A Decade of Podcasting: An introspective lookback on the Podcast
By Zach Joiner
Part One: The Beginning
Ten Years. That’s how long it’s been since this Podcast started. Ten whole years. While for some of you, that’s not a long time, for me it’s been such a part of my life that I am amazed that it has really been that long of a time. But, like with most things, time does pass quickly. It just so happened that the year that this show started was my last year in high school, and I just had my 10-year class reunion earlier this summer it got me thinking about other things that were around 10 years ago, and what it would mean for this site. Outside of Brad, I am the only one who has been on the show since the beginning that is still here. I would say there are multiple iterations of the show, and it is completely different from where it started to where it is now. Of course, the comics are different too. So too is the comic book world. If you had told us where the pop culture is now in regards to Hollywood and mass media, well, we’d had laughed at you.
This will be the first in a series of articles that showcase the podcast’s history, though the eyes of someone who has observed the show from its infancy. This part, will focus on the pre-show past, and the earliest days.
Before we dive into the show, let me take you back to the time of which the show started. 2006 was an interesting year. It, like this year, was an election year, with the Bush Administration having its final mid-term before the end of the time in the White House. While not as divisive as this year, it is worth noting that it brought the rise of prominent democrats into the fold, such as Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid. They would take positions of power that was shape American politics, and like now, would see Hillary Clinton begin putting the feelers out on her first Presidential run. More things change, the more they stay the same. 2006 also had some interesting tidbits in technology, as Microsoft was prepping for the release of Windows Vista, the first 64-bit operating system put forth by Microsoft, with its Business version coming later that fall. Apple, in 2005, had announced that it would be including video with its fifth generation iPod, and throughout that year had redesigned its iPod Shuffle into a clip, (formerly it was a stick) its iPod Nano was to include colors for the first time, and a foot sensor with Nike, that would track your steps and such with your workout. It’s funny to think of where tech was at the time, but for better or worse, the best way of viewing or listening to Podcasts was iTunes and connecting it to your iPod. To think, this show pre-dated the iPhone by a good 11 months, and pre-dated the announcement of said phone by 5 months.
Oh by the way? Google was partners in the original iPhone. This was long before they would try their hand with mobile tech in the form of Android.
In terms of the website, what was the site like back in 2006? Well, it was ran by Brad on the front page. The image on your left is what the site looked like back on August 10, 2006. I’ll run down some of those headlines:
-Image Gallery Update
-Wanted: Amazing Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Girl reviewers
-Friendly Neighborhood Reviews (By Matt Harris.) 9-10 of FNSM
-Celebrating 8 years of being online
-USM Reviews (96-98)
-Spider-Man 3 Trailer is online!
-Civil War #2 discussion
-Goblin Prince Part 7 Released online
Now, little did I know what I was getting myself into. You see, back then Brad had no Idea what he was doing. (Insert joke there. I hear you George!) Did you know that there were originally supposed to be more members of the show? Yup. Originally it was supposed to include: BD, Morbius (known to you as Kevin Cushing), Myself, Groble, BTMX Comedy, CrazyChris [more on him later] and Ultimate_Spidey. Now, Brad had put out a post on July 11th of that year wondering if anyone wanted in. Myself, Kevin, Groble, and the others accepted.
But, because I never throw anything out, still have the original email that Brad sent out. Oh yes Douglas, this is really happening.
If you four fella’s are game, I’m willing to do the first podcast. I’ve been looking into skype, and it allows folks to talk not just on the computer but through their cell’s and land lines.
So Morb, you don’t even need a mic. If it’s ok with you all, can you e-mail me your cell phone numbers and we can try the show this Saturday at 2pm central time?
I’ve been looking into how to record the show, and Groble has suggested a program called Audacity. I’ll be practicing with the software before Saturday.
As far as security, you have my word I won’t give out your numbers to anyone.
Here’s my cell phone number if you need to get ahold of me about the show.
The only suggestion I have is for people to have some talking points they’d like to cover.
Such as reaction to Spidey unmasking
Takes on the various Spider-titles?
And even off-topic stuff like DVD picks of the week etc.
I guess I’ll try to act as host and keep the conversation going, but feel free to have fun with it.
If the show sucks, we tried and we’ll just go back to the board dissing Sir Spidey. (Quick edit: it was Sir Spidy. Since spelling was his forte)
Thanks and this could be fun.
Spider-Man Crawl Space
Needless to say, we were off the ground running. Also, my number has never changed. But I’ll go back just a smidge further, and discuss how the concept of a Podcast came to be. Back then, we were the Message Board Admin Staff. And in early 2006, a showed called the Outcast Podcast was produced by Peter Gorbert (Aka Groble). The show was what sparked the idea. I, Brad and Kevin all were Admins and Groble was a Moderator. Kevin and I had previously vanquished an annoying troll who had done considerable damage to the message board because he wasn’t named an Admin after a certain number of posts, which is what Brad was referencing at the end of the email. He had been a pest and we were still battling with him on and off before he came back, tried to nuke the board and sent emails out that I was gay. (NOT A WORD BERRYMAN) Needless to say, the show didn’t suck. Anyway, on August 19th, we recorded our first show. Just Kevin, Me and Brad. The others weren’t able to make it. Kevin almost didn’t make it, but it was the titanic trio.
Flash forward two months after it’s initial release, and the show would add full time, a permeant fourth member, a certain webmaster of a site called Spideykicksbutt.com. JR was invited by Brad on Oct. 10th, with this email:
It’s time to plan for our next monthly podcast. This time we’re lucky to
have John Fettinger from spideykicksbutt joining us.
Speaking of, John I’ll need a phone number to get ahold of you. I use a
program called skype and it’s basically like a conference call and then I
record the show.
So what to talk about on show three? Here’s some ideas I’m thinking about.
Feel free to add any more.
1) Civil War: Spidey is switching sides. What do you all think of this
latest development. I thought a good song to start off the show would be
“War…what is it good for…”
2) Spideydude suggested we talk about the new Amazing Spidergirl title
starting up. How’s she’s been able to survive multiple cancellations, and
why she’s appealing etc.
3) Maybe the new Thunderbolts? Venom and the Green Goblin are going to be
on the team. Perhaps even tackle what we all think of Norman coming back
and overturning the classic Amazing Spider-man #122 storyline.
4) Status of Spideykicksbutt.com and a plug for a future article.
5) Favorite Spider-Man storylines over the years?
I think all those would equal at least half an hour in length.
I sent an e-mail to Nick at Dynamicforces.com and I’m trying to get a
contest going with them. So I can plug it at the end of the show. In years
past we’ve given away free autographed Spidey comics.
I’d like to record the show next weekend if at all possible. Would 1pm
central time work on either Saturday or Sunday? Or which times would you
not be available?
Again thanks to all for making the show successful. There are several
hundred subscribers out their to our show and it’s been a treat to do.
Spider-Man Crawl Space
So with that, our Captain America was thawed from the ice and the Kooky Quartet of Crawl Space Avengers was brought forth. Fun Fact: JR has been on the most number of shows outside of Brad. Next time, we will cover the Kooky Quartet becoming a Kooky Quintet including the addition of a female to the show, what would become what I refer to as, ‘the Golden Age of the Crawl Space Podcast’.
See ya soon Crawlspacers!