Friday, January 21, 2005

Stepping Back for a Moment: A Short History of this Site

Stephen Dulaney just posted a comment to the site asking about its history. Rather than having my response buried within a comment thread, I figured I'd take a moment and post it here.

Basically, this site is less than a week old. I've been blogging from my main blog, Andy Carvin's Waste of Bandwidth, for a long time -- I ran it as a personal website for eight years before switching to Blogger two years ago to make it easier to manage. I've been experimenting with multimedia blogging since 2003, including audio and video blogging, but I only started podcasting at the end of 2004. (Unfortunately the Movable Type gods have cursed me and crashed my blogging tool for that site, which is why I'm blogging text as well as podcasts here on the mobcasting blog.)

Last week, I posted a podcast to my blog on an interview I did with CNN; I recorded the podcast along the way to the interview with my iPod. Then someone on the PODCASTERS email list commented on using a mobile phone to podcast instead, so I began to play around with Audlink and Audioblogger to see if I could get them to work with a podcast-friendly RSS feed. This then led to to the idea of creating a blog in which many people could podcast from their mobile phones: a smart mob mobile phone podcast, or mobcast, if you will. So last weekend I created this blog as a place where I could experiment with mobcasting along with some colleagues, including Ethan Zuckerman and Brendan Greeley here at Harvard, and Matt Conahan and Jennifer Evonne from the Omidyar Network.

So now I'm sitting at the Berkman blogging conf with my laptop overheating my thighs, capturing Judith Donath's lunchtime keynote on my iPod. Though the tagline of this blog refers to the site as an untamed experiment in mobcasting, admittedly this particular event is relatively tame and small, so I'm not expecting any podcasting miracles at the moment (particularly since Audioblogger seems to have dissed me and won't let me post). But hopefully this will be the first of several experiments in which a group of people will be able to podcast collectively. I'll also try to cover other blogs doing mobcasts as the idea spreads. Who knows if the idea is sound or not, but at least we can have some fun trying. -ac


Blogger StephenDulaney said...

Thanks for the history of the past week. I have been trying to form a mental map and just make sense of podcasting. As such I've been consuming random podcast from my Radio aggregator and I do remember hearing your podcast from the CNN interview but did not link you or that podcast to the mobcasting until now. Thanks for helping me put an image of you together in real time.

hope your having fun at the conference and thanks for bringing me along with you.

I feel like I can actually see the internet growing in real time, real fast these last two weeks. We'll have to see how it turns out. There is a good podcast post on itconversations featuring Mark Cuban where he makes some good points about storage, mass storage and delevery of large amounts of digital information.

Stephen Dulaney

Stephen Dulaney

1:56 PM  
Blogger Doug Moore said...

Quick Comment. Our Podcast, The Clint and Doug show, has been using the phone from day one. We began on and found that the five minute limitation was to limiting. We would constantly talk to long and the show would end abruptly. Since then we have moved to and pay a five dollar fee a month for that service with no time limit. But we found the 5 gig transfer limit to be to little.

We still use but we download the show and upload it to our bluehost account. Just wanted to let you know there are folks out there that are podcasting using phones. We like it b/c it is simple. We do not edit our shows at all other than adding ID3 tags. So no music. Just us talking..

Doug Moore

4:15 PM  
Blogger Andy Carvin said...

Thanks for posting that note, Doug. You guys have certainly been pioneers in this area. I totally agree that the five-minute limit for both Audioblogger and Audlink is limiting, so paying the monthly fee makes a lot of sense. We're also going to explore developing an open-source project that would allow people to install their own voicemail server so they could do the same thing but with a local call, anywhere they happen to be located.

2:57 PM  

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