Cover image for Say everything : how blogging began, what it's becoming, and why it matters
Say everything : how blogging began, what it's becoming, and why it matters
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Crown, c2009.
Physical Description:
404 p. ; 25 cm.
Pt. 1: Pioneers. Putting everything out there : Justin Hall ; The unedited voice of a person : Dave Winer ; They shall know you through your links : Jorn Barger, filters -- Pt. 2: Scaling up. The Blogger catapult : Evan Williams, Meg Hourihan ; The rise of political blogging : Josh Marshall ; Blogging for bucks : Robert Scoble, Nick Denton, Jason Calacanis ; The exploding blogosphere : boing boing ; The perils of keeping it real : Heather Armstrong -- Pt. 3: What have blogs wrought? Journalists vs. bloggers ; When everyone has a blog ; Fragments for the future -- Epilogue: Twilight of the cynics.
Explores the complex network of blogging and provides insights into the new medium with discussions on privacy, self-expression, authority, and community, and includes close-ups of blogging innovators, including Evan Williams of Blogger.


Material Type
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Item Available
Book 303.48 ROS 1 1

On Order



Blogs are not a fad. They are a new species of written conversation, a complex network of influence spanning everything from political debates to torrid confessions to urgent bulletins from first responders. The days when three network anchors would tell us what to think are gone; now we get to tell one another. Say Everythingoffers close-ups of blogging innovators like Blogger founder Evan Williams, Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, exhibitionist diariest Justin Hall, and many others, and explores the dilemmas that still face bloggers: How much if their private lives should they reveal? Should they blog for the love or for money? Is blogging anonymous ranting or honest, unmediated discussion? Through their stories,Say Everythingpresents essential insights into privacy, self-expression, authority, and community for all of us in the era of Google and Facebook. In his first book,Dreaming in Code,Scott Rosenberg brilliantly explored the art of creating software ("the first true successor to Tracy Kidder'sThe Soul of a New Machine," wrote James Fallows inThe Atlantic). InSay Everythinghe brings the same perceptive eye to the blogosphere, capturing as no one else has the birth of a new medium.

Author Notes

SCOTT ROSENBERG is an award-winning journalist who left the San Francisco Examiner in 1995 with a group of like-minded colleagues to found, where he served first as technology editor, later as managing editor, and finally as vice president for new projects, leaving in 2007 to write Say Everything . For much of that time he wrote a blog covering the world of computers and the web, explaining complex issues in a lively voice for a non-technical readership. His coverage of the Microsoft trial, the Napster controversy, and the Internet bubble earned him a regular following. Rosenberg's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wired, the San Francisco Examiner , and other publications. His previous books include Dreaming In Code . Visit his website at

From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Given Twitter's explosion in popularity, a book about good old-fashioned blogging might seem downright fusty. But the Web is so new, and changes so fast, that it's easy to forget how quickly new technology becomes a foregone conclusion. (Consider this: in 1999, blogs were counted in thousands; now they are counted in millions.) cofounder Rosenberg (Dreaming in Code, 2006) has a distinctly nontechnical way of writing about technology, and in these engaging profiles of key personalities and seminal moments in blogging's rise to ubiquity, he both reminds us how it happened and allows us to envision other possible outcomes. We meet Justin Hall, a pioneer in oversharing; discover how Blogger began as an afterthought; learn how Boing Boing balances idiosyncrasy with commercial success; and ponder whether the Long Tail is attached to a Big Butt. Most books about blogging are oxymoronic, growing quickly out of date and dying for lack of links. Rosenberg's approach, however, ensures that this volume will still be worthwhile another decade from now, when we've learned whether Twitter is the next Blogger or not.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2009 Booklist



Chapter 1 PUTTING EVERYTHING OUT THERE Justin Hall In 1994, Justin Hall invented oversharing. Of course, we didn't have a name yet for the compulsion to tell the online world too much about yourself. Back then, Hall was just an eccentric nineteen-year-ld college student who recorded minutiae of his life on his personal website; no one knew that the self-revelation he found so addictive would one day become a temptation for millions. Beginning at the dawn of the Web, Hall parked himself at the intersection of the Bay Area's remnant counterculture and Silicon Valley's accelerating economy and started writing down everything he saw. His website, at, became a comprehensive personal gazette and archive, full of ephemeral details and intimate epiphanies, portraits of the Web's young builders and nude pictures of himself. Hall, who is fair and thin and lanky--he looks a bit like one of Tolkien's elves--has the affable grin of someone who is fully at ease with strangers. If you took away his nonconformist streak, he could make a great salesman. You could even see him running for office and winning, in some alternate dimension where no one cared that he'd littered the public record with radical opinions and accounts of his illegal drug use, or that he frequently undermined his considerable charisma by intentionally irritating people. He often begins public speaking engagements by stepping to the podium, facing his audience, and silently beaming as the seconds tick by and the crowd begins to wonder what's going on. He seems perfectly comfortable making other people uncomfortable. For more than a decade, Hall's site had presented an open window onto his life. "It's so much fun," he'd say, "putting everything out there." January 2005 seemed no different. He kicked off the new year with a blunt four-word post: "I really enjoy urinating." He told the story of a mustache-growing competition with a friend. He mentioned meeting "a smart, motivated gal" who wanted to collaborate on a story involving angels. Then, in the middle of the month, the window slammed shut. All signs of the layers upon layers of Hall's personal history stretching back to 1994 were gone. In their place was a little search box and a fifteen-minute video titled Dark Night. The video, which is still available on YouTube, opens with Hall's face, half in shadow, filling the frame. He begins: "What if inti--" Then he cuts himself off as his bleary eyes widen. He looks away, lets out an exasperated breath, and starts over: So what if intimacy happens in quiet moments and if you're so busy talking and searching and looking and crying and yelling and--then you won't ever find it. A subtitle appears below Hall's face: "I sort of had a breakdown in January 2005." Hall was an accomplished storyteller in his own callow, motor-mouthed way. But this story emerged only fitfully, in raw fragments. Hall, it seemed, had met a woman. One who "opened me up like crazy." He'd fallen head over heels. Bliss! But the new relationship had clashed, somehow, with his confessional writing on the Web. His new beloved, Hall hinted, didn't relish the glare. What if a deeply connective personal activity you do, that's like religion, that you practice with yourself, that's a dialogue with the divine, turns out to drive people away from you? . . . I published my life on the fucking internet. And it doesn't make people wanna be with me. It makes people not trust me. And I don't know what the fuck to do about it . . . Dark Night played out its psychodramatics with Blair Witch-style lighting and confessional ferocity, like an Ingmar Bergman therapy scene reshot by a geeky art student. The video was awkward, sometimes embarrassing, and more than a little unnerving. It made you fear for Hall's mental state--you wanted to pick up the phone Excerpted from Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It's Becoming, and Why It Matters by Scott Rosenberg All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Justin HallDave WinerJorn Barger, filtersEvan Williams and Meg HourihanJosh MarshallRobert Scoble and Nick Denton and Jason CalacanisBoing BoingHeather Armstrong
Introduction: What's Newp. 1
Part 1 Pioneers
Chapter 1 Putting Everything Out Therep. 17
Chapter 2 The Unedited Voice of A Personp. 46
Chapter 3 They Shall Know You Through Your Linksp. 74
Part 2 Scaling Up
Chapter 4 The Blogger Catapultp. 101
Chapter 5 The Rise of Political Bloggingp. 131
Chapter 6 Blogging for Bucksp. 165
Chapter 7 The Exploding Blogospherep. 198
Chapter 8 The Perils of Keeping it Realp. 229
Part 3 What Have Blogs Wrought?
Chapter 9 Journalists vs. Bloggersp. 269
Chapter 10 When Everyone has a Blogp. 301
Chapter 11 Fragments for the Futurep. 328
Epilogue: Twilight of the Cynicsp. 352
Author's Note and Acknowledgmentsp. 361
Notesp. 363
Indexp. 395