Excerpted from an article in Time
May 1, 1995
Radio Free Cyberspace
Broadcasters Are Taking Their Shows to the Internet.
Has the Silicon Age of Radio and Television Begun?
By Joshua Quittner
Joe Nickell and Bart Everson, a couple of goofy, twentysomething guys from Bloomington, Indiana, are sick of small fame. For three years their satirical public-access TV show has played to critical acclaim in the greater Bloomington area, but it has never attracted the kind of national attention that would capture a slot on network TV. Though local sponsors chip in enough to keep Everson clothed, housed and fed, Nickell still has to support himself as a waiter. So the pair set their sights beyond broadcast TV, beyond cable TV, to the computer networks. Last week, as their 85th episode, Global Village Idiots, was flickering across Bloomington televisions, it was simultaneously stored on the Internet, where millions of people worldwide could retrieve it -- the first television show broadcast in cyberspace.
[Note: Bulk of article deals with the debut of Rob Glaser's RealAudio.]
Perhaps Nickell and Everson should publish an audio-only version of their TV show; downloading the entire half-hour video, even with a high-speed modem, takes nearly 24 hours. That's why they break their program into smaller segments that can be retrieved one at a time. For instance, Let's Go Giggin, a five-minute comedy bit broadcast last week that features a nose-ringed clown hunting frogs with a stick, takes half an hour to come to life on a computer screen. Still a long wait, but where else can you find entertainment like that?
Were we happy to be written up in Time magazine? You bet we were! That's the kind of major mainstream media attention that we never dreamed we'd get when we started producing ROX.
Seeing your efforts recognized in a magazine like Time is a major ego-boost. Even if you're suspect of corporate media, as we certainly were and continue to be, it's hard not to be pleased by the recognition. And there's the seductive possibility that this recognition could lead to bigger and brighter things.
So yes, I was pumped about the Time article. Yet when I actually read it, I kind of got pissed off. Can you guess why? Read it yourself.
Notice anything that seems to be missing? A minor thing like THE NAME OF OUR SHOW?
I mean, damn! Here's an article about how we're the first TV show on the Internet, and the article doesn't give our website. How are readers supposed to actually check it out? In fairness to the author, Josh “McDonalds.com” Quittner, I never saw a URL published in any Time magazine articles, so they probably had a policy against it.
But for God's sake, what about the name of the series? You know: ROX. It seems incredible, but the article fails to mention that little fact, meaning that readers couldn't even do a Web search for the show. At first this article seemed like it would expose us to a much wider audience than we'd ever reached before. But in reality very few readers probably ever figured out how to watch the show. Ah, well.
Rob Glaser got his picture in the article, with a big Web browser in the background. They didn't give the real.com URL either, but if you squinted, you could just make it out in the graphic.
Funny thing is, we were supposed to have our picture taken for this article. A photographer was set to come down to Bloomington on April 19, but as we all know something much bigger happened on that day. The photographer was dispatched to Oklahoma City instead.