Podcasting (and vlogging) 1.0

One of the most popular posts I ever wrote was Blogging 1.0 where I talked about experiencing blogging in its first instance in the mid 90s with Geocities and About.com.

Emily_1Well I was listening to a friend’s podcast last night and there was a picture of her in the podcasting studio and it took me right back to early 1997 and my first podcast with Josh Harris at Pseudo.com.

Josh saw this coming so long ago that it makes me shake my head in awe. Josh started Jupiter.com in the late 80s/early 90s to do research and analysis on the online/Internet world.  Josh knew the Internet was going to change the world about 10 years before almost anyone else did.  He also knew that the Internet wasn’t going to be limited to text and graphics.

Josh_harris_1Josh saw that audio and video were going be huge too.  So he built a studio on lower broadway and houston street and called it Pseudo.  He turned over Jupiter to his friends Gene DeRose and Kurt Abrahamson to run. They did a great job with that and he turned his attention to making compelling audio and video content for the Internet.

I showed up in his studio in January or February of 1997 to participate in a show hosted by Jason Calacanis.  I forget the name of the show, but it was an audio show.  They weren’t doing video at that time. We had a blast and I was blown away by the idea that anyone who had an Internet connection could log on and listen to our show.  Here’s a link to a show I did with Jason and Josh in 1998 at Pseudo.com.

So I went home and put a PC into the kitchen and started listening to Pseudo’s shows at home.  I loved it.  It was the start of my love affair with streaming audio which continues to this day (I am listening to Rhapsody as I write this).

Pseduo_2Josh quickly added video production to his capabilities and raised venture capital (not from me though) to fund the growth of his business.  I have no idea how many shows they must have done at Pseudo from 1996 to 2000 but I am sure there was a boatload of content created there.

Things got a bit crazy at the end and Josh may be best known for putting webcams all over his apartment and recording his entire life live and in color and making it available on the web.

Pseudo.com is now a service where you can make your own music videos. Cool, but not exactly what Josh had in mind when he started the thing in the mid 90s.

What’s different in Podcasting and Vloging 2.0?  Well for one, everyone has broadband and wifi now.  The experience streaming audio and video over high bandwidth connections is vastly superior to what Josh had to work with back in the mid 90s.

Second, you’ve got RSS which allows for a simple, inexpensive, and ubiquitous subscription mechanism to get the content into other devices.  Apple’s implementation of RSS in iTunes is the best example of this.  But watching Rocketboom on a cell phone or iPod is going to be mainstream pretty soon too.

And third, and possibly most importantly, is the do it yourself ethic that has taken over the Internet in this decade.  My friend doesn’t need to go to Pseudo.com to do her show.  She just pops open her Powerbook, plugs in a mic, and she’s podcasting.  I am not sure how Rocketboom is recorded, but I’ll bet they don’t need all the stuff that Josh had in his studios at Pseudo.

I haven’t kept up with Josh in the past five years.  I’d love to know where he is and what he’s doing now.  He was so right, but so early.

#VC & Technology