Dave Winer has a big rant this evening about how he should be given credit for creating Podcasting. I’m a huge Winer fan and have been reading him for several years, but I believe he’s just wrong in this case. He should indeed be given credit for RSS on which this is all based as well as given a footnote for helping once Adam Curry got things rolling but not for the actual invention.
I guess the major problem I have with the rant is this line “The iPodder software was the first software to handle enclosures specially for iPods, but Radio UserLand had support for time-shifted enclosures in its first release in January 2002”. Nobody disputes this but that doesn’t mean he should get the credit. The fact is that the spark that launched Podcasting IS the fact that Curry hooked it into the Ipod. Yes Dave invented the underlying technology and yes if he HAD written a script to make Radio push media files onto Ipods he would be the inventer but he didn’t. I just don’t see how he can make this leap. The genius is in the fact that Curry took all these existing technologies and then wrote the code to hook them all together and push them to your Ipod.
Here’s another: “Even though Adam gives me credit for the RSS work I did, he didn’t actually give me credit for the software, or for the podcasts we did at Harvard in 2003, and my own personal podcast stream starting this summer”. Again Dave calls his mp3 audio tracks he created this summer Podcasts and expects to be given credit for them but they wern’t Podcasts. They were just mp3’s like millions created before them. Sure there was an enclosure element in the RSS feed but there was no software, by Dave’s own admission, which could take that mp3 and put it on your Ipod without any human interaction.
I’m not trying to take anything away from Dave’s contribution but it’s just the way I see it.