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Paul Krugman Fades Away

Now that bloggers have to pay for Paul Krugman’s opinions, they aren’t so interested in them.

Ever since the New York Times placed its opinion columnists behind the $49.95 / year TimesSelect wall in mid-September, Krugman has been the topic of fewer blog posts. Blogpulse’s trend tools show how often the phrase “Paul Krugman” was mentioned in blogs over the last six months:

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(link to the chart here)

It looks like there is a clear dropoff after mid-September. Krugman hasn’t had a “hit” since the wall went up almost two months ago. He had a dry spell in early summer, but it only lasted a month.

Alternative explanations? They exist. One never-forgotten lesson from stats class twenty years ago is that correlation ain’t causation. Perhaps Krugman just hasn’t written a controversial column since September (but … we can’t tell!). Also, absent statistical analysis, we could be seeing patterns where there really aren’t any (but we don’t think so).

Supporting our theory that the blame lies with TimesSelect is a similar dropoff for Frank Rich and David Brooks. Maureen Dowd had a hit with her NYT Magazine article theorizing that men don’t want to date or marry accomplished women — a notion (though not a new one) that has generated no end of posts in the last ten days or so.

We will give credence to one other theory — perhaps bloggers just got tired refuting nuttiness like Krugman’s “the French want to be unemployed” column last summer. Paying $49.95 to be irritated just doesn’t seem like a deal — we replaced reading his columns with slapping ourselves, and feel better for it.

For one-stop criticism of TimesSelect, visit KausFiles. On a good day, Kausfiles approaches Krugman’s numbers — see here!


Update: Marginal Revolution points us to a November 9 update by Kaus:

Are you impressed that TimesSelect has attracted “approximately” 135,000 paying*** customers?** At $45 a head (halfway between the introductory price and the regular price) that’s $6.1 million. Bigger than Arianna! But if someone–say, Richard Mellon Scaife–had come along a year ago and offered the NYT $6.1 million to radically limit the reach of its (largely) liberal columnists, would the paper have taken the deal? … P.S.: And is the future subscriber trajectory really up, up, up, as the Times’ columnists fade as personalities on the Web and get replaced by other, freer popular writers? …

Update 2: For another interesting blog-influence analysis, see our The Los Angeles Times: Losing Influence Online?.

Update 3: Marginal Revolution readers, although you wouldn’t know it from our posts on smoking hot French anchorwomen, we do write more serious material — see our I Knew I’d Use My Econ Major category!

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30 Responses to “Paul Krugman Fades Away”

  1. 1
    happyinmotion's Friends Says:

    [...] eed/” style=”text-decoration:none”> paulkrugmanfeed 1:12p Paul Krugman Fades Away http://independentsources.com/2005/11/07/paul-krugman-fades-away/Now that blogg [...]

  2. 2
    chad Says:

    Now that the 25 tp 40% unemployment in the ghettoes surronding Paris is being credited as one of the causes of the current riots I wonder how Krugman feels about that column.

  3. 3
    Marginal Revolution: Demand curves slope downward Says:

    [...] cellphones have a role in education? » Demand curves slope downward Check out Paul Krugman mentions in the blogosphere.  Posted b [...]

  4. 4
    Joho the Blog: Welcome to the long tail, Paul Says:

    [...] November 11, 2005 Welcome to the long tail, Paul IndependentSources runs a chart of Paul Krugman citations now that he’s been mo [...]

  5. 5
    The Club For Growth - The Club for Growth Blog Says:

    [...] Friday’s Daily News Curtains for Tax Cuts? – Michael Darda, NRO Paul Krugman Fades Away – Independent Sources Consistency & Free [...]

  6. 6
    onepotmeal > noted > Paul Krugman Fades Away Says:

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  7. 7
    The Club For Growth - Blog Says:

    [...] e=”026897″> Friday’s Daily News Curtains for Tax Cuts? – Michael Darda, NRO Paul Krugman Fades Away – Independent Sources Consistency & Free [...]

  8. 8
    EJ Says:

    Maureen Dowd’s article could be easily accessed by going though other parts of NYtimes.com without having to pay the TimeSelect fees. I’m pretty sure if the same were true for a Krugman article, his responses would rises again.

  9. 9
    Adam Cahn Says:

    I can’t think of a better outcome.

  10. 10
    Usophanes Says:

    “One never-forgotten lesson from stats class twenty years ago is that correlation ain’t causation.”

    Can we get this taught in 1st grade, along with 1+1=2 and “see spot run”??

    I think that alone would clear up 80% of the stupidity in the world.

  11. 11
    Correlation is Not Causation Says:

    This post on Paul Krugman and TimesSelect is more about influence than statistics, but this paragraph made it a winner in our book: Alternative explanations? They exist. One never-forgotten lesson from stats class twenty years ago is that correlation ain’t causation. Perhaps Krugman just

  12. 12
    A Senior Administration Official Says:

    YES! I’ve always thought that basic stats should be taught in high school along w/ practical applications, like “let’s see if we can skew this poll one way or the other depending on how we word the question.” Another missing course — Personal Finance, in which the one thing you hope they take away is “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Another case of eliminating 80% of stupid decisions if they can just remember that one thing.

  13. 13
    Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Old New York Times Columnists Don’t Die… Says:

    [...] Times Columnists Don’t Die…

    …they just fade away. Sorry, Kruggie…if anyone needs me, I’ll be tuning up the world&#821 [...]

  14. 14
    Paul Krugman is starting to disappear from the blogosphere. Corante New York: Says:

    [...] rs have to shell out cash to read the opinions of venerable op-ed pundits, is resulting in the slow disappearance of Paul Krugman from the blogosphere. It’s a natural cyc [...]

  15. 15
    Open Access News Says:

    [...] e decline was already evident in October (blogged here 10/14/05). Now Independent Sources cites November data to show that their impact continues to decline. Mickey Kaus [...]

  16. 16
    arZan Says:

    This is just a thought……

    I do subscribe to TimesSelect, and what if i copy paste each column I like into my blog as a point of discussion about something I want to say.

    Am i breaking any laws, and will i get into legal trouble ?

  17. 17
    A Senior Administration Official Says:

    My guess is that would be a violation of their copyright — I know you’re allowed to cull excerpts of published material for criticism, but that’s it. It would also probably violate their terms of service. Anyone?

  18. 18
    The Emirates Economist Says:

    [...] 14, 2005 Krugman goes under the cone of silenced :: Independent SourcesExcellent. [...]

  19. 19
    The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid Says:

    It’s all about “commodity fetishization,” and it’s all thanks to Krugman’s “snottiness.” And not a moment too soon. Some people think Krugman is starting to “disappear.”

  20. 20
    Economics Club Post Office: Read Inbox Mail Says:

    [...] how often the phrase ?Paul Krugman? was
    mentioned in blogs over the last six months:

    http://independentsources.com/2005/11/07/paul-krugman-fades-away/ [...]

  21. 21
    Six Meat Buffet Says:

    As long as French democracy doesn’t change,” Bayrou said, “these accidents are going to continue.” He left it there. Fun! UPDATES: Here’s a economic stat we can all enjoy; the price elasticity of Paul Krugman is real low. Schedenfrog! Heh indeed! Feisty: I assume you’re referring to the ones they didn’t abort. Posted by Cranky @ 8:01 pm 9 Comments | Permalink | Trackback URI

  22. 22
    rick bradley . com | viewer Says:

    [...] [link] 7:16p.m. Nov 14, 2005 Paul Krugman Fades Away [...]

  23. 23
    House of Murtha? - Plus--And the poor get podcasts. By Mickey Kaus Says:

    [...] unt”>url. Who knows? …Backfill: The idea for this item may well have been planted by an 11/7 Independent Sources analysis, which I’d filed away unde [...]

  24. 24
    Richard Silverstein Says:

    This is the flip side of Marty Nisenholtz’s boast about how successful TS has been for them w. 135,000 new subscribers. Now, he’s got to reckon w. the fact that his TS columnists are having a much reduced impact on the blogosphere. That’s a tough tradeoff. I know if I were Krugman, Dowd, Rich, et al it’d be a tradeoff I’d not be happy with.

  25. 25
    Tikun Olam-???? ????: Make the World a Better Place Says:

    (how can we know if it does constitute success since Marty’s refused to provide any information about what the service’s revenue goals are?) is the greatly reduced circulation of TS colunists within the blog world. Independent Sources notes that Blogpulse finds no mention of the phrase “Paul Krugman” in the past two months. IS also notes a similar drop-off for Frank Rich and David Brooks. It does make you wonder how accurate Blogpulse is when it can find absolutely no reference

  26. 26
    nettipäiväkirja: Paul Krugman Says:

    [...] a kylläkin runsaasti. Paul on ollut hyvin kriittinen presidentti Bushin politiikalle. Via Independent Sources [...]

  27. 27
    kelvintan73: The Blog demand curve for Paul Krugman op-eds slopes downwards! Says:

    [...] =next”> The Blog demand curve for Paul Krugman op-eds slopes downwards! This piece of news is interesting for it shows again how quantity demand is inversely re [...]

  28. 28
    Repiglican Roast: How the New York Times is Silencing Progressive Voices Says:

    [...] 114322059327291305″> How the New York Times is Silencing [...]

  29. 29
    Corante New York: Says:

    [...] rs have to shell out cash to read the opinions of venerable op-ed pundits, is resulting in the slow disappearance of Paul Krugman from the blogosphere. It’s a natural cyc [...]

  30. 30
    jerry brito | Paul Krugman Fades Away Says:

    [...] ut Home » Archives » November 2005 » Paul Krugman Fades Away More evidence that putting up a pay-wall will cost a publication its relevance [...]