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What iPods Can Do for China

OPINION features excerpts of pieces by columnists from the Op-Ed page and other sections of The New York Times. All columns from the last seven days are available at nytimes.com; Op-Ed pieces (by columnists and outside contributors), plus Editorials and Letters to the Editor, are at nytimes.com/opinion. Please let us know what you think of OPINION at upfront@scholastic.com.

China's new Cultural Revolution will be driven from the bottom up, by podcasters with Apple's little iPods or competing players, not from the top down by Maoists with Little Red Books. Once prices come down for iPods, there will be a huge market in China for Chinese-language podcasting. Anyone can create and upload his or her own channel of video or audio content onto podcasting Web sites. And there are almost no barriers to entry, making it easy to spread information quickly. The podcasting revolution is going to explode everywhere at once, thanks to the Web and free technology tools. That's why the next phase of globalization is not going to be more Americanization, but more "Glocalization"—more and more local content made global.

—Thomas L. Friedman [10/21/05]