Wired rushes Julia Allison cover online — but who's using whom?

Wired's August cover, featuring Internet nobody Julia Allison, wouldn't normally be going online for another week or so, when the ink-on-dead-trees version hits subscribers' mailboxes. (How pre-postindustrial!) We asked Wired executive editor Bob Cohn why the magazine rushed it online. He told us the posting got pushed up a few days owing to "all the attention online" for the as-yet-unseen cover story — whose subject is how to stir up attention online.

The story had been in the works for three or four months, said Cohn, long before Julia caught Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson's attention with a marshmallow lollypop. "All the more reason she's eager to be photographed with him!" Cohn explains. "She was very good at her courtship, but we were already interested in using her as a case study for self-promotion."

There you have it: Both parties can feel they've smartly played the other. Wired can sit pretty with the increased Web traffic, and Julia gets the pony she always dreamed of: a national magazine cover! Her starter startup NonSociety.com, the ostensible news peg here, has nothing to do with it. Julia's blog business is a fig leaf for her most reliable product release: Julia Allison.