A Hundred Visions and Revisions of Podcasting

Harold Gilchrist on Wikipedia

I don't want to get into an argument with Adam Curry, because he has better production values. It was a relief not to be criticized in stereo during his 40-minute mea culpa on Friday's podcast of Daily Source Code.

I'm one of the only people who had no role in the history of podcasting. I was around when Curry asked Dave Winer to add the enclosure element to RSS and Radio UserLand in 2001, but I thought it was a dumb idea that would never go anywhere. My opinion was something along the lines of, "I think there is a world market for maybe five podcasts."

In a comment today to Stephen Downes, one of the people he edited out of Wikipedia's now-infamous podcasting entry, Curry admitted that it was intentional:

When editing the 'history' I didn't feel this was a significant contribution in the chronology as it did not influence me.

But as I have stated publicly, having seen actual video of the session where Kevin Marks demo'd a system similar to what I built 8 months later, I have to revise my position on all of podcasting's history. Audioblogging had it's place in there as well.

The process of 'truth' discovery through open wiki's seems pretty broken to me when I get 'outed' without some form of process among contributing editors with opposing views.

I think the truth discovery process is working about as well as it ever does on the web. Wikipedia's the perfect place for a tag-team, no-holds barred cage match of competing ideas. I'm glad this controversy is giving people like Downes, Marks, and Harold Gilchrist some attention. They were podcasting when podcasting wasn't cool.

Gilchrist especially has been overlooked in the mad dash for glory. When podcasting began to take off in 2004, he had two years experience delivering audio content in syndicated feeds and evangelizing the concept.

When the media fell in love with the idea that a former MTV veejay with full-bodied, luxuriant hair was the podfather, a lot of bloggers followed suit and Gilchrist was overlooked, much to his chagrin:

If you watch this Audioblogging video you will obviously see that the demostration and explanation of Audioblogging (circa 2003) gives credit where credit is due, explains and illustrates the use of enclosures with audioblogs and exactly explains Audioblogging the way you hear Podcasting explained today. Just a whole year earlier. The IPod is even mentioned with its tie to audioblogging and enclosures. ...

The day that the technology A bloggers started to tell the story about the invention of Podcasting without its ties to its Audioblogging history is the day that technology blogging jump the shark in my books.

Curry has challenged the Wikipedia concept in response to this situation, suggesting that it was reasonable for him to correct perceived errors on a subject he knew well, even if he did so anonymously. There's a way that well-known people can improve the encyclopedia without the entire Internet forming a line to kick their ass: Create a user account and make signed comments on an entry's discussion page.

Read the discussion page for Cory Doctorow to see a subject suggesting edits to his own biography, both large and small:

The picture is horrible. Any chance of a less supercilious looking one?


I'm not a reliable observer on the early history of podcaudiobloggasting. At the time I didn't recognize the potential, which is a shame because I'm a huge radio fan.

I'm obviously late to the party. I thought this dustup was over the issue "Who invented podcasting?"

Since Dave Winer just admitted that the idea was Curry's, what is the argument?


Anything at all distinguish this from any other network pissing match of the last 20 years?

That is, beyond the fact all the participants are nominally adults?

Anything at all distinguish this from any other network pissing match of the last 20 years?

Venture capital and raw sex appeal.

Snared in the Web of a Wikipedia Liar


I mentioned Harold and his contributions back in February... But then, no one ever listens to me anyway: Harold and the History of Podcasting

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