Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, July 03, 2021

judge jiggleYes, that’s Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, rendered in bobblehead form.

Very good likeness. And given the crackpot opinions Scalia has been dropping in court and out of it, I’d say the wonky head-bounce action is most appropos.

The figurine is the product of The Green Bag, a legal journal that takes itself, and the practice of law in general, none too seriously. Thus it uses custom bobbleheads of SCOTUS Justices as effective giveaways for ensnaring subscribers.

But it’s the bobbleheads that have pushed up subscription numbers in recent years. In 2003, the journal had 700 subscribers. Today, it’s more than twice that — about 1,500.

“Of our new subscribers, I would guess that the majority of them first heard of the Green Bag or took interest in it from hearing about the bobbleheads,” Kosma said. The journal finances production through its $35-a-year subscriptions.

Me, I can’t wait until the Souter bobble comes out.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/03/2021 11:36:30 PM
Category: Comedy, Political, Publishing
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Is there a blog bubble, and is it getting ready to burst? Gawker Media kingpin Nick Denton thinks so, and is enacting some decidedly old-media maneuvering on his blog publication empire to guard against the pop.

“Better to sober up now, before the end of the party,” he said in announcing the realignment. As of last Friday, Sploid, a tabloid-infested site built on screen shots, and Screenhead, an aggregator of video clips, were put up for sale. Editors at Gawker, Wonkette, Gizmodo, and Gridskipper were moved or replaced. At a time when mainstream media companies are madly baking their own piece of blog pie, Mr. Denton was summarily executing underperformers.

“We are becoming a lot more like a traditional media company,” Mr. Denton said last week. “You launch a site, you have great hopes for it and it does not grow as much as you wanted. You have to have the discipline to recognize what isn’t working and put your money and efforts into those sites that are.”

It’s blogging for grown-ups. That includes keeping to a schedule:

Blogs, as they became a medium unto themselves, have generally been characterized not just by idiosyncrasy, but also by a publishing schedule known only to them. Not so at Gawker Media, where the writers publish early and often, delivering on the critical expectation that readers will always find new content.

A key to success that I’ve always advocated, and certainly tried to adhere to here. On those rare occasions where someone’s asked me what it takes to build a highly-trafficked blog, the one thing I’ve advocated above everything else — more than even content focus — is frequency of publication. The way I frame it: If you’re looking to gain an audience, you have to accept that you’re no longer blogging on your schedule, but rather on your readers’ schedule.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/03/2021 11:01:27 PM
Category: Bloggin', Business
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One of my quirks is that I have practically no innate sense of physical dimensions. If you ask me to estimate the square footage of a room, or the distance between two places, I’m hard-pressed to come up with anything even close to reality. Is that house 1,200 square feet, or more like 5,000? Is it a mile between the gym and the restaurant, or actually 5 miles? Beats me.

Given that I’m still getting used to the lay of the land on New York City streets, that deficiency can foul me up. Thus it was today, when I learned of a sporting good store I wanted to check out. The address: 120 West 72nd Street. Since my office is on West 57th, I figured it wasn’t too far a walk.

Fifteen minutes and three-quarters of a mile later, I learned that it wasn’t such a short stroll after all. Especially not on a summer afternoon with plenty of sun beating down.

It’s not the first time I underestimated the distance between blocks. Won’t be the last either. I guess I’ll figure it out eventually. Anyway, I’ve developed a pretty good idea of positioning of subway stations around town; and if they aren’t nearby, there’s always the cabs.

The kicker: The store didn’t have what I was looking for. All that heavy sweating for nothing.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/03/2021 10:20:35 PM
Category: New Yorkin'
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