Happy new year all.
It was a strange day here in Washington. There remained a bit of that subdued holiday mood: quiet streets and little traffic since much of the federal government was closed due to President Gerald Ford's funeral. I think we are still trying to absorb the meaning of Saddam Hussein's execution — a brutal man meeting a brutal end. And it was a day of new beginnings: a new mayor in Washington was sworn in, new members of Congress are starting to arrive.
And — surely not as momentous — it was my first time as a guest on NPR! I was a guest on Talk of the Nation this afternoon (I show up about 17 minutes into the segment).
The subject was a new book called Wikinomics, and one of the authors, Don Tapscott, talked about how major corporations are using the open source method to solve problems and research new products. I found this fascinating because I was familiar with corporations (and news organizations, for that matter) using focus groups to test new ideas and products, but I wasn't aware that some rather large companies had begun opening that process up to the public. Which is, of course, exactly what we are doing with my new show. And I thought it was our idea! OK, not really. Are there any original ideas? And does it matter?
As you may know, Talk of the Nation is a call-in show and it occurred to me that our open piloting method is the logical extension of the sense of community and inclusion one gets from that show. One caller asked, "Is this evolution or revolution?" I don't know. You tell me.