Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Andrew Tobias: First Blogger?

I've been reading Andrew Tobias's daily column for at least ten years now, but it's only recently that I realized it's a blog. I don't think he's ever called it that himself, but it must surely be one of the first blogs on the Internet. I first started reading it when it was on the Ameritrade site, and in January 1999 Tobias bid farewell to Ameritrade after 751 columns. (Of the earlier blogs cited a few months ago by Cnet, Justin Hall's and Carolyn Burke's are no longer active.) Tobias has not only stayed active all this time, he's stayed lively. I first started reading him because of his down-to-earth investment advice. (His Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need has yet to be surpassed.) I've continued reading because of his humane and often funny take on the political scene. It's a wonderful time to be rich and powerful, he often says, and he doesn't mean it in a good way. Tobias isn't the most liberal member of the Democratic Party -- he says he's enthusiastically neutral about Hillary vs. Obama -- but he's heartfelt about traditional values like tolerance and fairness.

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