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Birth of a meme

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The idea that Barack Obama is the first “open source president” seems to be spreading. It’s based on the way he ran his campaign, the change.gov transition site, and the participation sought by whitehouse.gov.

This is the latest mainstream paper to take up the notion, a column by Errol Louis in the New York Daily News.

Barack Obama isn’t just America’s first black President. He’s also our first “open-source” President, a leader willing to let anybody and everybody figure out how, when and where they want to get involved.

This goes way beyond urging citizens to volunteer in their communities, as Obama did the day before the inauguration. Our new President, the Community-Organizer-in-Chief, is radically redefining political participation so that followers can do as much or as little as they choose.

The “open-source” strategy was popularized by computer software companies. Instead of creating and selling a copyrighted program that costs millions to dream up, some firms simply give away the basic program and invite anybody to improve on it.

The result is programs that improve by leaps and bounds. And Obama has applied the idea to politics.

via President Barack Obama and his fans may have changed politics forever.

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