Tom Friedman really needs to check his facts.
This month, for instance, the audio version of The World is Flat became the top-selling podcast album on Apple’s iTunes audio downloading site, says the author.
“That got me enormous juice with my teenage daughters. But what’s really interesting is that when I started this book in March 2004, podcasting didn’t exist.
“And what’s even more interesting to me is: who invented podcasting? Nobody. It was an application that just emerged from the network.”
Um, no. If Friedman just looks at his often-cited Wikipedia, he’ll find that there are inventors of podcasting. Sadly typical of Tom’s fast and furious approach to things. I like the critique the FT’s own Martin Wolf had of The World is Flat: “A bad, good book.”
Update I wrote a letter to the editor of the FT about this distortion:
You quote Tom Friedman saying, “Who invented podcasting? Nobody. It was an application that just emerged from the network.”
If Friedman looked at the Wikipedia, which he admiringly cites in the same interview, he’d see that podcasting does have inventors. Credit should be given to Dave Winer and Adam Curry.
Networks are wonderful things, but inventions don’t just spontaneously emerge.
Dave Winer has also commented: “Analogously, who wrote Tom Friedman’s latest book? No one, it just popped off the printing press.”