In late-1998 a group of web developers became dissatisfied with the increasingly poor quality of web development discussion lists and web sites. The problems encountered by many ranged from poor list management, to a noticeable shift from a community experience to a commercial experience.

In the spirit of "put up or shut up," Dan Cody suggested that the disillusioned developers start their own mailing list and community that would be well maintained and free from commercial efforts (such as banner advertising). As such, a group of about 30 web professionals came together to pound out the details of forging a new community.

The main goal of the group of the 30 was to promote the free exchange of ideas in a community created by web professionals without the burden of needing to make money from it. They felt that providing content for the web community by the web community was the best way to actually learn the business of the web. This tends to be the exact opposite approach taken by many web development sites, whereby writing talent is hired first and development talent second.

In mid-March 1999, after months of planning and plotting, evolt.org launched its first version of the web site and its main mailing list, thelist@lists.evolt.org. The list was created so that members could ask questions of, and engage in friendly disagreements with, fellow web professionals about anything web related. Not long after its inception, members were asking questions ranging from how to set up a web server to making an array in JavaScript.

Although thelist started off small, word quickly spread and hundreds of web developers from around the world were soon exchanging information about the web development industry on a daily basis. Most of thelist's members are drawn by evolt.org's strong sense of community and thelist's self-moderated style.

On June 1st, 1999, evolt.org re-launched its web site as a place where web developers could see up-to-date and relevant news content about the web industry in general. One of the more regarded features of the site was the ability for any registered member to post an article in one of several "categories" or sections of the site that relate to specific areas of web development. Each category is made up of tutorials, articles and advice from community members.

Evolt.org does not rely on paid writers. Instead, its content is generated solely on a volunteer basis by real web professionals. Nowhere else can a web developer go to find so much web development related information written by their peers!