Dave Winer Starts New Podcast Directory Project

Jul 23rd, 2006 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Podcast Directory Sites

Podcast pioneer Dave Winer, who wrote the RSS 2.0 standard on which podcast distribution is built, has started building what he describes as a “community podcasting directory.”

Winer intends to recreate iPodder.org (now IndiePodder.org), one of the earliest podcast directories. iPodder’s architecture was unique, because it was a distributed directory built on Outline Processor Markup Language (OPML) text files, maintained by people around the world.

While iPodder was one of the first important podcast directories, it was limited by speed issues, dead nodes and other problems. This quickly led to the creation of dozens of other podcast directories. IndiePodder.org is now part of PodShow, which appears to be letting the site stagnate. The site was last updated five months ago.

Winer’s project is ambitious. It is faced with overcoming both the performance and availability issues that limited iPodder.org, and the political challenges that have sidelined community directory projects like the Open Directory Project.

Winer’s announcement has received positive reaction from several in the podcasting community. “I fully support this effort,” said Todd Cochrane, author of Podcasting: The Do it Yourself Guide, “considering the history of the site that was promised ‘once upon a time’ to be the community directory, which has turned into a disgrace.”

Dave Winer’s New Podcast Directory:Dave Winer Podcast Directory
From Winer’s announcement:

As with the first incarnation of the directory, all the data for the new directory will be published, and can be rendered by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial; but the project itself is non-commercial. You can’t buy placement in the directory or any of the sub-directories. Let’s say that you can put ads on a rendering, that works okay because people always have choice. If they don’t like the way you’re rendering the directory, they can switch to another rendering. But you can’t put ads in the directory itself.

I’m going to use BitTorrent as a model. In that community there are lots of clients, but there is one reference implementation. In the beginning most people use the reference implementation, but as time goes on, we learn what people want, specialized needs develop, and lots of forks take place. See this as a good thing, not something to resist. The important thing, as with BitTorrent, is the content, not the client. We want to find good podcasts.

I’m going to go very slowly, writing about it from time to time. I’m going to accumulate pointers to these notes in the directory itself.

BTW, I’m not going to use the podchow.org domain for this project. It’s a cute name, for sure, but I want this project to be taken seriously. I also want everyone’s support, including the podcasting company whose name is very close to that name.

The project is currently hosted at podcasting.opml.org.

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