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A visual history of 11 successful blogs

Many of the blogs that have a huge following today go back to much more humble beginnings. This post is a look at how they got started and what they looked like in their early days, compared to today.

All of the websites presented below are among the 15 most popular blogs according to Technorati. We relied on the Internet Archive to get screenshots of the old versions of these websites.


Gizmodo covers consumer electronics and gadgets. It started in 2002 and was originally edited by Peter Rojas, who was later recruited by Weblogs Inc. to launch the competing gadget blog Engadget. Gizmodo is part of the Gawker Media blog network. Technorati ranking: 2.


Like Gizmodo, Engadget writes about consumer electronics and gadgets. It was co-founded by Peter Rojas, co-founder and editor of Gizmodo, in 2004. Engadget is a member of the Weblogs Inc. blog network, owned by AOL. Technorati ranking: 4.


TechCrunch is a blog about Web 2.0 companies and services, covering everything from startups to trends on the Web. It was started by Michael Arrington in 2005. Technorati ranking: 3.

Boing Boing

Boing Boing covers a wide range of topics, including, technology, science fiction, gadgets and politics. Initially it was a zine started in 1988 by Mark Frauenfelder and Carla Sinclair, then in 1995 it became a website, and in 2000 it became a blog. Technorati ranking: 5.

Ars Technica

Ars Technica covers technology, science and gaming news for PC enthusiasts. It was started in 1998 by Ken Fisher. Technorati ranking: 7.

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post is a liberal news blog covering politics, business, entertainment and several other topics. It was founded by Ariana Huffington and Kenneth Lerer in 2005. Technorati ranking: 1.


Lifehacker is a blog about useful software and time-saving tips and tricks. It was founded by Gina Trapiani in 2005 and is part of the Gawker Media blog network. Technorati ranking: 6.


Gawker is a media news and celebrity gossip blog founded in 2002 by Nick Denton. It is the flagship site of the Gawker Media blog network. Technorati ranking: 15.

Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine writes about subjects relevant to designers and Web developers. The youngest blog of this collection, Smashing Magazine was founded in 2006 by Vitaly Friedman and Sven Lennartz. Technorati ranking: 11.


ReadWriteWeb writes about Web technology, applications and services. It was founded in 2003 by Richard MacManus. Technorati ranking: 13.


Mashable covers social networking news and Web 2.0. It was founded in 2005 by Pete Cashmore. Technorati ranking: 14.

It’s interesting to see that many of the blogs that are huge today started only about three years ago. We wonder what the blog landscape will look like another three years from now. Perhaps some of the blogs just starting out today will be among the giants of 2011?

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