Can Evan Williams & co do something good for the world here?

From the NYT:

For a Start-Up, Visions of Profit in Podcasting

By JOHN MARKOFF

Published: February 25, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 24 – The primarily amateur Internet audio medium known as podcasting will take a small, hopeful step on Friday toward becoming the commercial Web’s next big thing.

That step is planned by Odeo, a five-person start-up that is based in a walk-up apartment in this city’s Mission District and was co-founded by a Google alumnus. The company plans to introduce a Web-based system that is aimed at making a business of podcasting – the process of creating, finding, organizing and listening to digital audio files that range from living-room ramblings to BBC newscasts.

Audio files on the Internet are nothing new, of course. But the recent proliferation of portable iPods and other devices for storing and playing files in the MP3 audio format has created a mobile audience in this country – more than 11 million and growing – on whom podcasters are counting to listen to much more than downloaded songs and the occasional audio book.

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