Saturday, December 14th, 2002
I had a great 36 hours in New York. Munched oysters in the Oyster Bar with Megan McArdle. Learned that she, like Glenn Reynolds, is a speed reader. Megan started reading at 2 1/2 years and can read 6 text-book pages in a minute. She thinks that as bloggers get to know their peers, there will be more mergers among complimentary voices (as between Galt and Mindles Dreck.) We agreed blogs led big media in upending Raines and Lott; wondered how to prove it? Then to 123rd street for dinner with Rick Bruner and Elizabeth Spiers. I enjoyed two whiskies and split a bunch of appetisers with Rick. We watched Elizabeth manage 55% of a giant burger. She gave us the scoop on Gawker, which sounds like a brilliant cross between Romenesko and Page Six. Rick and I paid $7 for a sixpack of Heinekens at a bodega and noticed that single bottles of some Belgian beer cost $8 a bottle. Who buys that stuff? We stayed up late as Rick generously shared a warehouse full of tips on web marketing and Microsoft shortcuts. Friday morning, I met a senior official in blogdom. He noted that “blogs move markets” and shared a number of insights into the relationship between blogs and traditional branding. More on this in a future post. Then I walked to few blocks to munch cookies with Amy Langfield. Her blog is on ice while she figures out how her professional identity relates to her blog writing.
Coming home on the train, I read the New York Post (“The drumbeat that turned this story into a major calamity for Lott, and led directly to President Bush’s welcome disavowal of Lott’s views yesterday, was entirely driven by the Internet blogosphere”) and New York Times (“without the indefatigable efforts of Mr. Marshall and a few other Internet writers, Mr. Lott’s recent celebration of segregation would probably have been buried as well.”) Yes, my spine tingled. Megan, here’s our proof. Whether blogs did it or not, we’re given credit by both left and right. In the science of opinion-making, appearance is reality.
In 2002, we’ve seen blogs move national markets. In 2003, look for blogs to move local markets. That’s when the fun really begins.