I had my first blogging brush with fame today. I was presenting some lectures to a very interested/interesting group of students at the Australia-NZ School of Government , held at the College of Art which is part of Griffith Uni’s Southbank campus. Not only had several of the students (senior public sector people) read the blog, but someone came up to me in the cafe, asked “Are you John Quiggin?” and introduced himself as a reader.

It’s puzzling to me that, although the stats say the blog has far fewer readers than the Fin Review (where I’ve been writing for ten years) my daily experience is the opposite. Far more people in my circle of friends and acquaintances seem to be aware of the blog than have read the column.

14 thoughts on “Fame?

  1. I suspect a large proportion of the Fin’s readership doesn’t read the columns. They buy the paper for other reasons — news and status.

  2. Oooh! This evening on the City Cat I wondered if I’d rate a mention.

    (and you write a column for some sort of fish enthusiast’s magazine do you? ;^)

    best wishes,


  3. I’ve never read your Fin Review column before I must admit, but I come to the blog nearly every day. Well done in keeping it so interesting.

  4. For what it’s worth, one of my colleagues told me at a faculty meeting yesterday that “he reads Crooked Timber, mostly for John Quiggin.”

  5. ‘…someone came up to me in the cafe, asked “Are you John Quiggin?” ..’

    A pretty straightforward matter of elimination, I should think. Ned Kelly and Gregory Rasputin are both dead, and it’s clear your friend isn’t a reader of Hergé.

  6. The light finally dawns!

    All along, I had vaguely been thinking about AP Herbert’s most vexatious litigant, Albert Haddock, who was also somewhat nautically inclined. Now that it’s cleared up, the resemblance is striking indeed.

  7. James, believe it on not, the Fin actually has some great stuff amongst/despite the stock figures, market watch notes, and lifestyle articles that are out of my league. It has an unusual quality which might be described as being written for the intellectually competent.

    If you want to test your assumption, buy the Friday edition for a few weeks and read the review section. To my mind, it’s way ahead of any of the other “review” sections on offer. It’s hard to believe that that range and depth would appear in an australian daily.

    I wouldn’t have started reading the AFR if it weren’t available at work. But now, I make sure I see Fridays, at least. You might like it.

  8. The thing is, of course, natch and et cetera, the Fin is not interactive. So we take the same stuff – J. Quiggin in full flight – in the two media, and people prefer this one.

    Dialogue rools..

  9. I buy the Fin because I can write off the sub as a tax deduction and because I invest in shares. That said I turn straight to the opinion page. They have a policy of publishing diverging and contrasting views more than any other paper.

    They also have multiple coverage of important issues. For example when Cancun (World Trade Organisation debacle) was on the go I remember 11 articles in one edition.

    Also being able to access the stuff online, including their archives, is worth something.

  10. I think Jim Birch is spot-on about the AFR. I made the mistake for a few years of thinking it was just financial news, and so I didn’t read it. Then I had a look at discovered that it is a lot more than that – Australia’s best source of news on more high-brow, intellectual topics.
    And Jim’s also right about Friday’s edition – can’t miss the Friday AFR.

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