Wikipedia says that blogs combine “text, images, and links.” By that standard, the Reader has had one since August 16, 1985, when the ink for “The City File” first hit the back pages of the paper. (Check out an image of that column below.)
Of course, back then we had neither the word “blog” nor hyperlink technology. “Google” was just a way to misspell a very large number, and any reader who questioned the information in an item had to make phone calls and/or visit a public library. But a bloggy substance was already there in that first column–short snips that referred to original sources and occasionally provoked conversation.
In that first blog entry I noted that local entrepreneurs had to find venture capital in Minneapolis; today Marshall Field’s is set to become Macy’s, dancing to a tune played at regional headquarters in–Minneapolis. Other items back then chronicled drug-war insanity and racism in schools and public housing, and one quoted now-famous new urbanist Peter Calthorpe’s case that city dwellers are doing the environment a favor just by . . . being city dwellers.
The medium has changed, but the stroboscopic alternation of insight and idiocy goes on.