As reported in Forbes on Friday, the Freakonomics blog will be leaving NYTimes.com on or around March 1 and returning to its indie roots.
The Forbes piece and most of the followup coverage drew the seemingly obvious connection between the Times‘s impending metered model (some people call it a paywall), with the implication being that we were leaving to escape it.
But our move was largely motivated by something else entirely. In the 3.5 years since we came to NYTimes.com, the Freakonomics project has expanded to include a variety of content in various media – the books, a documentary film, a public-radio project*, etc. – and it was simply time to make all this stuff, along with the blog, accessible in one place. The plan is to mash up all these things (and perhaps a few more things – video and apps, e.g.) into one tight-knit little media channel known as Freakonomics.com. Our partner in the project is Chad Troutwine, an education entrepreneur, film producer and generally impressive guy who produced the Freakonomics film (which, BTW, is released on DVD today).
As for the blog itself: surely there will be some changes (we’ll return to a full RSS feed, for one), but much will stay the same. As always, we’re grateful for your suggestions, whether they’re about content, design, site architecture, the commenting system, etc. We will trust in the magic of technology to make all URL’s magically redirect themselves to the right place when the the time is right, but we’ll make announcements here to that end if necessary.
In the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy the flight. We’ll talk to you again once we begin our initial descent …
*Freakonomics Radio in particular has become a bigger deal than we thought it would be when it launched less than a year ago. It now includes a weekly podcast, a segment on Marketplace every two weeks, an upcoming series of five one-hour specials (in June) that will be heard on public-radio stations around the country (as long as program directors decide to carry it; dear program directors: please do!), and a few Freakonomics Radio live events: one in New York; one in L.A.; and one in St. Paul, Minn., Levitt’s hometown, which means there’s a pretty good chance we’ll rope him into doing something embarrassing onstage.