Wednesday was the 10th anniversary of podcasting and if you’ll indulge me a bit, I’m going to do a walk down memory lane. Audio and video on the web existed long before podcasting was ever invented, but it was missing a good delivery mechanism. I remember in the early days when I’d try to explain what podcasting was. I’d say it’s the difference between driving to the bookstore to see if your favorite magazine had come in yet, and having it simply delivered to your doorstep through the mail as soon as it was available. Hard to use that analogy now that there aren’t hardly any bookstores … or magazines for that matter!
Podcasting as we know it today depends on technology called RSS, or Really Simple Syndication. RSS was created back in 1999 for use on the my.netscape.com portal. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS.) RSS was a way to syndicate, e.g. deliver text-based content. Dave Winer was one of the earliest developers improving RSS to become what it is today, and in October of 2000, Dave Winer and Adam Curry worked together to include in the RSS spec the concept of an enclosure. That enclosure can be anything you want it to be – more text say in PDF form, an audio file, or a video file. Tristan Louis in the same time period proposed the idea of enclosures in RSS but to much consternation, Adam Curry became known as the Podfather of Podcasting. If you want to get into the details of this, and maybe even question whether Podcasting started well before the RSS implementation of enclosures, I’ve put a link in the shownotes to the History of Podcasting in Wikipedia. I suspect that Adam ended up with the credit because he was a well known video DJ on the MTV network and had a big following, even though it appears Dave Winer was the real brains behind the technology.
Adam started a podcast called The Daily Source Code where he talked about podcasting. It was a big influence on me, and Adam played a promo for the NosillaCast in the very early days that I think helped put us on the map.
I sometimes wonder how different my life would be without podcasting. I wouldn’t have virtual friends around the globe. I wouldn’t have gone to England, Ireland, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand to meet up with podcasting friends. I wouldn’t probably be so involved in Macworld and be a speaker there. I wouldn’t have the opportunities for Mac Mania cruises without podcasting. I wouldn’t learn from other podcasters what’s cool going on in tech in the world. I wouldn’t have so much entertainment while running and working out in the gym. I wouldn’t know so much about accessibility. I think I would be a completely different person if it weren’t for podcasting. It’s been a huge influence on Steve’s life for many of these same reasons.
But most importantly, I wouldn’t have you, the listener, to talk to every week and correspond with on the blog, on Twitter, on Facebook and on Google Plus. Our world would be so much smaller without you. So thanks for listening …