Pete of Rasterweb says very similar things about the birth of podcasting to what I said in today’s audioblog. I’m tired of people minimizing the significance of this because they had downloadable audio previously. Well, no shit. And every time someone talks about the value of TiVo I tell them that “hey, I had a betamax in 1979 so TiVo should mean nothing to you.” Let’s get real. We salute you for your pioneering work in audio creation, but it just wasn’t time for this idea until recently. Don’t rail at the tide for that, just step up or step off. If you were doing this good work many years ago, do us a favor and now podcast your archives so we can experience the joy for ourselves.
I had several episodes of Reality Break that were downloadable from the website in 1998 – in Real Audio which was the prevalent format then. Does that make me a proto-podcaster? No, of course not. The prerequisite infrastructure didn’t exist yet. In fact, because my show was aired on WREK in Atlanta it was being streamed on the internet back in 1994, one of the first 2 radio stations to simulcast over the internet. I’m not jumping up and down about that, trying to get everyone to “respect my authority.” It’s kind of interesting in a historical way, but shouldn’t matter to anybody. It certainly does not mean that current podcasters should bow down to me as their spiritual leader.
Lots of people are doing lots of good work to bring all this about, on the publishing tools end, on the receiving tools end and on the content creation end. Claiming that these people are irrelevant because you did something similar once is uncool. If you did good work then, jump in now. It’s very simple, which is what this is all about. If you were able to do it when it was difficult, get back in the game now, friends. Show us how much better you are than all us the good old fashioned way, by doing better work than we do.