It all started with a terrible cliché: "I have a dream," I wrote in a blog post for Wired's Epicenter blog. "An idea. A maybe great notion. Actually, as Auggie March might say, 'I got a scheme.'" I was proposing to start a Twitter book club. Some people—enough people—liked the idea, so I created One Book, One Twitter, which became the model for 1book140, where the notion of democracy—of voting—is a central premise.
If you click on this link to that original post, you'll see, right at the top, a tweet to the handful of people then following me. It's an update on the voting to that point. What's funny is that at the time we were convinced we'd be spending the month reading Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. Then Neil Gaiman heard about the project, and suggested that his million-plus followers stop by Wired and vote on his book, American Gods, instead.
You can imagine what happened next. No other book even came close. It wasn't just a landslide; it was like aglacier calving. Gaiman himself (rather selflessly) even suggested voting for other books just to make it a fair fight, to little effect. Thousands of Gaiman fans came, they voted, and then we never heard from them again. How many of Gaiman's followers stuck around to read and discuss his book? One Book, One Twitter had about 12,000 followers at its peak, so a very generous guesstimate would put the proportion at around one percent.