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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.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.