Why Buy The Publicist When You Can Get The PR For Free?

By Rachel Kaufman Comment

New YorkerSimon Owens picks up on an odd new trend in his post yesterday on MediaShift: fan blogs and fan twitter feeds.

Essentially: people who just looove a magazine to death are now putting a lot of time and effort into promoting that mag’s stuff online, for free.

Owens mentions @Vanityfairer, an anonymous 30-something writer who’s been Twittering since last year about her favorite VF content. There was speculation at one point that she was secretly a shill for the magazine, but VF has denied that they even know who she is. It seems like she really is just an honest, earnest fan.

Similar ventures include @Newyorkerest and Emdashes, both of which link to (and in Emdashes case, analyze/critique) the top content from The New Yorker.

This brings up an interesting dilemma. The content that these fans are creating is of clear value: @Vanityfairer has almost 3,000 followers and @newyorkerest boasts more than a thousand. But what motive does a magazine now have to leap into the Twitterverse if fans are doing it for them, for free?

To be fair, @vanityfairmag (VF’s official twitter feed) now has 8,000 followers. Perhaps, though, we’ll see a faceoff in the Twitterverse between the officially-sanctioned twit and the fan.