Malcolm in the middle

Headshot of Tim Nudd

AdFreak had the good fortune of chatting with “marketing god” (hey, that’s what the press release says!) Malcolm Gladwell at Elaine’s last night, at Fast Company’s party for its January cover boy. (You can read the Fast Company story here.)

The New Yorker writer told the crowd that being on the cover of a glossy magazine has been great—but not so great for his doorman, who was bummed to find out that Gladwell is not, in fact, a rap artist. He also pointed out the irony of being publicly celebrated, since one point of his new book, blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, is that meeting a person can cloud one’s judgment of his or her true abilities. (The example in the book involves the surprising results of blind auditions for the Munich Philharmonic.)

Ignoring what might have been a plea to be left alone, we approached Gladwell (and yes, his hair) afterward and asked him—what else?—what he thinks of blogs. “When they’re good, they can be fantastic,” he said. “You get to read people you’d never come across otherwise—some really smart people. Of course, if it’s just some guy sitting in his armchair …” What’s his favorite blog? Off the top of his head, he threw out “In the Pipeline” by Derek Lowe. We looked it up when we got home. It’s all about pharmaceutical drugs and chemistry.

—Posted by Tim Nudd

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.