It’s amazing the kind of cultural sway Apple has right now. The minute they introduced the new version of iTunes, which aggregates podcasts like a newsreader would, and which offers thousands of podcasts to subsribe to like their successful music store would, podcasters’ bandwidth went through the roof and suddenly articles appeared proclaiming the new stars of the podcast-o-sphere.

When I first heard Adam Curry talk about podcasting (he kind of developed the idea) on NPR all I could think of was his big hair and his tenure as one of the first VJs on MTV. But his enthusiasm got to me; he really believed that podcasting was not just an exciting new technology, but would revolutionize the way that information is shared. A friend was an early cheerleader as well, but I maintained my skepticism and told him I thought it was a techno-fad and would pass.

Well, I was wrong.

Podcasting is not only the hip new thing in middle- and upper-class America, but is becoming a tool for those in the developing world to move beyond blogs and to reach a greater audience than they ever could with a local radio show. This Zimbabwean blogger has recently come around to podcasting’s possibilities, as have innumerable others in recent weeks.

So this begs the question: how long until I give it a try?

Update: If you’re in Accra, Ghana, you can attend this podcasting/video blogging workshop. Yes, I do gauge trends’ popularity by how cool they get in Africa.

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