This BBC article about a Chinese pop star who's stage is a podcast reminded me how much culture can influence adoption of a technology or trend.  In the West, we see podcasting as strictly a news channel, a means of opinionated expression.  But in East Asia, people are not shy about singing.  At parties, weddings, Saturday night out, company meetings, it doesn't matter - singing along to music or creating your own song is an accepted and highly appreciated form of expression.  And emotion, in general, is less restrained here than it is in the West (believe it or not).  So, using podcasting as a platform for making music seems so obvious here.

Recently, I've been working on a project related to podcasting. The idea was to build a mobile interface to support casual podcasting. In our user research, we found that Chinese users wanted to record friends at karaoke, put songs in their podcasts, and the like.  Imagine if your playlist consisted of songs that your friends were recording.  That may not fly in the West, but that kind of thing may work out here.

More about our podcasting project soon...

-neema