A summary of weblog history from a March 2002 Fast Company interview with Rebecca Blood: "The first Weblog management tool, Frontier, debuted more than a decade ago, but most early bloggers still updated their sites by hand. Then, in August 1999, a startup called Pyra Labs introduced Blogger and created 'push-button publishing for the people.' Weblogging would never be the same again."
Rogers, what is factually incorrect about the statement you quoted? I ask seriously, because that's how I remember it. Or is it just a question of quibbling over emphasis?
Also, I suspect that there are several branches of the weblog family tree that do not stem from Userland. Dave may be a root, but I doubt he's the only one. (Frontier/Userland did not cross my radar screen until I'd been weblogging for several months, and at the time I was a CS researcher; I got all kinds of buzz about Blogger, though... and I never even really looked at it except to note that it wanted my account/ftp pw and thus I ran screaming away ;-)...)
I'm not quibbling with the quote. It sounded like a pretty fair way to talk about the history of weblogging tools.
As for family trees, I've read that Cameron Barrett and Jorn Barger were inspired to start weblogging in part by Scripting News, so I give Winer at least some of the credit for being their ancestor. (Personally, I became aware of weblogging as a new form of content because of Michael Sippey's Filtered for Purity, and didn't become aware of Scripting News, CamWorld, or Robot Wisdom until later.)
Blogger's launch was definitely the most important moment in the early development of weblogging.
I guess I'm one of the 'early' adopters (since 1997, like Dave, Cam, etc.) I think UserLand and Dave played quite a role in what was to later become 'weblogging.'
People tend to write history from their own perspective. I see Blogger as coming late to the party we were already enjoying. Would weblogging be as popular as it is today if Blogger hadn't happened? Maybe, but we'll never know, because it did happen... and honest people can't ignore that anymore than they can ignore UserLand and Dave...