Blog, a Brazilian invention

Photo by Josef Stuefer/ Flickr

Way before the explosion of blogs (over 156 million according to the latest statistics), way before they were named blogs (web+log), there were “open diaries” written by young techies willing to expand the limits of the web.

The following was one of the first online open diary entries posted by Claudio Pinhanez on the MIT Media Lab website, who is considered the pioneer of this type of communication:

“Vanya on 42nd street”, the movie by Louis Malle, was a blast. Such a long time since I have watched a group of actors performing a text with so much intensity. Saw it on Sunday, but on Monday night I was still excited, and couldn’t take it from my mind. Simple shots, no cutting, and great theater. Actors showing the best of the profession, an step beyond being naturalistic: as a great performance of an actor or actress is achieved when he/she is able to include non-natural reactions which tell you all the conflicts of the characters. Doing that while reciting the long lines of Chekov is extremely hard, but essential. Magic, pure magic.
(Nov. 30th, 94)

Pinhanez, who wrote  a few posts during a 1.5 year period, starting on 14 November 1994, got first a Math degree at Universidade de São Paulo and then his PhD at the MIT. Today he works for IBM. In a recent interview to Veja weekly magazine, he said he conceived his open diary (which didn’t include a mechanism to accept comments) to communicate in real time with other researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

So, were blogs invented by a Brazilian? Yes. I rest my case.