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Adam Curry is my hero

You can try as hard as you want, but you are not going to find a cooler all-around guy than Adam Curry.

The man started out as one of the best-loved veejays on MTV, back in the days when they actually played music videos. Ahead of the game when it came to the Internet, Curry registered the domain name in 1993, with the full knowledge of MTV, who didn't care. It quickly became a popular destination on the web, financed solely by Curry himself. About a year later, MTV brass decided this whole Internet thing was more than a fad, and sued Curry, taking the domain for themselves.

Rightly disgusted, Curry walked away from his veejay gig. But instead of becoming a has-been like Kennedy or Downtown Julie Brown (remember them?), he segued to a brilliant new career in web design, founding the now-defunct OnRamp, "an early web-development company that grew through M&A to a $230 million public company" and was eventually bought by THINK New Ideas, Inc. -- another web company Curry started.

THINK New Ideas went public in 1996, at the dawn of the dot-com bubble, and was eventually acquired -- all of which, I'm sure, guaranteed that Curry will never need to reduce himself to hawking third-rate 80's music compilations, unlike some of his former colleagues.

Now, Curry once again returns to the popular consciousness as the father of podcasting, essentially reinventing Internet radio. The AP reports:

Before podcasting arrived, Curry was frustrated by the state of broadcasting on the Internet, which is often done by streaming feeds. Unlike with traditional radio, streaming costs grow with the audience, and it's difficult for listeners to save the show or do anything else with it afterward.

...Curry saw potential in a technology called Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, which automatically feeds text from Web logs and other sites to subscribers so they can read summaries from many sites at once.

After meeting with Curry in 1999, RSS co-inventor Dave Winer updated the protocol so that attachments, such as MP3 audio files, could be sent along with text. But there was no program that could automatically transfer the files to a music player — until last summer when Curry taught himself the AppleScript programming language and created a small program called iPodder. It caught the attention of programmers.

...It was in a Sept. 15 online post that Dannie Gregoire of Louisville, Ky., coined "podcast." When entered into a Google search, the word now returns 1.6 million results. Curry says his own podcast now has 50,000 listeners, and Gregoire has created a portal that organizes podcasts by content. A number of Web sites do the same, including Curry's and Patchett's

...Real radio stations are also taking note. Public radio's WGBH in Boston has started podcasting its weekly "American Stories" segment, which saw its downloads jump from 30 downloads in the first week to 57,000 in December.

"Those are the kinds of trend lines that get your attention," said Bob Lyons, the station's director of radio and new media initiatives. "They certainly got ours."
And if all that weren't enough, the man traveled to Iraq with the Dutch Marines and blogged daily updates about his experience.


Apparently podcast collaborator Dave Winer is upset that most of the media focus is on Curry.


Anonymous said...

Great post. All I can recall is, one day Adam was there, one day he wasn't. Had to check the Downtown Jule Brown link, but I was disappointed not find anything up about Martha Quinn (because of Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper's number "Stuffin' Martha's Muffin"). Ah, the '80s! 

Posted by Comrade_Tovarich

Anonymous said...

I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Martha Quinn. If you ask me, she was the cutest and classiest of the female VJ's.

Colin Quinn, now that's another story... 

Posted by GaijinBiker

Anonymous said...

I had such a crush on Adam Curry when I was a girl! Good for him that he's been up to better things than most former Vee-Jays.

What's with all the spam comments on his PhotoBlog?  

Posted by Sharon



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