The birth of live webcasting: The 1995 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony

The 1995 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony was one of the very first events to be webcast live. Robert T. Morris (who was notorious!), Trevor Blackwell, and Chris Small — all Harvard computer science grad students — engineered the webcast, with backing and encouragement from Professor Margo Seltzer. Today, Scott Kirsner profiles (for the BetaBoston web site) something else that Robert Morris and Trevor Blackwell were doing at that time:

Cambridge company born in Internet’s ‘big bang’ has lasting impact

Viaweb co-founders (from left) Trevor Blackwell, Robert T. Morris, and Paul Graham in the company's original office in Cambridge, circa 1995.

Viaweb co-founders (from left) Trevor Blackwell, Robert T. Morris, and Paul Graham in the company’s original office in Cambridge, circa 1995.

The summer of 1995 was a “big bang” moment for the Internet. Amazon.com switched on its servers two decades ago this month, and the founders of AuctionWeb — later renamed eBay — were busily preparing to launch their site on Labor Day weekend. Browser-maker Netscape went public in August. And a company you likely haven’t heard of, Viaweb, was founded in a triple-decker in Cambridge.

Viaweb never became as well-known as the others, but it played a pivotal role in the evolution of e-commerce, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The founders were a trio of Harvard University computer science alumni and graduate students who saw that selling things on the Web was going to be huge, at a moment when most people were still apprehensive about typing a credit card number into a Web browser. They also realized that rather than businesses buying their own servers, connecting them to the Internet, and taking orders that way, “etailers” might want to pay someone else to operate their online catalogs, shopping carts, and cash registers….

Our repeated and continuing thanks to Robert, Trevor, Chris, and especially Margo, for making that first webcast happen. We have webcast the ceremony every year since. In the early years, our engineers (the aforementioned Robert, Trevor and Chris) had to invent/cobble major parts of the technology. In recent years, webcasting has of course become easier to do.

The 25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony will be webcast live on Thursday, September 17, 2015. We hope you will watch (tickets to be physically in Sanders Theatre are almost sold out).

Here’s video of that historic 1995 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony (as you’ll see, it’s disjointedly edited):

Here’s our report, in the mini-AIR newsletter that went out shortly after that ceremony:

1995-10-05	Other Ig Nobelliana

1. This year's Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony was, as we had hoped, 
televised live the Internet MBONE facility.  We were pleased to 
hear from people in a number of countries who witnessed the events 
as they folded and unfolded.  The unfortunate part was that the 
ethernet cable into the hall was installed only two days before 
the ceremony, too late for us to get out a special issue of mini-
AIR in time to notify most of you.  Next year, all the technical 
aspects should be in place in plenty of time.

2. The theme of this year's ceremony was "DNA, the stuff of life 
and legend."   DNA was celebrated throughout the evening in a 
variety of ways by everyone from 12-year old Kate Eppers to DNA 
pioneer James Watson to Sally Yeh, president of Bijan Fragrances, 
the creators of DNA Fragrances for Men and Women.

3. If you were at the ceremony, or if you saw it over the 
Internet, you witnessed the work of an extraordinary group of 
people, many from Harvard and MIT, many from elsewhere, who 
labored mightily and mighty lovingly to make this ceremony happen.  
Extremely special thanks to producer igstaordinaire Sip 
Siperstein, literary mathematician Stanley Eigen, stage manager 
Roger Kautz, organigzer igstraordinaire Christopher Thorpe and the 
Harvard Computer Society, Christopher Pimlott and Tangents, 
choreigrapher Nicola Hawkins (and the Nicola Hawkins Dance 
Company), lichtmeister and propologist Eric Workman, 
scientist/supermodel Symmetra (Deb Kreuze), jazz harpist and stage 
presence Deborah Henson-Conant, videontologist Steph Gainer, 
audiogrammatographers Dave Goodman and Jeff Bryant, Joe Wrinn and 
the Harvard News Office staff, Brian Yankee and the Sanders 
Theater staff, the Holyoke Center ticket office, the Harvard 
Parking Office, John Mather and the Harvard Science Center 
magicians, Alan Symonds, Tatiana Divens, Brett Neubig, Frank Wu, 
Focus Magazine, the incomparable and elusive R.T. Morris, Chris 
Small, Jerry Lotto, Trevor Blackwell and Prof. Margo Selzer & 
company, our friend Tom, our radio friends Thomas and Raymond, the 
Nobel and Ig Nobel Laureates and their families, and many other 
people whom -- most unfortunately! -- we do not have room to list 
here.  And let us not forget Lucky the flying dog.

5 Responses to “The birth of live webcasting: The 1995 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    [url=http://www.brandiwc.com/brand-super-27-copy-0.html]時計スーパーコピー専門通販店,お客様非常に満足ブランドコピー時計 おすすめロレックス デイトナ コピー、プラダ カナパ コピー、エルメス バーキン コピー等のスーパーコピー通販専門店です。当店はロレックス デイトナスーパーコピー、ルイヴィトン 財布 コピー、ルイヴィトン 財布 スーパーコピーをはじめブランド時計、バッグ、財布偽物の外観から細部まで本物と同様です。驚きの低価格でロレックス デイトナ コピー時計、エルメス バーキン コピーを通販します。更に2年無料保証です。ルイヴィトン 財布 スーパーコピー等の新品、高い品質、激安 、送料は無料です(日本国内)!ブランドコピーならお任せ!ロレックス デイトナスーパーコピー,ロレックス デイトナ コピー,プラダ カナパ コピー,ルイヴィトン 財布 コピー,ルイヴィトン 財布 スーパーコピー,エルメス バーキン コピー,時計スーパーコピー,スーパーコピー[/url]

  2. Anonymous Says:

    [url=http://www.wtobrand.com/prada-bag1.html]大人気を海外激安通販専門店ロレックス、ブルガリ、フランク ミュラー、シャネル、カルティエ、オメガ、IWC、ルイヴィトン、オーデマ ピゲ、ブライトリング、グッチ、エルメス、パネライ、パテックフィリップ偽物(コピー商品)のブランドの腕時計の販売、通販。ブランドコピー激安、ブランドコピー時計、ブランドコピー品当店のスーパーコピー商品は他店よりも質が高く、金額も安くなっております。ご購入する度、ご安心とご満足の届けることを旨にしております[/url]

  3. Anonymous Says:

    [url=http://www.gginza.com/%E3%82%A2%E3%83%90%E3%82%A6%E3%83%88/item_2.html]スーパーコピー 財布真心込めて最高 レベルのスーパーコピールイヴィトン偽物ブランド品をお届けしています。安全税関対策+ 素早い配送+随時の在庫補給+丁寧な対応+スーパーコピー販売業界最低価格に挑戦 !当店は業界最高品質に挑戦!全商品はプロの目にも分からないルイヴィトン 財布スーパーコピーです。[/url]

  4. Anonymous Says:

    [url=http://www.msnbrand.com/goods-copy-4779.html]プラダ バッグ コピー 2015新作、536点入荷 !トート、アウトレット、 ピンクなら豊富な品揃えの当店へ!激安 CELINEセリーヌ バッグ スーパーコピー大量入荷! ブランド コピーサングラス レイバン アルマーニ バーバリー シャネル 3000点新作 ! 2点5000円ブランド コピー Tシャツ アルマーニ D&G MONCLER 新作800点入荷! 2点以上注文20%OFF ! 母の日プレゼント特集 イヤリング 指輪 ネックレス ブレスレット ヘアピン 新作 1000点入荷![/url]

  5. Anonymous Says:

    [url=http://www.newkakaku.com/lq1.htm]CHANEL(シャネル)とは何かというと、ココ・シャネルが始めたファッションブランド。元々は帽子の専門店 「シャネル・モード」の創設からスタートしました。どのバッグを買おうか悩むのは、日本女性にとって喜びのひとつ。どんな大きさのエルメスバッグ 偽物を洋服に合わせるかによって、人に与える格好のジャンルが大きく変わってきます。グッチ・シャネル・ヴィトンのファッションブランドを始め、一流バッグはやっぱり安く売っている店がありませんね。アウトレットの値段でなるべくGETしたいものです。ハイブランドを身に着けているとどうしてだか気持ちが落ち着くだけでなく、自分がちょっとしたセレブになれたような気分に。つまりは、内面から満たされているように感じると言われています。安価に入手できるだけでなく、国外の一流ブランドの商品には海外でしか手に入らない物などが数多く揃っているので、そうした珍しい商品も通信販売でダイレクトに注文できます。[/url]

Leave a Reply