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Laid Off LA Times Blog Editor Recalls Now Bittersweet Bets

Long before Tony Pierce joined the LA Times, he started a personal blog in 2001 while working at E! that is known simply as “busblog.” Since being laid off from the newspaper, he has returned to that page with a sweet, lyrical vengance, keeping readers appraised about such matters as relaxing poolside during a weekday at the Roosevelt Hotel.

But Pierce also took time yesterday to provide the backstory on those amazing July comScore numbers registerd by his former employer. At the paper, he promised that he would only wear slacks to the office until at least two LATimes.com blogs broke the threshold of one million monthly page views. Once that bet was won and he was back into jeans, Pierce dropped a magic word into the newspaper website equation – WordPress:

so anyway one day i was talking about WordPress.

and i said, if you use WordPress i bet you it would skyrocket the popularity of the right blogs.

a very rich woman who i never met jumped out of the shadows and asked did someone say bet?

i said i bet you that in one year a blog that is now doing 1 million will do 10 million

and one that is doing zero million will do 10 million

if i put them on WordPress.

the gentlewoman said i will bet you your car that you cannot do that.

i said so my car for your car? she said, you cannot have my bentley if you win
but you can have my only real van gogh.

One year later, “Framework” and “Hero Complex” had each registered over 10 million monthly page views after being switched to WordPress. Pierce never did collect that real Van Gogh, but at least he now gets to ponder Friday priorities that are a tad sunnier that what he often had to deal with downtown.

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