Subscriptions are growing at a rate of 30 percent a month, the company said.

"It's definitely growing," said Evan Williams, president and CEO of Pyra. "We're seeing more and more momentum."

Likewise, Userland Software has signed up 2,700 users for Manila, a browser-based publishing tool, in the first two months of its release. New users are signing up at a rate of 50 a day.

"The vast majority aren't very interesting," joked Dave Winer, CEO of Userland and a weblog pioneer. "But that's OK. We'll make it up in volume."

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