The tail end of this week’s long-tail wagging

The tail end of this week’s long-tail wagging: Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson, now an official “best-selling author” of the book, The Long Tail, recaps a week of debate on the blogosphere over Lee Gomes’ Wall Street Journal column challenging some of, in Anderson’s words, “the margins of (his) thesis.” Chris was nice enough to point to my earlier posts (and here) that observed the advantage Chris enjoyed after the column appeared because he had a blog, while Lee was forced to respond to Chris’ rebuttal a day late, and then via e-mail on someone else’s weblog.


The whole episode was an interesting and in many ways educational experience. The big lesson, as Rex Hammock points out, was the advantage of having a blog. The WSJ got the first word, but the conversation continued out here in the blogosphere, both in my comments and on other blogs thanks to the very classy decision of the WSJ editors to put a link to my response in a prominent box in Gomes’ story. Gomes, not having his own blog (by WSJ policy perhaps), was forced to respond by asking blogger Nick Carr to post an email from him the next morning, which was too little, too late.

However, the real bottomline to the story is this, according the Chris, “As the salvos flew yesterday I got news that my book, which is currently #10 on the WSJ non-fiction bestseller list, will move to #3 next week. Now I’m getting email from other authors asking if I can get Gomes to attack them, too.”

By the way, I don’t think the WSJ has a policy against a columnist having a weblog. While I can’t recall who, I know I’ve seen at least a couple blogs by columnists there. I searched for the two I thought had blogs, but it was not them — I’ll add to this post if I can recall them later.

[cartoon via:]

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