The Early Blogging Days

I started Non​vi​o​lence​.org in late 1995 as a place to pub­li­cize the work of the US peace move­ment which was not get­ting out to a wide (or a young) audi­ence. I built and main­tained the web­sites of a few dozen hosted groups (includ­ing the War Resisters League, Fel­low­ship of Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and Pax Christi USA) but I quickly real­ized that the Non​vi​o​lence​.org home­page itself could be used for more than just as a place to put links to mem­ber groups. I could use it to high­light the arti­cles I thought should get more pub­lic­ity, whether on or off the Non​vi​o​lence​.org domain.

The home­page adapted into what is now a rec­og­niz­able blog for­mat on Novem­ber 13, 1997 when I re-named the home­page “Non­vi­o­lence Web Upfront” and started post­ing links to inter­est­ing arti­cles from Non​vi​o​lence​.org mem­ber groups. In response to a com­ment the other day I won­dered how that fit in with the evo­lu­tion of blog­ging. I was shocked to learn from Wikipedia’s that the term “weblog” wasn’t coined until Decem­ber of that year. I think is less a coin­ci­dence than a con­fir­ma­tion that many of us were try­ing to fig­ure out a for­mat for shar­ing the web with others.

The ear­li­est edi­tion stored on Archive​.org is from Decem­ber 4, 1997. It focused on the hun­dredth anniver­sary of the birth of Catholic Worker co-founder Dorothy Day. To give you an sense of the early independently-published arti­cles, the Jan­u­ary 2, 1998 edi­tion included a guest piece by John Steitz, “Is the Non­vi­o­lence Web a Move­ment Half-Way House” that sounds eerily sim­i­lar to recent dis­cus­sions on Quaker Ranter.

Below is an excerpt from the email announce­ment for “Non­vi­o­lence Web Upfront” (typ­i­cally for me, I sent it out after I had been run­ning the new for­mat for awhile):

NONVIOLENCE WEB NEWS, by Mar­tin Kel­ley Week of Decem­ber 29, 1997

CONTENTS

Intro­duc­ing “Non­vi­o­lence Web Upfront”

New Pro­ce­dures
New Web­site #1: SERPAJ
New Web­site #2: Stop the Cassini Flyby
Two Awards
Num­bers Avail­able Upon Request
Weekly Vis­i­tor Counts

With my trav­el­ling and hol­i­day sched­ule, it’s been hard to keep reg­u­lar NVWeb News updates com­ing along, but it’s been a great month and there’s a lot. I’m espe­cially proud of the con­tin­u­ing evo­lu­tion of what I’m now call­ing “Non­vi­o­lence Web Upfront,” seen by 1800–2200 peo­ple a month!

———-

INTRODUCINGNONVIOLENCE WEB UPFRONT

The new mag­a­zine for­mat of the NVWeb’s home­page has been need­ing a name. It needed to men­tioned the “Non­vi­o­lence Web” and I wanted it to imply that it was the site’s home­page (some­times referred to as a “front­page”) and that it con­tained mate­r­ial taken from the sites of the NVWeb.

So the name is “Non­vi­o­lence Web Upfront” and a trip to http://​www​.non​vi​o​lence​.org will see that spelled out big on top of the weekly-updated articles.

There’s also an archive of the weekly install­ments found at the bot­tom of NVWeb Upfront. It’s quite a good col­lec­tion already!

Now that this is mov­ing for­ward, I encour­age every­one to think about how they might con­tribute arti­cles. If you write an inter­est­ing opin­ion piece, essay, or story that you think would fit, send it along to me. For exam­ple, “War Toys: Re-Action-ist Fig­ures” FOR’s Vin­cent Romano’s piece from the Nov. 27 edi­tion, was an essay he had already writ­ten and made a good com­pli­men­tary piece for the Youth­Peace Week spe­cial. But don’t worry about themes: NVWeb Upfront is meant not only to be timely but to show the breadth of the non­vi­o­lence move­ment, so send your pieces along!