in Social Media

After reading Charlene Li’s wonderful post Reflecting on 10 Years of Blogging this morning, I was inspired to write my version.

I started blogging in 1998. That’s 16 years of blogging.

Think about that. That’s longer than I’ve been married. Longer than I’ve stayed at any career. The only thing I’ve had in my life last longer was my cat Jade, who passed away at 18 years of age.

I started a blog called Davezilla, 16 years ago.

During those 16 years, I’ve gone from painstakingly hand-coding my blog to using Greymatter (anyone remember that beautiful interface?), to being on the development team of b2 Cafélog—an early blogging platform that was the first to use a database on your own server.

Later on, b2 was forked off by a young Matt Mullenweg, who renamed it WordPress and turned it into the largest CMS in the world. But I’m not bitter about that at all…

One reason b2 never caught traction—despite it having a better interface than the early WordPress installs—was its name. It wasn’t pronounced “be-two” like it looks.

Owned by Michel Valdrighi in France, b2 is actually pronounced en français, so it sounds more like “beta” (bay-duh). So it was a French pun of a Greek word. Went over the heads of most American bloggers who called it “be-two”.

In hindsight, yes, WordPress is a better name.

Eventually, I caved and moved over to WordPress after Michel and the team had mostly given up working on b2 (For the record, b2 still exists as b2evolution).

But I digress…

I Get in Trouble for My Blog

In 2001, I was served a cease and desist by a multi-billion dollar company in Japan called Toho. They own anything related to Godzilla and claimed that my blog would be confused with their giant rubber monster movies.

I disagreed.

At the time, there was a show called “Bridezillas” and a new web browser called “Mozilla”. Why weren’t they in trouble?

I did what any young blogger would do. I posted the C&D to every blogger I knew. Over 150 bloggers posted it in my defense. I began getting calls from newspapers, magazines and television shows wanting to interview this brash young blogger who dared to take on the Japanese giant.

An extremely helpful law firm in Israel came to my aid and sent me a 4″ binder full of proof that Toho cannot own the terms “God” or “Zilla” as both are proper names (Zilla is a first, middle and last name in Hebrew, meaning shadow).

Guess what? I won.

Toho backed down and I ended up with 60,000 visitors a day. And I became a verb in the Urban Dictionary. And I became a case on the Harvard Grep Law site. It was the best thing that could have happened to my blog.

The Rise of Social Networks

Once social networks really started taking off in late 2005, I blogged less. I still do, but after reading Ann Handley’s latest book, , I am inspired to go back to blogging every day. I really miss it.

Here’s looking forward to 16 more years

Davezilla.com is a humor blog that has run continually since 1998. It has won nearly 20 blogging awards and gotten me in a fair amount of trouble.