I heard recently that the New Oxford American Dictionary of English has chosen podcast as word of the year for 2005, beating off challenges from the such luminaries as sodoku and bird flu (which, personally I would have thought was more of a construct or phrase.)
Podcasting is, of course, revolutionary in that it allows you to hear the Internet, though some would say that this is as useful as the ability to taste magazines or hear paintings.
Podcasting is so popular that I’m surprised that Carol Vorderman hasn’t released a book on it. Even the Daily Telegraph has its top columnists producing regular podcast versions of their output. Some parish priests are apparently recording their sermons that can be later downloaded. These, of course, have come to be known as Godcasts.
From this you’d think that the nation is caught up in some sort of podcast frenzy, with each nifty pair of white earphones as likely to be plugged into a relevant article as the latest tunes.
Well, I would guess at the moment this is not the case. We’re still at the shallow end of the adoption curve, where podcasting is the word of the moment but very few people are actually utilising it.
Putting audio data on the web in easy accessible format is a big step forward. One of the web’s big limitations is that it has been a one format information source, but not everybody likes to absorb their information in the same way.
Podcasting will doubtless be with us for years to come, whether it’ll ever be word of the year again is, however, a completely different matter.