Sat, 19 Feb 2005

Digging podcasting out of the memory hole

Mitch Ratcliffe:

It would be better for the survival of the medium if the myths are punctured early rather than later.
Who created the first podcatcher? Kevin Marks demo'd SyncPod, which handled audio RSS enclosures just like iPodder but without the iPod, at BloggerCon in October 2003. You can see it late in this video of Harold's talk in October 1993.

How did get started? This appeared on Scripting News on May 3, 2004:

Harold Gilchrist says it's time for audio blogs to have their own We can do it if there's enough interest -- has the ability to spawn new communities. So if there are enough audio blogs or tools to start one, let's do it. Probably the best way to find out is to create a post and ask people with audio blogs to comment.
That's right, it was Harold's idea. I remember Harold's original posts and Dave's followup. At that point Dave was completely out of it with regard to audio blogs.

He paid no attention whatsoever until months later. And he wasn't alone -- the other alpha bloggers who later wrote that Dave and Adam invented podcasting also weren't paying attention. They had other fish to fry and other interests, which is perfectly fair but also ensured that they were not qualified to comment. These guys knew exactly as little as the mainstream media.

Speaking of the mainstream media, this appeared in the New York Times today:

Since August, when Adam Curry, a former MTV video jockey, and David Winer, an early Web log writer, developed the podcasting technology, 3,075 podcasts have sprung up around the world, according to a Web site,
But podcasting was not invented in August 2004, what happened in August 2004 is that Dave discovered that podcasting was already going on and decided to get on board.

Let me backtrack a little and talk about Adam's role here. Adam really was in the thick of things. He was a key member of the very small group in there hacking, audioblogging, and getting the whole situation off the ground, and since the discovery of podcasting by the larger world he has not been a dick about things. Though Dave doesn't belong in this story, Adam does.

One last thing: there is no conspiracy here. This got screwed up because the power-law structure of information flow between weblogs can lead to severe distortion of the facts.