Happy birthday to us! Ten years of TUAW

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Steve Sande
December 5th, 2014
In this article: birthday, tuaw
Happy birthday to us! Ten years of TUAW

Colourful candles standing on top of a chocolate birthday cake. The candles are lit up against a dark blue background.

On this date in 2004, a new website devoted to Apple officially went live. The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) - at that time a property of Weblogs, Inc. - had two bloggers at that point, Laurie Duncan and Barb Dybwad. The co-founders of Weblogs, Inc. were Brian Alvey and Jason Calacanis, both of whom have gone on to bigger and better things. Ever heard of a guy named Mark Cuban? He invested in Weblogs, Inc.

TUAW Logo circa 2004

(Above: The first TUAW logo)

TUAW was one of a handful of "unofficial" sites designed to bring news about hot tech companies to the public. Would you believe that there were once TUGW and TUMW sites that discussed Google and Microsoft? Our highly successful sister site Engadget was also part of the world of Weblogs, Inc., in addition to Joystiq, Autoblog and a number of other websites.

What were some of the posts that first day? A quick journey on the Wayback Machine shows that Adam Curry (ex-MTV VJ and credited as inventor of podcasting) was one of the top topics, John Gruber at Daring Fireball was speculating that Apple wouldn't come out with a flash-based iPod, a tome on Mac OS X Backups by Joe Kissell was out from Take Control Books, and Wall Street analysts were beginning to think that Apple might have a chance to grow... (Note that many of these posts were written before the site went live so that content was available the first day).

The site really took off in 2005 and has been going strong ever since. Weblogs, Inc. was purchased by AOL, bringing with it changes and a new reporting structure. A redesign brought a new, flashier logo and new writers like Scott McNulty and Dave Caolo. Dave? He's now managing editor for TUAW. About that time a guy by the name of Victor Agreda, Jr. was an incredibly busy commenter -- he eventually got hired on and is, of course, now our editor-in-chief.

TUAW Logo circa 2005
(TUAW Logo circa 2005)

You may remember other TUAW bloggers and editors from the next few years - David Chartier, C.K. Sample III, Mike Schramm, Erica Sadun, Mike Rose, Lisa Hoover, Nik Fletcher, Robert Palmer, Mat Lu, Cory Bohon, Christina Warren, Brett Terpstra and Chris Ullrich among many others. Many of these fine folks have moved on to new careers, are writing for other sites, or have otherwise found their fame and fortune having learned and honed their craft at TUAW. Yours truly didn't show up until the Spring of 2008, not long before a redesign of the site brought it to something resembling the current TUAW.

TUAW Logo 2014

(Today's TUAW logo)

Other bloggers who joined us, a few of whom are still with the team, included Chris Rawson, Kelly Hodgkins, TJ Luoma, Mel Martin, Aron Trimble, Michael Grothaus, Megan Lavey-Heaton, Matt Tinsley, Josh Carr, and Ken "Mac OS Ken" Ray. Over the years we had a number of podcasts that came and went, including the Sunday night TUAW Talkcast, the Wednesday afternoon TUAW TV Live, and our daily newscast, the TUAW Daily Update.

Fast-forward to today... there's a core of the old school bloggers here at TUAW, and new blood that is keeping things lively. We owe much of the writing these days to Yoni Heisler, Mike Wehner, and John-Michael Bond, plus a large group of writers who are part of Aol's contributor network.

I may have missed some of the many writers who have contributed to the heart and soul of TUAW over the past ten years; for that, I apologize. But the most important people for TUAW have been the readers, without whom the site would have no reason to exist.

There have been many changes at TUAW over the years; some good, some questionable. We've seen Apple grow from a newly-revived tech company pushing something new called the iPod to an absolute powerhouse of a company with a market capitalization that has reached $700 billion. We saw the death of one of the founders of company and unquestionably its soul, Steve Jobs. Apple's now selling more Macs than ever before, the iPhone and iPad are technological wonders, and the company is thriving.

We certainly don't know what the future has in store for TUAW or any of the humans who are the lifeblood of this website. Perhaps by some miracle, we'll be celebrating the 20th birthday of TUAW in another ten years. Whatever happens, we want to offer everyone who has ever been involved with the site and all of our readers over the years a heartfelt "Thank You!" for these ten years of existence.

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