NetRadio’s 1995 debut in Minneapolis

If you weren’t deeply immersed in the Internet’s early days as I was, it’s hard to remember the pain, the obstacles and the now almost quaint state-of-the-art in 1995.

It was that year in November that NetRadio made its debut here in Minneapolis and is an invention and milestone that needs to be lauded and remembered. Invented by Scott Bourne and Scot McCombs (more here), NetRadio used RealAudio‘s first player and server technology to run. A former Authorware (now part of Adobe) colleague of mine, Rob Griggs, was an early investor and co-founder and he invited me to the offices you’ll see in the video below (via TWiT) to see their new radio offering streaming over the Internet.

At the time I was impressed and could easily visualize the possibilities, but also knew in every cell of my being how long it would take before this was anything more than cool and a novelty. In fact, my belief as to one, key cause of the dotcom crash was that there was a HUGE amount of Web content pouring into the top of the funnel (i.e., being served) and most of us were sipping through the tiny hole at the bottom of the funnel (i.e., with dial-up 56k modems) and there was no way rich media of any kind — including low audio quality radio — would yet flourish over copper wires for quite some time.

In 1995 there were, as the video points out, roughly “110,000 Web sites” and that NetRadio received “about 25,000 Web visitors in the first few days“. Impressive at the time, but so was the Model T in 1908.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.