Sadly, the world’s first and most prolific blogger, the Reverend Robert Shields has passed away in America aged 89. Shields was the author of the world’s longest diary consisting of a staggering 37 million words.
Shields was truly the world’s first blogger with his first recorded entry in April 1927 beating Dave Winer by 3 months. Nor was Robert Shields afraid of including trivia and useless information in his journals. For example, how many blogs (or Tumblelogs for that matter) record blood pressure readings (Shields despised silly mood emoticons), make any effort to fastidiously record every single visit to the lavatory (Shields had dozens of imaginative ways to describe the act of urination) or have the thoughtfulness to detail every single piece of junk mail ever received.
Lazy, modern bloggers (with the possible exception of Robert Scoble who, coincidentally, was named after Shields) everywhere should hang their heads in shame when they learn of Shield’s commitment to the blogging cause; Shields never slept for more than 2 hours to ensure he could capture his dreams.
Here is just one example of his exceptional writing:
‘9.35-9.40 I cleaned the cerumen from both my ears and from both hearing aids.’
Unfortunately, although Shields has left the 91 boxes containing his life’s work to a university, he has stipulated that the full contents can not be published until 2049.
I will leave the final words to the great man himself.
‘It is an uninhibited diary, It is spontaneous. I type it as it comes, I don’t correct it and I don’t edit it.’