I read the book ‘Freakonomics’ several months ago and have been following the blog ever since. The book, written by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, is a fascinating collection of anecdotes and data pointing to some very interesting conclusions which are often very unexpected.
The book’s Web site and blog is even more impressive to me. Typically, readers who finish a book move on to the next one for knowledge or entertainment. This approach, though, allows the authors to take the concepts in the book and build a true following around them that lasts much longer. The authors blog about reader comments, current events (and the book’s applicability), and new research interests that one of the authors is entertaining. The writing is more than entertaining. The blog (and its use of RSS) are allowing the publisher and authors to build a following (if not a fan base) that perfectly positions them for ancillary product sales or future book releases. This goes well beyond that of a typical book that offers a Web site with an author email address. I’m sure that other authors and publishers are watching this approach. I predict that many will (and should) emulate it in the not-so-distant future.