Yes, This Blog Is Leaving

As reported in Forbes on Friday, the Freakonomics blog will be leaving 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, 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 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.


Full RSS feed? This is already the greatest news of 2011!


Why is everyone so excited over the full rss feed? Is clicking a link too much work when the reward is free access to content you consistently find interesting?


Nikki @ 22, when Freakonomics came to the NYT, there ensued one of the biggest controversies in the history of the Freakonomics blog. You can learn about it here:

So, some of these posters are being a little tongue in cheek about it and some are dead serious.

As for me, I am happy to have Freakonomics freely available regardless of the feed. In fact, being on the Times has likely brought in commenters that would never otherwise read the blog and I fear that the blog will lose that component now.


I can't wait for the full RSS feed to return.

For those wondering, I personally like the full RSS because I use a reader called NewsRob on my Android phone. It caches RSS content so I can read it offline. If I'm on the train without service then I can't get to the internet to read the articles.

It's similar to having a podcast and only being allowed to stream it over the internet instead of downloading it to your device.

Michael Radosevich

Good for you. The NY Times becomes less of a journalistic endeavor and more of a establishment organ every single day. You'll be better off without the Times as an albatross around you..

You won't have be associated with the Times and its cheerleading for the Iraq war, its refusal to use the word "torture" to describe torture done by Americans, and its desperate attempts to curry favor with the powers that be, whether Bush or Obama. Your credibility will double the day you leave the Times.

Jirka Lahvicka

I am not rich and cannot afford to pay for content, so this is great news for me, I will be able to continue reading this excellent blog! The original Freakonomics book rekindled my interest in economics.


Thank you for bringing back the full RSS feed!

Kevin Ryan

-AP, I agree about the RSS feed. My RSS feed had an interesting note today, with all the articles marked with an author name preceded with the word "by" and again, the word "By". Surely a formatting error in the PHP code, it lead to entries "By by Steven Dubner" and "By by Feakonomics"

I guess the web site is saying "By by" to everyone.

Brijendra Dharampuria

Best wishes for next business step. I will be together with your RSS feed.

Visit me:


This seems like a move in the right direction! I love the podcast and can't wait to get the full RSS feed back.


Personally, I'm still holding out for Freakonomics On Ice!


I love the podcast! Very informative yet enjoyable each week, well done putting it on.
One problem: The introduction.
"Shouldn't they be thanking us? The podcast is free."
Yes, it's free, dolt, but you all are supported by PUBLIC radio which is funded by WE the people who pay taxes. So, check your smarmy attitude, buddy, and thank us, and mean it - or go look for a job. Good luck with that, by the way.


Sorry to hear the blog is leaving. I enjoyed it greatly on the Times site, but the likelihood of my seeking it out as a separate website is small. I have a feeling there are other readers - albeit not ones as inclined to post here as the blog's devotees - in the same vote. Pity you'll lose the casual readership.


So I've heard Steve Levitt lost his position now that the Friedman Institute has merged with the Becker Center. See story: Any chance you guys will do an economic analysis of why Levitt lost his position? Did his marginal productivity of labor decline?

James Briggs

So this is a good think. It seems more not less Freakonomics.