Who invented podcasting? Who cares?

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper
2 min read
File this one under the term 'inside baseball.' Still...

When you think of the sundry folks who count as the early movers behind podcasting, Dave Winer and Adam Curry immediately pop to mind. Curry, the former MTV guy, and Winer, a curmudgeonly coder (more about him in a moment.)

Curry had faded from public view after leaving MTV and moving to Europe in 1994. But his career revived after Curry began doing his Daily Source Code podcasts in the fall of 2004. He also did some early podcasting code work to get things moving but Curry's big contribution was on the content side. (Since then, Curry signed up with Sirius Satellite Radio where he showcases new content from the podcasting universe.)

Winer's contributions are different but no less important. When you consider his prior work on a variety of code specifications, one sees that Winer has been at the center of many of the most disruptive Internet-based technologies of the last several years.

For instance, he was the driving force behind XML-RPC, the protocol that was later used to create SOAP. And that, ladies and gents, provided the basis for Web services. Then came RSS, which allowed for blog syndication. More recently, it was the addition of RSS enclosures, which paved the way for podcasting's proliferation. Take a moment to consider how the tech industry might have developed otherwise. (George Bailey, anyone?)

Winer can be prickly when he disagrees with someone and I number among those who have been on the receiving end of his barbs. But as far as I can tell, the guy never made a killing off any of this stuff. That counts for something. At least it should.

All this as the brief backgrounder to an apparent split between Winer and Curry. In interviews with CNET News.com and Wired News, Curry managed to make certain claims that Winer believed over-reached--or were flatly untrue.

All the same, it's too bad. I personally haven't liked most of what I've listened to in the podosphere. But like the early days of blogging, it's the future that has got me excited. Curry and Winer are big boys and donÂ’t need yours truly to get them to smoke the peace pipe. They should do that by themselves. Besides, there's more than enough credit to be shared--and life is too short as it is.

It's just too damned short.