This Podcast Is An Interactive Project
The 20th anniversary of the Internet Era as we know it is this year, 2014.
I know, the Internet was invented long before, and even the web was born a few years previous… but 1994 was when Netscape was founded. And I think we can all agree that Netscape, and the Netscape IPO represent the birth of the Internet Era (in capital letters) as we’ve all lived through it the past decades.
Realizing that made me want to read a book that summed up the Internet Era. The only problem was, no such book existed. There are books on the birth of the Net and the birth of the Web… and there are certainly dozens of books about individual companies or individual people from this era. There are also a handful of good books about the dot com era by itself. But there is no single book that ties together the entire Internet Era as I experienced it in my professional life (more about me here) from Netscape through the present day.
So, I set out to do the research and record the oral histories that will (hopefully) someday make that book possible.* Because I want this project to be fruitful for posterity, all interviews and oral histories I record will be posted un-edited. Any “chapter episodes” I write, in the nature of Dan Carlin are for context only, and will use existing sources that I will meticulously provide bibliographies and sources for.
What we’ll get out of this is hopefully a comprehensive history of the Internet Era, put together by the Internet as a community, including the voices of those who lived it and did it.
We currently have a regular monthly audience approaching 55,000 listeners, and are regularly in the top 20 of iTunes (technology) podcasts. Thanks to you!
* Update: That book will now come out in Spring of 2018, published by Liveright, a subsidiary of W.W. Norton.
View all podcasts by chapter.
Learn more about what inspired this project here.
I am so very excited to find the Internet History Podcast. I was in search of a way to understand all the many pieces that came together to give us the Internet as it is today. I have found it here. I have studied so many of the aspects and have had trouble putting them in an understandable narrative. You have done that so well with the podcast. At this time I have heard only the AOL and William Von Meister sound tracks, but man I like it a lot. Von Meister was a great dig. I will listen to all in order now. Please keep up the great work.
Thanks Kevin! Hopefully a new ep. this week, crying newborns permitting. 🙂
What is missing to me is an epilogue to each chapter that briefly summarizes (i) what happened later to the companies described in the podcast (Netscape in chapter 1, AOL in chapter 3) and (ii) what is the current state of the chapter topic (browsers in chapter 1, ISPs in chapter 3). These do not need to be in depth descriptions like the chapters themselves – just to explain to the audience how does the state at the end of the chapter relate to the current state as they know it. They can also be supplements.
Great suggestion, ET. I think though that the idea is: I’ll get to that information eventually. I’m trying to go chronologically, i.e., I’ll come back around to Netscape v. Microsoft in a chapter soon… I’ll come back to AOL when we discuss the Time Warner merger, Yahoo when we summarize the dotcom-madness-era, etc. Now, the problem is, you’ll have to stick with me until we get there, but I intend to cover it all in order, so over the fullness of time, you should get the whole story. Just might have to wait for it. Keep listening!
I just started listening to your podcast and it is wonderful. I was a teenager during the 90’s and this time of my life is very special. I followed the Internet and ate up all the books, news and magazines about it that I could. I was so excited about the potential and the change it was going to bring to our lives, something I feel is epitomized by the iPad. Thank you for helping me relive this time again. I look forward to throwing money at you for your book!
The “some” Internet History podcast, more like. Covering a very short period of the Internet. Netscape to the iPad?
You ought to expand your horizons and go all the way back. Or rename the podcast.
So, did you read the bit where I said: “There are books on the birth of the Net and the birth of the Web…” and how I wanted to do the “internet era” which hasn’t been covered in one narrative before?
I like the name. Am keeping it. 😉
Great stuff, Brian. Brings back so many memories. Was a really fun time to break new ground and try out some crazy ideas – which of course have now been the standard for so long that most people don’t remember much about life pre-1994.
I was one of those geeks back then. Nice to see someone recognize and discuss the “olden days.”
[…] couple people in the Charleston Tech Slack mentioned it a few weeks ago. After reading a little bit about the podcast, I added it to the […]
I stumbled upon your site today, and very pleased that I did. Having had a major role with both the domestic and global growth of DoubleClick early on, working with the Kevins, Dwight, David R., Wenda M. and the like, I had often fantasized about documenting that very special time. My father was a commander in World War II and by the time people realized how important it was to document their stories, many of the people had already passed on. I didn’t want that to happen with the birth of the Internet/Web.
We are only starting to realize the tremendous impact it will have on future generations and the genesis of this impact will always have an important place in history.
Thank you for putting in the time and energy. It will benefit us all down the road.