2004.10.18

Well, everyone seems set on defining podcasting, and heck, since I consider myself someone involved with it before it even had that name, I might as well toss in my two cents…

See, I keep reading and hearing people who say that podcasing is not new, I mean, it’s just the same as web-based radio/audio shows, except you can automatically download it. Or by gosh, I have some commercial application that records streams and converts them to ogg files, so that’s the same thing too! Right? Right?

Dammit people, it’s NOT the same thing!

I see podcasting as the combination of a few of things. Using the enclosure tag in an RSS 2.0 feed, and automating the process of receiving the enclosures specified in the RSS feed.

I think this is pretty close to Dave Shusher’s definition of Podcasting.

Oh, and the fact that it is using open stuff, like RSS 2.0 and (usually) MP3 is what made things really take off. Like I said, people were automating the download of audio content before, but it was a hack, not a platform. What is a platform? Something you can build upon. (Hopefully without having to buy your way into.)

I checked the date of itconv.pl and it says 2004-02-12, which means that in February of 2004 I had automated the download of enclosures from the ITConversations RSS 2.0 feed provided by Doug Kaye. (Oh, itconv.pl was about 50 lines of perl code I wrote to automagically download the new ITConversations Doug released…)

And as Doug reminds us, before he was doing it Dave Winer and Christopher Lydon did some stuff with enclosures as well, which is what spurred him on. (Looks like I added enclosures links to AmphetaDesk on 2003-09-24.)

And Dangit, let’s give some props to Dannie J. Gregoire, who appears to be the one who made up the word podcaster.

So anyway, podcasting happened, and is happening because of a combination of many things, and many people. I see things like “Podcasting came about from Adam Curry, Doc Searls and Dave Winer” or “A month ago, the only podcast was ”Trade Secrets,” a daily news-and-technology talk show co-hosted by podcasting’s pioneers: former MTV VJ Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer.” and while Dave and Adam did a whole lot to move things forward, there were, and are, other people involved, and each one makes things grow a little bigger.

Do you think weblogging would be what it is today if the only sites doing it were the ones mentioned under ‘ye olde skool’ on tpoowl? Network effect people!

Ok, I’m tired, signing off…. Next time I’ll try to be more upbeat, or post something about the cats. ;)

(Note: It has been mentioned that Ben Hammersley is probably the first to use the term “podcasting” in public, though I still think it was Dannie J. Gregoire who applied the term to what we were doing in late summer 2004.)

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