I read an article earlier this week that referred to Bill James, (a noted baseball writer and statistician) as the first blogger because he mimeographed and distributed his writings back in the day. (Wikipedia link to Mimeograph for those born after a certain date). Which got me to wondering about blogging and how it all started. Slaw’s own Simon C theorized that Samuel Pepys was the first blogger. If we are talking a Blog that occurred in cyberspace, it seems that the title of first blog depends on how you define “blog”. The first site to actually call itself a weblog was Robot Wisdom which seems to have begun in 1997. Having dug as far as I wished into that avenue of thought, I began to wonder about the first Law Blog or Blawg, which has been covered by Legal Blog Watch. According to their research it seems that Overlawyered was the first blawg. Although, as with most things law there is some conjecture, which you can see in the comments on the Legal Blog Watch article.
The first Canadian case that I discovered that mentions a blog is an unreported criminal case  OJ No 3057, heard in early 2005, which reads at para 29: “Detective XXXXX did a computer search which led him to a website or blog…”. This case was followed shortly thereafter by an immigration law case in the Federal Court which occurred in July 2005, 2005 FC 1050, at para 10 “… That evidence included a variety of items such as newspaper articles, an e-mail “blog” and a report by a human rights organization…” (e-mail “blog” in quotations in original source). So it seems that the first appearances of Blogs in court cases did not have a full grasp of the concept.
The only occurrence of “Blog” in Canadian Legislation has a more firmer grasp of the concept. In conducting a quick search of Canadian Legislation I was somewhat surprised to find only one occurrence of the word “blog”, that in the Family Abuse Intervention Act, S Nu 2006, c 18, s 21(2)(b 1), in reference to stalking:
(2) For the purposes of this Act, examples of the conduct referred to in subsection (1) include:
(b.1) using an electronic means of communication, such as a cell phone,
text or instant messaging, email, chatroom, blog or other Web site,
to send information to or spread information about the other
person; (emphasis added).
Slaw itself generated it’s first electronic pulse on July 8, 2005 with Simon F’s Welcome Post. Beyond the Welcome post the first content post was also Simon F, Yahoo’s Mindset. The first non-Fodden post belonged to Simon C (and remains near to my heart): Librarians Will Always be Needed. My own first post here at Slaw occurred in August 2005, on Legal Researchers – The Next Generation, a group that graduated 2 years ago and is likely well versed in Blogs.