We are sad for you, New Yorker. Recall: The magazine released to the free internet an essay by Jonathan Franzen on the condition readers “like” its Facebook page. Simon Owens had the presence of mind to check how many “likes” the brand had before and after the stunt and noticed a gain of 16,000. These fans are worth anywhere from $3.60 to $136.38, Mr. Owens writes; we’d argue for the more conservative lower limit of $0.00.
Mr. Owens interviewed New Yorker spokeswoman Alexa Cassanos at the time, who said this. “We have about 200,000 fans on Facebook. Obviously we think that that number could be bigger,” she said. “And we’d also like to have people ‘like’ us or engage with us who aren’t subscribers… Ultimately we’re going to try to create more fans of our page.” Well Ms. Cassanos, it looks like the exercise was a success–and it didn’t cost anything but dignity.