The idea of a book of microblogging "tweets" really bugs some people. Our own Nick Douglas, author of the forthcoming TwitterWit, already knows that. Now a New York Times columnist is feeling the hate.
David Pogue, who makes those surprisingly entertaining gadget-review videos for nytimes.com, also has a joint book venture with technical publisher O'Reilly. Through this imprint, he plans a book of funny tweets from his Twitter followers. Sounds familiar.
Also familiar-sounding: A blogger is flabbergasted — utterly baffled! — that Pogue thinks he can make money off other people's online ephemera. Cue Russ Marshalek, a book-industry publicist with a blog on Creative Loafing:
This sort of attempt at an of-the-minute cash-grab really irks me. While publishers, authors and other various incidental folk in the book business are actually working, diligently and full of heart, to discover what it's going to take to turn the sinking ship of books around, Pogue's trying to ramp up excitement for 200 pages of @SomeGuy tweeting "hey I really like dogs."
Marshalek won't be buying the book then, presumably. Especially after Pogue blasted back at Marshalek's "nasython" in the comments:
So, let's see: my book project is an "of-the-minute cash-grab," meaning that I'm going to get rich off the book...
And yet… you're predicting that the book will tank!
Kind of a good point. Also: If a book of Twitter posts is vapid and unredeeming, what is a blog post trying to gin up outrage about such a book? You're just going to end up looking like a hypocrite, Russ. (Don't take it personally, it took us a couple of posts to figure that out ourselves.)