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Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Who was on first? 

We have been wondering who the first Indian blogger was.

For over a year after we first started reading blogs and then blogging ourself, we didn't really follow any Indian blogs. It was only post the Tsunami that we kinda pegged to the fact that there was a pretty vibrant Indian blogging community, both in the country and in the diaspora. So we're basically clueless. (And let us save you the trouble of thinking up smartarse remarks: yes, that describes us in general too.)

Now. Here's what curious minds want to know.

Let's break this up a bit.

Who are the claimants for the following:

1. Longest running solo blog at the same URL (occasional guest posts permitted, but the blog must be primarily by one person)

1.a. Solo blog with the largest number of entries.

2. Longest running blog with multiple contributors at the same URL

2.a. Collablog with most entries.

3. Longest running solo blog, with one URL change permitted (for instance, when the blogger has moved from a free service to her/his own domain name).

3.a. Solo blog (over a maximum of two URLs) with most entries.

4. Longest running collablog, with one URL change permitted.

4.a. Collablog (over a maximum of two URLs) with most entries.

All claims must be substantiated by some verifiable independent record. (And for the techies among ye, what are the reliable, verifiable ways to check claims? And that goes double for blogs that have shifted locations. Do tell, via the comments or mail -zigzackly at gmail - and we'll add to the post with credit to you.)


This much we know for sure:

This blog started on the 10th September, 2003, with a post that stayed all by itself till December that year, after which we've never really shut up. We have, to date, 820 posts up (this will be #821). Hurree Babu, who you can blame for pushing us into blogs, has had Kitabkhana rolling since April 2003, and has 1229 posts online. Both HB and I know that we were far from being the pioneers, so we're using that as a cut-off.

Caferati has been around since August 2004, and has 856 entries from its 75+ contributors. So that's the cut-off for Collablogs.

Clear? Questions?

Blogged for thee by @ 2:47 pm | 38 Comments | Post a Comment | Link Love? |

38 Noble Readers have commented.

  On Wednesday, 2 August 2006 at 15:52:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Zero said...

From what we read.

Lazygeek Though he to this.

  On Wednesday, 2 August 2006 at 16:28:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger amit varma said...

To answer question 1.a., I just posted my 3141st post on India Uncut. Quantity, not quality, as you'd surely agree!

  On Wednesday, 2 August 2006 at 16:34:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Zero said...

Though he moved to this.

  On Wednesday, 2 August 2006 at 16:43:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Veer said...

I started my first blog, Knowledge El Dorado, 5 years ago on July 07, 2001.

Do I get the prize?

  On Wednesday, 2 August 2006 at 17:26:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man from Matunga (www.manfrommatunga.com) had been writing blogs before the word was invented methinsk... He may be a strong candidate.

  On Wednesday, 2 August 2006 at 17:43:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Anonymous Anonymous said...

My nomination to Kiruba at Kiruba.com. Blogging regularly since Jan.2002

  On Wednesday, 2 August 2006 at 18:38:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Matt said...

http://jace.seacrow.com/ Jace had a blog before 2000, and so did Mahesh Shantaram at www.techrose.org. They werent the first, though...

  On Wednesday, 2 August 2006 at 18:41:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Sameer said...

Well, I started blogging on blogger at supersam blogs on july 28 2002. Then I moved to my own domain at the opti mystic exactly two years back to this day... and i've been there ever since.

Ummm... in addition to that, I also started a blog at Coffee Talk on 22nd Nov 2002... and have been posting there too.

  On Wednesday, 2 August 2006 at 19:45:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have website which tracks Indian blogs. If interested please visit http://www.sunsuna.com

  On Wednesday, 2 August 2006 at 22:36:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Patrix said...

I have always thought it was Mahesh Shantaram but maybe I am mistaken. Anita Bora had written an article in Rediff on blogs back in 2001. She should know better.

  On Wednesday, 2 August 2006 at 22:48:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Supremus said...

If writing online is to go by I guess http://jilmil.blogspot.com would take that spot, November 2001 :). I started around the same time (infact I and Jilmil wrote for the same website from Nov 2001 to 2003)....

She now blogs at http://bubblingbrooks.com though.

With valid proof, I did give her the honor of being the first blogger :)

  On Wednesday, 2 August 2006 at 23:14:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Sriram said...

Anyone voted for Kiruba @ Kiruba.com? I thought i read somewhere that he'd been into blogging from somewhere around 2000 or earlier even.

  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 01:26:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chaoszone has archives going back to June 2000 (though not published at the same URL). And I suspect Ashok Kamat's Weblog has been running for longer than that.


  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 01:27:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Anonymous Anonymous said...

Er, s/Ashok/Vikas/ Kamat. My bad.


  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 07:52:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Mitesh said...

Hi Peter,
Coming here thru Amit's blog. The first blogger on Blogspot was someone by the name Dematerialized from New Delhi, since February 2000. Second is Chirag Patnaik from Gurgaon since March 2000. If you wanna know more details, you can read the study. I have scanned around 17 million blogger profiles and published my global study here whereas the Indian subset here.

However, my study was limited to Blogspot domain which exists since August 1999. I dont know of any public blogging domain earlier than that, although there can very well be ppl who have their own sites for blogs (its very difficult to find out such ppl). Since Blogspot has always been free and madly popular world over, we can reasonably assume that the Adam/Eve of Indian blogosphere could well have been born here.

Oh...just read some one above comment about Kiruba. My data shows he is the 8th Indian blogger on blogspot; since Oct. 2000

  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 11:54:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Jace said...


I introduced Mahesh Shantaram to LiveJournal, where he started the TechRose blog. :)

His earlier blog, Sporadic Thoughts, since defunt, was powered by blogger and hosted on tripod. There was no blogspot those days.

My even earlier blog, Lunateks.com, also defunct (Sep 1999-Oct 2000), was powered by Squishdot and privately hosted.

  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 11:56:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Jace said...

It appears Man From Matunga is currently leading with his June 1999 start, but he's had several long breaks in between.

  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 11:56:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger sathish said...

There are few that I can think of who were around from 2000 -2001
like fulltp
His oldest entry says Aug 2001.

There is also other lovely blogs like syl, Surplus Musing,
codelust,Anitha Bora who are around since late 2001. All them are still blogging from the same url.

Few others old bloggers who are still around from 2000-2001 are Vikas Kamat and Anil Dash. Anil Dash had temporarily stopped blogging for some time. Not sure, if these two would qualify though as they are probably Indian-Americans. (now citizens of US - correct me if I am wrong)

My vote for the oldest blog is for S. Anand blog. I have been following his blog from 2000; but, he was blogging or something similar to blogging much before that. His oldest entry in http://www.s-anand.net/archive_1999.html.

So, there you go. I think it is S. Anand.

btw, I could probably lay claim for the oldest collaboration blog :) - my wife and I have been blogging from Jan, 2002 in our blog. Although, the old entries mainly mine and she joined in after a year or so.! :)

  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 15:24:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Kaps said...

S Anand (www.s-anand.net) site/blog has been in existence for sometime now. I think he started off before 2000 (when the word blog was not so popular).

  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 16:01:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Anonymous Sanjay M said...

Sanjay M

I've blog entries starting from April 2000 and I haven't even updated a lot of my other articles yet which go way back in time. Those old articles come from mails I've been writing to yahoogroups.

You can have a look at the content to check that they do qualify as blog entries (just that in those days they weren't named as blogs).

Statistics so far...
292 Posts Were Posted.
6 Pages Were Created.
2,760 Comments Were Posted.
352 Different Nicks Were Represented In The Comments.
40 Links Were Added.

  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 16:32:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Anonymous rock on... said...

check out...sameerbhat.blogspot.com....inception circa Dec,99

  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 16:33:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Anonymous rock on... said...

check out...sameerbhat.blogspot.com....inception circa Dec,99

  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 17:14:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger zigzackly said...

Just adding a few snips from my inbox, edited slightly.

Kiran Jonnalagadda tells me that his LiveJournal blog has been around since April 6, 2000 and so far has 1664 entries and 7042 comments. It's always been at the same URL: http://jace.livejournal.com/

His older blog at lunateks.com was company sponsored and was a bit of an Indian Slashdot. It died a year later. Sep 1999-Oct 2000.

Amit Varma earlier said:
Gaurav Sabnis, Ravikiran Rao and Yazad Jal have all been around since 2002.

  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 17:40:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger zigzackly said...

Oh yes. Amit also passed on an email from Piyush Patel that said:

Anil Dash at http://www.dashes.com [is] more than 6 years old.

On this one, I'm not entirely sure it fits. Dash has said on his blog (and I paraphrase) that he doesn't really think of himself as Indian.

On Man from Matunga, I'm not sure if the site in its old avataaar qualifies as a blog (dated entries in reverse chronological order being the generally agreed-upon criteria). MfM has only recently converted the site into a blog.

Likewise with Kamat's Potpourri. The site has been around for yonks, I know. But how long has the actual blog been active?

Corrections welcome!

  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 17:43:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger zigzackly said...

One more from the inbox:

I think I have the answer to your question about the first indian blogger. The first blog I remember reading - and this was even before the word "blog" became part of the popular lexicon - was called "Man from Matunga."

His first post about the movie biwi no. 1 was made in June 99 and he has been blogging since, though he seemed to take a few years off in between.
I cannot think of another popular indian blogger who existed before that. Even blogger wasn't launched till a couple of months later.
So I think the man from matunga would be the first Indian blogger.
Hope that helps, unless there was someone before that.
- Choyon Manjrekar.

  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 18:13:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger John said...

Hi Peter,

I started blogging in August 2003, a solo blog from the same URL till now. I have a total of 322 postings.

Where do I stand?


  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 19:18:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger zigzackly said...

Someone sent in a link to Ars longa, vita brevis, but that's a very obvious back-dated blog, because the blogger profile page listed says that the person has been "On Blogger Since December 2004."

  On Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 19:23:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Debashish said...

Talking of firsts, if not totally unrelated the first Hindi Blogger is Alok Kumar (http://9211.blogspot.com), the first Marathi blogger is Nirav (http://paulvat.blogspot.com/, now defunct) and the first Assamiya Blogger is Priyankoo (http://priyankoo.bihu.in/).

  On Friday, 4 August 2006 at 07:45:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thennavan had written on having a homepage from 1995...so he could be in the list too...actually his dad is the oldest indian blogger by age and Amit also wrote a post on that a while back.

  On Friday, 4 August 2006 at 07:59:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger tilotamma said...


Have been around since December 6, 2001 - a significant enough date for desis I think.

  On Friday, 4 August 2006 at 11:31:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Rajan said...

I think a slightly different way and less debated version and possibly more relevant question would be who is the first indian blogger you have seen.

For me it is

Rajesh Jain - emergic.org
Anita Bora
Anurag Jain

  On Friday, 4 August 2006 at 11:36:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Jace said...

And speaking of collablogs, LJ Bangalore has been around since May 1, 2002, with 1163 posts from 621 people with posting access (not all of them have actually posted, and some earlier posters have left and aren't counted), and a total of 13,937 comments.

  On Friday, 4 August 2006 at 11:38:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Jace said...


LiveJournal has offered public blogs since March 1999. It was completely free until September 2000, when paid accounts first appeared, but free users continue to get the benefits they had before.

  On Saturday, 5 August 2006 at 01:03:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Mahesh Shantaram said...

Somebody called? :)

I too support Man from Matunga as the first blogger. Although we didn't use that word back then, MfM used both the website as well as an email newsletter as vehicles of delivery.

I would also like to corroborate the fact that Jace introduced me to Live Journal back in 2000. In fact, he was Indian LJ user #1 and Radhika Nair (http://www.radhikanair.com/) was #2. Both are going strong! I was #3. I mention this just for history's sake. Jace is the longest living blogger!

For the record, my first blog post was in Sporadic Thoughts on May 15, 2000, made using blogger.com but hosted on my own website which I deleted recently to flush out all outdated references to me on Google.

  On Saturday, 5 August 2006 at 12:58:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger shyam said...

I think it has to be someone on LJ or even Manilasites or Editthispage, though the last two having disappeared from the face of the web it would be hard to figure out. That leaves us with LJ and that one's had a good number of Indians blogging on it (and most still there) before blogger starting picking up some steam.

  On Monday, 7 August 2006 at 03:41:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Nilesh said...

A simple way to check the oldest blogger (dead or alive) on blogger.com is to check the length of the profile number. For example, this is my profile url --


Jace's & Mahesh's were some of the oldest blogs I have been following. Man from Matunga was not a blog per se. It was more of a newsletter format.

  On Monday, 7 August 2006 at 12:15:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Jace said...

Peter, are you going to be doing a summary of these responses? It'll be an interesting list. :)

  On Saturday, 12 August 2006 at 00:49:00 GMT+5:30, the Hon'ble Blogger Ravages said...

Kingsley (www.kingsley2.com) I do think is a veritable octogenarian. By his own admission, the dude's been blogging from 1999 roundabouts. Manila, Blog-city, MT etc.

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