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The Russians invented blogging

Oh, come on! Don’t tell me you thought blogging was a modern phenomenon. How foolish can you be? A Russian thought up the concept of blogging way back in 1837.

Prince Vladimir Odoevsky, a science fiction writer, philosopher, composer and all around good guy is the man we have to thank, reports Mosnews. In a book about life in the year 4338, he wrote:

“Houses are connected by means of magnetic telegraphs that allow people who live far from each other to communicate,” Odoevsky wrote.

Even more interestingly, Odoevsky suggested every household would publish a kind of daily journal or newsletter and distribute it among selected acquaintances, a habit which Russian bloggers immediately recognized as blogging.

“We received a household journal from the local prime minister, which among other things invited us to his place for a reception,” one of Odoevsky’s characters tells a friend.

“The thing is that many households here publish such journals that replace common correspondence. Such journals usually provide information about the hosts’ good or bad health, family news, different thoughts and comments, small inventions, invitations to receptions.”

However, with all due respect to Prince Odoevsky’s genius, he was slightly off the mark when he predicted that blogs would be written by the family butler. Interesting idea, though…


  • I believe the first blogger is Dostoyevskiy with his “Writer’s Diary”. It’s a real blog in form and in essence: short stories, political rants, philosophical musings, etc. If only one could so much money on blogging as Dostoyevskiy did.

  • I was rather suspicious of this story – could it be a Russian April Fool , perhaps? However it seems genuine. The Black Family’s battered 1961 McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union describes Vladimir Fyodorovich Odoyevskiy (1804-1869) as a writer and musical critic who wrote a collection of philosophical fantasies “Russian Nights” published in 1844.

    However according to a web-page I found:
    Odoyevskiy was still in the middle of writing “Year 4338” when he died. So I’m not sure how this matches up with 1837.

    But it still looks he was the first fellow to think of blogging.

  • Interesting. There aren’t a lot of sources on “Year 4338” out there. About the only page I could find that offered a clue was this page…

    … in which “Year 4338” is listed as a short story in an anthology of Russian science fiction. No date is given for the short story but my best guess is that the short story was published in 1837 and, at the time of his death in 1869, Odoyevskiy was working on a novel expanded from the original story.

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