I love Radio Four
BBC Radio Four has done a programme about The Pro-Am Revolution (I was co-author of the Demos pamphlet version). Charlie does the explaining but interviewees also include Sir Patrick Moore on pro-am astronomy, Wikipedian Jimmy Wales on pro-am encyclopedia compilers and Phil Smith of Ubisoft on pro-am computer game developers.
You can listen to the programme here.
The Long Tail on From Our Own Correspondent
You don't perhaps expect to hear Silicon Valley buzz-words on Radio 4. But this morning Peter White's contribution to FOOC reported on his conversation with Joe Kraus about Chris Anderson's idea of 'Long Tail' business models. He had a very simple way of putting it: while old business models used to be designed for a dozen or so markets of millions of customers, long tail businesses serve millions of markets of dozens of customers. Kraus' JotSpot idea seems to fit the new model quite nicely.
I'm wondering about the political implications of long tail thinking. Is it possible that the decline of the big political parties could be related? Is a long tail 'party' possible?
The Marvellous Alan Moore
A couple of weeks ago I was hanging out in Montreal and picked up a graphic novel called V for Vendetta by Alan Moore in a great comic book store. Partly, I admit, influenced by the amazing cover (by David Lloyd) I bought it and got stuck in.
It blew me away. Comic book heroes are supposed to be, well, heros not anarchist, terrorist criminals who dress up as Guy Fawkes. And comic book plots are supposed to be simple escapism. But not V. The whole thing is laced with politics and social commentary.
Then this evening I was listening to Chain Reaction. The concept for the series is simple: starting on 30th December one entertainment personality (it started with Jenny Eclair) interviews somebody of their choosing (she chose Jimmy Carr). Then that person gets to interview somebody of their choosing the week after. Having missed a few weeks I have no idea how it got from there to Alan Moore. But anyway, he was brilliant - well worth a listen again.
It's a century since 26-year old Albert Einstein had a pretty good year. While working as a patent clerk in Bern, he wrote five scientific papers, each of which moved physics forward in leaps and bounds. BBC Radio 4 have a season of programmes to expain and commemorate his work of 1905.