ES: The number of people I can name who got a book contract and were only writing blogs pre-contract is in still the single digits, so I don’t think there has ever been “a book contract for every blogger.” I’m not sure what the media fascination with that is, and at least one of my writer friends has been repeatedly characterized as a “blogger with a book deal” despite the fact that none of the publishers who saw his manuscript even knew he had a blog. Most bloggers are writers, and that some of them might also be capable of writing good books strikes me as fairly intuitive, but it’s not something that’s happening frequently or even regularly. Let’s say there have been 20 blogger deals this year—and i think that number’s high. That’s 20 out of X book deals that get done in a year? That’s not a trend; that’s a drop in the bucket.

Regarding bloggers’ 15 minutes — I think the media focus on the format is dying down, which means it’s maturing. I’m on record somewhere in 2002 as saying that the blog bubble was going to burst any minute, and Nick Denton is on record agreeing with me —and that was well before we started Gawker. But you’re not going to stop hearing about blogs; they’re just going to become such a fixture that they’re no longer unique and they’re no longer portrayed as an isolated media phenomenon.

LCB: Monday is Halloween. Last year, according to your Mediabistro bio, you dressed as Judy Miller — “short bob wig, handcuffs, and a can of Raid labeled ‘precursor element.’” Who will you dress as this year?

ES: One of my friends suggested that I dress as Judy Miller again, but this time with a knife sticking out of her back.


Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.