We're watching you...
It's become a cliché that new technology has changed TV, for ever.
In some ways the biggest change is how much closer we, as programme makers, are to our audience. If you email us during the programme the chances are that, if I'm editing, I'll read your message almost instantly. So on Wednesday night Ian emailed me during the programme to say: "Why is your interviewer standing while Menzies Campbell is sitting?"
Now unfortunately for Ian, the item (watch it here) was prerecorded, so even if I had agreed with him that Martha should sit, which I didn't, there wouldn't have been much I could have done. None the less, it's much easier for you all to tell us what you like and dislike, and the truth is we do read it. I recently found Jeremy slumped in front of his computer. He looked despondent and when I asked why, he briefly showed me his email inbox.
Let's face it, it's not that difficult to guess BBC email addresses - and a hell of a lot of people take a punt on his. I didn't read any of his messages but I can reassure you all that, from the look on his face, he had.
Anyway, communication from you to us is not new. What I think is new is that we can now know what you are talking about and interested in without you ever telling us. Sounds sinister but it's not really. It takes seconds on a site like Technorati to discover what people are talking about and searching for. This has begun to make an impact on the programme.
So, for example, late on Monday night the most talked about subject in the blog world was Newt Gingrich's appearance on America's Meet the Press, in which he said that we are in the midst of a Third World War.
The next day we contacted Gingrich and that night he repeated his claims on Newsnight (watch it here). So in that sense blogging had an immediate impact on Newsnight's running order.
Also, we know what you are saying about us (really, we do).
If you write anything about Newsnight, or about me, on a blog, I'll probably find it via Technorati. So for example, I know that there's a whole debate going on about Ming Campbell's performance on Newsnight - the question being asked is whether Ming is the Lib Dems' Iain Duncan Smith... see here or here.
The thing I find strange about all this is that often people who write blogs, or contribute to them, somehow think that they are involved in a private forum.
I recently came across a comment claiming Jeremy disliked recording his weekly podcast. I posted a response and the blogger seemed appalled - "the BBC's watching us - spooky" was his reply. But if you write something about us on the internet surely I have every right to read it and respond - that's not spooky.
I had to confront this the other day. We often have students with us on work experience. Twice in the last 6 months I've come across blogs in which people trailing the programme have written things about the team. When I approached one of these people, her reponse was that the blog was supposed to be just for her and her friends!
It wasn't the confidentiality issue that bugged me, but that anyone would think that we as programme makers don't have as much right as everyone else to read what you're all writing, especially if you are writing about us. So, what do you think? Stick it on your blog and I'll respond.
Daniel Pearl is deputy editor of Newsnight