'Chicago Tribune' Columnist No Longer 'Greene' with Web Envy

By Yovovich, B. G. | Editor & Publisher, February 14, 2000 | Go to article overview

'Chicago Tribune' Columnist No Longer 'Greene' with Web Envy


Yovovich, B. G., Editor & Publisher


'Parlor trick' draws e-mail messages from around the world By B.G. Yovovich Astriking lesson about the power of the Web that centers around syndicated columnist Bob Greene of the Chicago Tribune was recounted recently by Tribune Director of Planning and Development Owen Youngman.

Speaking at a panel on "The Changing Face of Media" at the Digital Frontier conference at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, Youngman described a Jan. 12 column by Bob Greene in which the journalist asked each member of his audience who was reading his column online to drop him an e-mail message. "I called him up about a day later and he said that he had been showered with responses from all 50 states, and that thousands of people had e-mailed him," said Youngman. In a subsequent column, Greene wrote, "I gave up trying to count the responses about an hour into the first morning the column went up on the Tribune's site. Every time I would close the screen for a few seconds, the mailbox would fill up again. This went on & thousands of messages & day and night, for three days. I'd open an electronic letter and by the time I'd finish reading it, the screen would be filled with more."

In addition to e-mail messages from readers in the United States, Greene also reported, there were missives from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China (and Hong Kong), Cyprus, England, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Scotland, Singapore, and Sweden. …

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