The Read/Write Web and it began: "The World Wide Web in 2003 is beginning to fulfil the hopes that Tim Berners-Lee had for it over 10 years ago when he created it." At the time I started ReadWriteWeb, web 2.0 hadn't yet been invented, Google Adsense hadn't launched (it would do so in June '03), Internet Explorer had 94% of the browser market share (followed by Netscape with 2%), the top blogs of the day according to Technorati were Slashdot (listed as number 1) and Where is Raed ? (a weblog from Baghdad; it closed in 2004). And 5 years ago, there was no money in blogging.On 20 April, 2003, ReadWriteWeb was born. My first post here was appropriately entitled
Today the blogging landscape is vastly different. The top blogs now are full-on media businesses. ReadWriteWeb, which started out 5 years ago as an evening hobby for me, has evolved with the times and is now the 11th ranked blog on Technorati's Top 100 - closing in on #10 Daily Kos! The reason we have continued to grow is because ReadWriteWeb is no longer just me. We have a great team of smart, web-savvy and passionate bloggers: Marshall Kirkpatrick, Josh Catone, Sarah Perez, Alex Iskold, Bernard Lunn, Emre Sokullu, and many other occasional and guest writers. ReadWriteWeb nowadays is also a network: last100 (Steve O'Hear and Daniel Langendorf), AltSearchEngines (Charles Knight) and ReadWriteTalk (Sean Ammirati).
Talk About The Passion
Even though RWW is now written by an awesome team of people, it has retained the same essential character and 'voice' that it had when I started it. This blog is about providing analysis of, and insights into, Web trends and the latest Web products. Each of our writers is different and brings their own unique voice to RWW, but we all share a passion for Web technology and that is what ReadWriteWeb is all about. Of course, our readers also share that passion. It is the read/write, two-way Web after all! So thank you to all our readers and supporters over the years. It continues to amaze me how many great people I meet through blogging, all over the world.
As for me personally, I spend most of time now managing the RWW business instead of writing. I would like to write more often, to be honest. But as all startup entrepreneurs will know, when you bootstrap something over a period of years you become a jack of all trades! It's been hard work over 5 years, but I love the challenges of running a 'new media' business and making sure ReadWriteWeb is always at least one step ahead of Web trends :-)
RWW Designs Through the Years
ReadWriteWeb has gone through a number of iterations in design over the years. My dates on these are a bit hazy, but here are some screenshots:
In April 2003 ReadWriteWeb looked like this:
RWW went red sometime around November 2005 - and that's been our color ever since! The image below is a later iteration of this:
And of course here is our current design, which went live over Christmas 2007:
As each year has passed, I've done a review. For nostalgia's sake, here are the links:
- After one year, part 1
- After one year, part 2
- After two years
- After four years (in that post I delved into RWW's history more, if you're interested)
- Pre-RWW, my first ever blog post March 2002!
It's all very well looking at the past, but if you're in the blogging industry you know that it's all about the now and the near future. Watch out for more great things from ReadWriteWeb this year and beyond!