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Night Blogging is a slang term referring to the practice of publishing unintelligent or absurd blog posts at night, typically during the hours of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Due to the blogger’s presumed fatigue at the time of posting, night blogging is often associated with content that the blogger wouldn’t publish during daytime, similar to the outlandish ideas and media explored by Weird Twitter or the Weird Part of YouTube.
Sacrificing one’s sleep on purpose to write in an incoherent manner has been recognized as a blogging technique since as early as 2008, with Blogspot user Hayley describing one of her posts as “late night rambling.” The related term “night blogger” was used on Tumblr as early as July 2012 in a post describing the type of half-awake insomnia many Tumblr users go through while blogging.
Also in 2008, novelty item company Archie McPhee began selling “Party Rats,” minature rat-shaped finger lights they described as “ideal for night blogging.” Two years later in December 2010, Josh Duboff penned a piece for the Awl on his night blogging job, in which he recalled how often he would come up with jokes that did not make sense the next day. The phrase “late-night blogging” was first defined on Urban Dictionary on July 28th, 2011, noting that the types of posts most typically made by night bloggers were “incredibly stupid” and text-based.
In November 2012, the single topic blog Tumblr After Dark was launched in an effort to showcase some of the most notable examples of night-blogged posts. On January 2nd, 2013, Buzzfeed posted a series of night blogging screenshots, titled “26 Reasons Why You Probably Shouldn’t Blog Late at Night.” As of January 2013, similar types of posts can be found on Tumblr under the tags “#nightbloggers”, “#night bloggers”, “#night blogging”, “#Tumblr after dark” and “#late night blogging.”
On August 23rd, 2012, the first Urban Dictionary entry for vamping referring to staying up late was added by user smanginlang who defined it as:
“To stay up all night, like a vampire would because once the sun comes up they turn to dust.”
On July 3rd, 2014, the New York Times published a piece titled “Social Media’s Vampires: They Text by Night,” defining vamping as a teen phenomena in which teens stay up all night using social media, highlighting teens’ use of the hashtag #vamping to point out their late night activity on Instagram and Twitter. Within the week after the article’s publication the hashtag #vamping was tweeted out nearly 2,000 times. Several websites covered the trend in the days after the New York Times piece. Some took the trend seriously, such as New York Magazine’s “New Teen-Trend Alert: Late-Night Vamping” published on July 7th, while some dismissed it, such as Bustle’s “#Vamping: The New Teen Trend That’ Not Really New At All” published on July 8th.