Ed Driscoll

Ten Years Of Sending The Undernews Over The Interwebs

Happy Tenth Anniversary to Mickey Kaus’s Kausfiles, a pioneering blog, and still one of the best. And in a very real sense, it’s the blog that launched the blog that launched a thousand other blogs (including ours), as this C-Span interview with the author of a book called An Army of Davids highlights:

LAMB: Who invented the word ”blog” or ”Weblog?”

REYNOLDS: The word blog? I’m not really sure. It sort of just sprung up. And nobody likes the word, but it just stuck. The word ”blogosphere” was invented by a guy named Bill Quick, who is a science fiction writer and blogger out in California. And that one kind of stuck.

LAMB: And can you remember — I have read that Mickey Kaus’ was one of your first blogs that you saw. And who is he? Is that true?

REYNOLDS: I — yes, I think it’s true. Mickey Kaus was a writer for The New Republic and really in some ways the original architect of welfare reform under the Clinton administration through a book that he wrote in 1992. And he was a frequent writer for The New Republic and for Slate.

And he set up his own blog called Kausfiles. And I’m pretty sure it was the first blog I saw because the main thing I remember was following the link from Slate — and I was already an avid Slate reader, which I still am, that’s a Web magazine, slate.com. And I followed the link from Slate to Kausfiles, from this big Microsoft-supported, you know, online magazine, to this little one-man Web site that he had set up himself.

And it looked just as good. You know, it was as well-written, because it was the same guy. It was as well-designed, because I don’t know who designed it, but he had a good designer. And it just — the experience of doing it, it really brought home to me this sense that, you know, you could do this.

And I want to say it’s like the old punk rock ethos, you know, they were terrible, I wanted to be terrible too? But it wasn’t terrible. And that was actually what was really striking about it. There were lots of sort of amateurish, not very good Web sites out there in 1996, or whenever this was, but this looked good and it read well and it was really interesting, and I just thought it was really cool.

Mickey’s tenth anniversary post can be found here. And click here for our interview last summer with Mickey on L’affaire Edwards, recorded during the legacy media’s infamous “Keep Rockin'” interregnum, when the MSM was still AWOL on the now-infamous scandal.

Update: And speaking of the misadventures of the hirsute former senator