Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Origins of Three Things Thursday

You seen it before: “3 Things Thursday”… the generic template post that has been taking the running blog world by storm. Last Friday morning I wrote my own post, titled “Four Things Friday”, that questioned who the creator of “3 Things Thursday” was… Little did I know that the 20 minutes I spent writing that post would ultimately lead me into hours and hours of internet research as I attempted to unravel the origins of “3 Things Thursday”…


Celebrity rumors, urban myths… they spread like wildfire but where do they start? Who was the first person that claimed that you get straight A’s for the semester if your college roommates kill themselves  or that Richard Gear stuck a gerbil up his butt (Richard Gears ex-publicist???)? Someone must have said it first but tracing the origins of such things would be damn near impossible… So, when I question “Who invented 3 Thing Thursdays?” I didn’t really expect to get an answer… so when Adam over at “I am boring” commented that Morgan over at “CAUTION: Redhead Running” had first started the “3 Things Thursday” trend my interest was peaked… Could this be true? Did Morgan really start this blogger craze that is exponentially spiraling out of control?

I decided I'd be best off going right to the source so I e-mailed Morgan and asked her if she created "Three Things Thursday"... here's here reply:
"I am in fact the creator of 3 Things Thursday and I came up with it as a way to convey a few things when I didn't have anything noteworthy to write a whole post about. It's come in handy, for instance when I was moving and had nothing running related to talk about but wanted to check in."
So to sum it up, "3 Things Thursday" is like blogger crack... no need to spend hours carefully constructing a post... all you have to do is wait till Thursday, spurt out three unrelated things, and Viola... you have yourself a post... not only that, but judging from the response across the blogosphere people can't get enough of it!!!

I decided to dig deeper… multiple hours and several dozen internet searches later here’s what I came up with… a by no means comprehensive list of blogs that have incorporated “3 Things Thursday” into their rotation:

Blog Title:                                     First 3 Things Thursday Post:

       Special note on these first 5 blogs because they actually attributed the idea to "The Redhead"

Running Laur                                12/03/09
Dietician on the run                       04/29/10
Runner Nic                                   05/20/10
morning runner                             10/29/09
Mission to a(nother) marathon       09/10/10

        and the list continues...

Melissa Nibbles                           12/03/09
run, courtney, run                         04/08/10
racing with babes                         02/18/10
running in pigtails                          01/28/10
MCM Momma                            12/10/09
Eating Good Stuff                         09/17/10
My own party of 5                       10/15/09
dare to tri                                     01/07/10
running off at the mouth                02/11/10
I have run                                     02/04/10
50 sticky fingers                            03/11/10
running rambles                            06/24/10
carpool queen                              05/27/10
I run because… I can                   01/28/10
Tall Mom Running                        04/15/10

        I'm going to look at these next few in a bit more detail because I was entertained by the way that they initially broke into the world of "Three Things Thursday"

adventures of badger girl              01/21/10
Badgergirl writes: "So many other bloggers do this, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon."  ...It's the beginning of 2010 "Three Things Thursday" is already becoming a craze!
lizard runs                                   03/25/10
Lizard writes: "Can just anybody do these blog themes? I hope so, because I’m about to"
...Lizard is obviously tenative about his first hit off the "3 Things Thursday" pipe but ultimately he can't resist its sweet nectar!
a code geeks tail                         03/11/10

Wes writes: "In the past, I've avoided these "templates" for blog posts, primarily because with my ever running mouth and thought process, I had no shortage of material. Now, with time being in such demand, I'm rather liking the framework of this one, and no doubt others will follow."  - Wes has published ThreeThings Thursday 7 times since he wrote this back in March!!!
  and finally...

redhead running                          07/01/09

But here's the twist... 07/01/09 was actually a Wednesday!!! Never the less, this was the first occurance of "Three Things Thursday"...  or was it?!?

  As I dug deeper into my Google search I came across this:

hear me in harmony                    02/05/09
Melanie says "Some of you “long-time readers” may remember a feature around here called Tuesday’s Things to Be Happy About.  I stopped doing it about a year ago, but I decided I wanted to bring it back, both because I miss it and because I feel like I need something that forces me to post when I otherwise might let posting slide.  I was going to call it Ten Things Tuesday, but I like the alliteration of this a little better, plus it’s not so ambitious, which will help me not feel not so much pressure."
Turns out Melanie wrote a "Three Things Thursday" post almost 5 months before Morgan's first post.  My conclusion here is that Melanie and Morgan both came up with Three Things Thursday on their own.... and wouldn't be suprised if I dug deeper and found even more spontanious occurances of "Three Things Thursdays" in the blogger world.  It's just such an obvious blogger device that somebody (or multiple somebodies) were bound to come up with it...I will say that "Three Things Thursday" has definitely made it's mark on the running blog community and that Morgan can definitely be given the credit for creating and popularizing it in this context!


  1. That was in fact a very interesting post that I enjoyed! I just posted about my personality...and so i think if I am in need of knowing deeper about something...I would be better off to ask you! =)
    I must be truly out of it...but I have not heard of 3 Things Thursday...but I like it! Great idea!

  2. I think you have a future in investigative reporting.

  3. Quite the expose! I have never done a 3 things Thurs., but I do enjoy reading them.

  4. And what is the next mystery you are planning to solve? Great post.

  5. I'm with miss Z -- I have never done a 3 things Thurs., but I too, do enjoy reading them.

    man, how did you get all this info? impressive.

  6. OMG you are hilarious!!!!!!!!!! I literally laughed out loud! You have WAY too much time on your hands!!!! And thanks for the tidbit about the first 3 Things Thursday I ever posted... prob posted it Wednesday night meaning to set it up to publish for Thursday. LOL!

  7. I agree with Teamarcia...I think a future career in investigative reporting is in your future.

    Great post.

  8. That is a lot of research. My feelings towards 3 things Thursday are mixed. I suppose if you carry a personal relationship or friendship with the person, I would not mind reading them. I don't particularly care for 3 things Thursday, or 4 things Friday, or 6 things Saturday though. I enjoyed the research and all the effort that you put into making this post. Question Mr. Three Things Thursday expert - Are you only allowed to read one 3tt on that day, because if you read 2, it would be a 6 things for you on Thursday.

  9. I'm with Morgan, how long did it take to create that post? Great job!! Loved it!!

  10. Wow! You came up with all this on your own? I'm not with the "3 Things" crowd but I definitely have seen it explode over the past year. I too think Morgan popularized it! Great investigative reporting though. So do you take suggestions for future gigs?

  11. As a historian, I'm absolutely fascinated by this post. Like some of the other commenters, I'm curious how long researching this post took you.

    I haven't yet jumped on the Three Things Thursday bandwagon, but maybe I'll do one every now and then (on a Thursday) to save some time.

  12. Holy Moley! You must have a sore neck or strained eyes after researching this topic. Well done! Funny too!

  13. dude... you need a hobby. :)

  14. Ha, you did some serious research here. Thanks for the link and "special" mention - gotta give credit to the Redhead! And, apparently, Melanie and Marlene.

  15. this is hilarious. mad props to unstructured free time! :)

  16. This is kind of like how I invented the Puke Threshold. Nice research! Cheers!

  17. I love the investment you made for my entertainment!!

  18. I feel SO left out! I have never written a three things Thursday, and now it's too late as I already posted today!

    No wonder no one reads my blog. I'm not one of the cool kids.

  19. Wow that was some hardcore research you did haha.

  20. Hahaha, I love that I am not the ONLY internet research whore in the blogsphere. My friends call me I-perv because I get a rise from researching random things on the web. But I think you take the cake.

    Very funny, and insightful post.