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Malcolm Gladwell Officially Loses Battle with Twitter | Village Voice


Malcolm Gladwell Officially Loses Battle with Twitter


​Let us all take a moment in honor of irony, that cute little concept that makes awkward things so funny, like when Outliers author Malcolm Gladwell takes a giant crap on Twitter in his recent New Yorker interview and blog post, and shortly thereafter, has his working methodology outed by Jonah Peretti (co-founder of Buzzfeed and Huffington Post) at a party last night via…Twitter.

So: after relentlessly working the idea that social media is unable to effectively catalyze social change, and after admitting he doesn’t have the time or want to manage a Twitter account, word leaks VIA TWITTER that his ideas and research are outsourced. I mean, we kind of knew that? But not to this extent.

Gladwell even stated in said New Yorker piece, “Small Change”:

“There is strength in weak ties, as the sociologist Mark Granovetter has observed. Our acquaintances–not our friends–are our greatest source of new ideas and information. The Internet lets us exploit the power of these kinds of distant connections with marvellous efficiency. It’s terrific at the diffusion of innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, seamlessly matching up buyers and sellers, and the logistical functions of the dating world. But weak ties seldom lead to high-risk activism.” 

Maybe he was lending a hand to his own ghost-ideaperson.

This is kind of like that James Frey/Oprah moment when she realizes she’s been duped, only this time,

  1. It’s not that Gladwell fabricated anything or
  2. Like anyone is really shocked by these kinds of revelations anymore, but
  3. There is a multi-million dollar legacy that has turned out to be largely the by-product of someone who isn’t Malcolm Gladwell, the author. Which goes without saying: Maybe Gladwell should invest in a Twitter, instead? He might find some solid ideas on it.
And for what it’s worth, James Frey’s ghostwriting career is going pretty well these days, and no doubt, those behind Snooki’s forthcoming literary venture will no doubt look to employ the same stripe of help Gladwell does, too. Literature makes for strange bedfellows, no?

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