Setting stalls and expectations

As I start to wind down for the year – and, I guess, with the ubiquitous year-end blog post to come – I looked back at my very first post on this blog to see where I started.

(Note – I’ve been blogging on and off for about 12 years but this is the one that I’ve made my own, so to speak).

The reason for looking back was simple enough – I’m a firm believer that your first post should set out your stall on what you hope to accomplish, and what you’ll be talking about. After all, you’re looking to (hopefully) attract an audience and build a community (in whatever shape that may be) – so it’s not a bad idea to start as you mean to go on.

Looking back at my first (short) post, I think I’ve blogged in the way I set out – talking about emerging/social media and its effect on people, business and communities. So as far as stall-setting and follow-up goes, I think I passed my test.

Which made me curious about the main social networks and how they fared when it came to setting their stall out on their first (public) blog posts. So I did some digging, and here’s what I found.

Twitter

Probably my favourite social network, the Twitter blog’s first public post was back on August 03 2006. Posted by co-founder Biz Stone, the post was about Biz feeling an earthquake and how it was his friends tweeting about it that confirmed he wasn’t imagining things. So, almost 5 years ago and Twitter was already being used to break news and report on natural events – I think it’s safe to say it’s continued to live up to its early promise.

Facebook

Fast becoming my second favourite network, thanks to a certain Facebook Group and some great banter and interactions on various Pages, Facebook’s first blog post was also in 2006, on Tuesday August 15. This inaugural post talked about the launch of the Facebook Development Platform, enabling developers to build apps for the platform. With apps being a huge part of the Facebook experience, again, like Twitter, this first post seems to have been a perfect primer.

LinkedIn

Although LinkedIn is the oldest of the main social networks, its blog started after Twitter and Facebook’s, with the first public post happening on April 24 2007. Written by the ever-present Mario Sundar, it was a simple enough post that promised to help users find their way around LinkedIn, and asked for feedback to be constantly shared. A normal enough post, but nothing that showed what LinkedIn’s potential might be.

YouTube

Before Twitter and Facebook decided to start blogging, YouTube was already posting regularly, with its first one being written way back on July 07 2005. It spoke of wanting to make YouTube the digital video repository for the Internet”. Additionally the post shared tips on browsing and linking videos – something that’s a key part of today’s experience on the channel. As a lesson in setting your stall out from the start, YouTube’s first blog post is perfect.

Slideshare

One of the perceived newer networks, Slideshare has actually been active for a while, and its first blog post appeared back on September 25 2006. It was a pretty vague post – unless you were an alpha tester of the new platform, for which the post thanked you for feedback about the software. There was nothing that suggested Slideshare would become one of the best resources for information, presentations, ideas and statistics on the web. It’s also kind of funny to see the URL for the post still keep the standard WordPress one for first posts – “Hello World”, indeed.

Flickr

The oldest post of the ones I looked at, Flickr’s blog first posted on February 04 2004 – and there was absolutely nothing that indicated what was to come. Instead, the Flickr post welcomed GNE players – a nice touch from the company, who created the Game Never Ending (GNE) that made way for Flickr. Like Slideshare, it too asked for comments and feedback as it advised of graphical overhauls in the coming days and weeks.

So there you have it – six of the better-known social networks, and how they started (at least from a blogging point-of-view).

I think it’s fair to say that YouTube and Facebook offered the clearest take on direction, while Twitter showed the real-time potential of its service. LinkedIn kind of tried, while Slideshare and Flickr simply added to the buzz that was building around the platforms.

As for MySpace? I tried finding their official blog, but got lost on their “wonderful new layout” and landed on a bunch of different developer blogs instead. And with no archives readily available to get to the first blog, I wasn’t going to start digging for the first one. Confusing and not user-friendly – kind of like MySpace, then…

How about you – what does your first blog post say, and how have you fared in building on its promise?

Sign up for free weekly content

Subscribe to my newsletter and get a weekly email with the latest blog post, recommended reading, quick tips and more. I respect your privacy and will never spam you.

Alternatively, click here to subscribe to the RSS feed instead.

Danny Brown
Co-author Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. #1 marketing blog in world as per HubSpot. Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Never says no to a good single malt. You can find me on Twitter - Google+ - LinkedIn.
36 comments
Brandon
Brandon

I just started out on my blogging journey in earnest. I started a blog just to use for writing messages to my wife from Iraq several months prior, but my first 'real' post was in January of this year. I read it about once a month, just to watch my progress and stay on track with what I want from this.

I also keep a few of those original posts around, mainly because they are terribly written and I was completely clueless to the blogging world, but they have meaning.

I think I am doing pretty well. I'm also sure that post will be read several more times.

Brandon
Brandon

I just started out on my blogging journey in earnest. I started a blog just to use for writing messages to my wife from Iraq several months prior, but my first 'real' post was in January of this year. I read it about once a month, just to watch my progress and stay on track with what I want from this. I also keep a few of those original posts around, mainly because they are terribly written and I was completely clueless to the blogging world, but they have meaning. I think I am doing pretty well. I'm also sure that post will be read several more times.

Danny
Danny

Used to love reading Google's blog, Ari - seemed to have gone off a little bit recently, I guess another reason to not read. Oh well. LiveJournal, eh? I think I still cross-post to there from here :)

Jim Genet
Jim Genet

SInce mine is only a few weeks ago it was not hard to find. I would have to say I'm still finding my way and experimenting. The posts have been more my effort to learn the medium while I hone in on the central focus or theme for my blog. Loving the ride so far and look forward to 2011! It's going to be a great year.

Jim Genet
Jim Genet

SInce mine is only a few weeks ago it was not hard to find. I would have to say I'm still finding my way and experimenting. The posts have been more my effort to learn the medium while I hone in on the central focus or theme for my blog. Loving the ride so far and look forward to 2011! It's going to be a great year.

wchingya
wchingya

This is fun! :) My first blog post was entitled 'Starting Point' with only about 70 words. Funny how I wrote about 'to share what I’ve been doing/ learning/ experiencing', and back then I meant to share family fun, friends gatherings, food etc.. And today, the context remains and I'm still sharing -- but mainly about practical ways to handle/manage social media presence online. Guess the spirit is still there regardless what the blog title is. :) Thanks for making me look back and be grateful. p/s: Interesting, 2nd blog this week I came across with Livefyre installed. Love to know your experience with this comparing to WP commenting system, Danny. Wish you a very Merry Christmas and rock on in 2011! :) Hugs.

wchingya
wchingya

This is fun! :) My first blog post was entitled 'Starting Point' with only about 70 words. Funny how I wrote about 'to share what I’ve been doing/ learning/ experiencing', and back then I meant to share family fun, friends gatherings, food etc.. And today, the context remains and I'm still sharing -- but mainly about practical ways to handle/manage social media presence online. Guess the spirit is still there regardless what the blog title is. :) Thanks for making me look back and be grateful.

p/s: Interesting, 2nd blog this week I came across with Livefyre installed. Love to know your experience with this comparing to WP commenting system, Danny.

Wish you a very Merry Christmas and rock on in 2011! :) Hugs.

Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog

Heh, there'a s trip down memory lane -- social website blogs. There was a time, earlier this year, when I subscribed to all of their RSS feeds. Some were enlightening and enriching to read, like Digg's blog and Google's blog; and others echoed each other. It lasted a few months and then I unsubscribed from them all. The only remaining is Google's Public Policy blog.

ariherzog
ariherzog

Heh, there'a s trip down memory lane -- social website blogs. There was a time, earlier this year, when I subscribed to all of their RSS feeds. Some were enlightening and enriching to read, like Digg's blog and Google's blog; and others echoed each other. It lasted a few months and then I unsubscribed from them all. The only remaining is Google's Public Policy blog.

PhilipNowak
PhilipNowak

Hi Danny. I just started my personal blog recently and my first blog post was appropriately generic (http://philipnowak.com/2010/10/12/welcome-to-the-blog-of-philip-nowak/). I wanted a place to practice my writing and exercise my mind as I have a lot of ideas, thoughts and personal philosophies swirling around in my head. I think I have hit my goal dead-on thus far. That being said, it's only been live for a few weeks. I'll get back to you on this one next year. :-)

PhilipNowak
PhilipNowak

Hi Danny. I just started my personal blog recently and my first blog post was appropriately generic (http://philipnowak.com/2010/10/12/welcome-to-the-blog-of-philip-nowak/). I wanted a place to practice my writing and exercise my mind as I have a lot of ideas, thoughts and personal philosophies swirling around in my head. I think I have hit my goal dead-on thus far. That being said, it's only been live for a few weeks. I'll get back to you on this one next year. :-)

hackmanj
hackmanj

I sort of blogged on an old ASP based CMS years ago but it was not called blogging then :) I don't have any of that content today. It was much easier to find my June 29, 2009 post about Josh Silver's Adaptive Eyewear on my "Reasonable Idea's" blog at wordpress.com.

Very cool idea for a post!

hackmanj
hackmanj

I sort of blogged on an old ASP based CMS years ago but it was not called blogging then :) I don't have any of that content today. It was much easier to find my June 29, 2009 post about Josh Silver's Adaptive Eyewear on my "Reasonable Idea's" blog at wordpress.com. Very cool idea for a post!

Worob
Worob

My first blog post on PR at Sunrise just stated why I was getting into blogging (to learn more about it so I could better counsel clients), while my second post focused on client relationships. There has certainly been times where I didnt know what I was going to write about next, but you push ahead and before you know it you have tons of blog posts out there!

I've really enjoyed the experience and hope I can continue to keep the blog going for as long as possible.

@testfyre
PR at Sunrise (worob.com)

Worob
Worob

My first blog post on PR at Sunrise just stated why I was getting into blogging (to learn more about it so I could better counsel clients), while my second post focused on client relationships. There has certainly been times where I didnt know what I was going to write about next, but you push ahead and before you know it you have tons of blog posts out there! I've really enjoyed the experience and hope I can continue to keep the blog going for as long as possible. worob PR at Sunrise (worob.com)

geoffliving
geoffliving

I am horrified by first blogs, really my first year of blogging 2006. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but thankfully I had no idea how bad I was!

geoffliving
geoffliving

I am horrified by first blogs, really my first year of blogging 2006. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but thankfully I had no idea how bad I was!

Danny
Danny

Welcome to the world of blogging, Jim - looking forward to watching you find your voice and sharing your thoughts! :)

Danny
Danny

Welcome to the world of blogging, Jim - looking forward to watching you find your voice and sharing your thoughts! :)

Ari Herzog
Ari Herzog

...as to my first blog post, it was late-2004 on a LiveJournal account I deleted a few years later.

Danny
Danny

Used to love reading Google's blog, Ari - seemed to have gone off a little bit recently, I guess another reason to not read. Oh well. LiveJournal, eh? I think I still cross-post to there from here :)

ariherzog
ariherzog

...as to my first blog post, it was late-2004 on a LiveJournal account I deleted a few years later.

PhilipNowak
PhilipNowak

@Danny Brown Ha. The profile picture is actually very outdated. I've lost 20 pounds since and nobody recognizes me at events/conferences, but I appreciate the props.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@PhilipNowak Hey there Phillip,

What is it about you and your awesome avatars and profile pics - talk about making us feel non-polished and presentable :)

I like the "... tried to come up with a cool name" approach - we've all been there (I still am, hehe!).

Looking forward to seeing where your blog grows to in 2011 and beyond, sir.

PhilipNowak
PhilipNowak

@DannyBrown Ha. The profile picture is actually very outdated. I've lost 20 pounds since and nobody recognizes me at events/conferences, but I appreciate the props.

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@PhilipNowak Hey there Phillip, What is it about you and your awesome avatars and profile pics - talk about making us feel non-polished and presentable :) I like the "... tried to come up with a cool name" approach - we've all been there (I still am, hehe!). Looking forward to seeing where your blog grows to in 2011 and beyond, sir.

hackmanj
hackmanj

@Danny Brown I will have to check out Philip K. Dick to see what you mean. :)

I think we called them "dynamic websites" gave people a tool to write updates. I still own the domain dynamicwebsites.net perhaps it is time to make a comeback? Then we can declare blogging dead! muahahaha ;)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@hackmanj "ASP" AND "Adaptive Eyewear"? You're Philip K. Dick's best friend, aren't you? ;-)

Yeah, not sure what it was called 12 years ago. Journaling?

hackmanj
hackmanj

@DannyBrown I will have to check out Philip K. Dick to see what you mean. :) I think we called them "dynamic websites" gave people a tool to write updates. I still own the domain dynamicwebsites.net perhaps it is time to make a comeback? Then we can declare blogging dead! muahahaha ;)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@hackmanj "ASP" AND "Adaptive Eyewear"? You're Philip K. Dick's best friend, aren't you? ;-) Yeah, not sure what it was called 12 years ago. Journaling?

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@Worob Perfect way to start, mate - lays out the land and gets you off anf running in the direction you want to go in. Need to drop by yours more often next year.

And sorry about the Twitter handle - seems to be a little quirk on Livefyre side, I'll check it out.

Worob
Worob

Not sure why that Twitter handle is showing up! It's @Worob

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@Worob Perfect way to start, mate - lays out the land and gets you off anf running in the direction you want to go in. Need to drop by yours more often next year. And sorry about the Twitter handle - seems to be a little quirk on Livefyre side, I'll check it out.

Worob
Worob

Not sure why that Twitter handle is showing up! It's @Worob

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@geoffliving Ha, actually, good point - maybe I should have hunted down my very first one from back in the day to have a fairer comparison? I'd be scared to! :)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@geoffliving Ha, actually, good point - maybe I should have hunted down my very first one from back in the day to have a fairer comparison? I'd be scared to! :)