Please Welcome the First Editor of Freakonomics.com

As stated here before, this blog was barely meant to be born at all, much less go on for two years.

But now we’ve decided to stick around for at least a couple more years — when, if all goes well, we’ll publish our next book.

Since we’re going to keep at it, we figured, we might as well try to make the blog better. So we’ve hired a full-time Freakonomics.com editor, Melissa Lafsky. She’ll be doing a lot of things that are visible and a lot that are less visible, all of which should make the blog more worthwhile. The changes will be gradual (some have already begun), but the overall effect, in time, should be substantial.

Those of you who read a lot of blogs are probably already familiar with Melissa’s work. A reformed Manhattan lawyer, she was the anonymous creator of Opinionistas.com, a blog where she chronicled the odd tribal customs of … Manhattan lawyers (primarily herself). She left legal practice and joined The Huffington Post, where she wrote (and edited) everything from film reviews to media commentary to reported profiles. She has also written for The New York Post, Salon, Wired, The Columbia Journal of American Studies, etc., and is working on a book based on her blog. She lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend and cat, each of whom receives regular play on her blog; the cat objects less.

Melissa also teaches a Learning Annex course on blogging that begins like this: Lesson One: Cancel Your Social Life. That is exactly the sort of work ethic we applaud here at Freakonomics.com. Please join us in giving Melissa a warm welcome.


newtronic

Welcome aboard, Melissa!

SteveMac

Welcome, Melissa!

And my congratulations to Steve and Steve on the wisdom of hiring Melissa, who is no doubt a formidible thinker in her own right, but who is also obviously a hottie (which of course would not have been a factor in hiring her).

egretman

Yes, but can she handle the twisted logic but beautifully expressed comments of one RandyfromCanada.

Sid

Welcome Melissa, you are hot!!

furiousball

I'm digitally curtsying at you...or something.

kona

I love the book, love you guys, but I hate Lafsky with a deep, abiding passion. I don't read HuffPo because she's affiliated with it and I can no longer read this site.

I will, however, eagerly await the next book.

dansage

Welcome Melissa. Excited to see all of the enhancements.

AP

Welcomoe Melissa from a fellow Newyorker. Actually I welcome myself too. I am a new reader (Of both your book and blog) and will be passing by often.

Hola.

Eclecticity

It was cool to see a friendly face. I began reading ML's blog a few months before she quit. She was probably my "first." Blog that is.

She mentioned recently that she was getting a new gig and here she was today. Great for you ML! DF

*As for the dude that hates you. There is one in every crowd. What a big baby. That guy has issues.

lilalia

Welcome Melissa. We are looking forward to seeing how you might improve an already excellent blog. That is not to say there isn't room for improvement, but it must be nice to ground the wheel a bit rounder, smoother, more perfect. All the best.

greg

life
no meaning
until someone really, really hates you.
guy must be a lawyer
who thinks he's really important.

lazarus7

Congrats on your new position, Melissa.

I followed your blog for quite some time (dropped it from my RSS reader for this one, oddly enough).

BRKelley

Regardless of how she might brighten this site up aesthetically, I fear you two have no turned over your destiny to someone from the Dark side of The Force. HufPo! Blasphemy!

I look forward to the next book, but reading this site will be my last. Au revoir.

Colonial Girl

Nice work, guys! Now buy her a desk and a chair so she can get up off the floor.

711buddha

What an unusual choice.

I never thought of Freakonomics as left or right. That focus on a reasoned perspective is the main attraction for me. The fact there's a little something here to offend everyone is just a bonus.

The selection of an editor with such a strong leftist bent is unexpected. Further unexpected is the legal background. In my experience, lawyers are for the most part bright, intelligent thoughtful people who have a proven ability to write well.

However, where a central theme of Freakonomics seems to be "just examine the data/facts and find the story it tells," legal training is about manipulating the data/facts to present an opinion by design. These strike me as mutually exclusive approaches.
This selection appears to be very much outside the box thinking. I haven't seen any evidence of the imposition of "hidden agendas." (BTW, given what we know of her, if she truly had hidden agenda wouldn't they have to be right wing?) Anyway, I have strong opinions that do not manifest themselves in my work. I don't see having the ability to express your opinion as a disqualifier to employment. So until I see some actual nefarious behavior, I think I'll reserve judgment except to note, again, what an unusual choice.

So welcome Ms Lafkey, I look forward to the coming site enhancements.

Read more...

newtronic

Welcome aboard, Melissa!

SteveMac

Welcome, Melissa!

And my congratulations to Steve and Steve on the wisdom of hiring Melissa, who is no doubt a formidible thinker in her own right, but who is also obviously a hottie (which of course would not have been a factor in hiring her).

egretman

Yes, but can she handle the twisted logic but beautifully expressed comments of one RandyfromCanada.

Sid

Welcome Melissa, you are hot!!

furiousball

I'm digitally curtsying at you...or something.