Malcolm Gladwell has a reputation for writing deep, penetrating prose. He pores over academic journals and sociology papers, cranking out thoughtful airport-stand best-sellers. But that's the reputation of Gladwell the long-form writer—not Gladwell the Instant Message-er. Today, NewYorker.com readers got a taste of the latter Gladwell's style as he fielded questions from people on the site's live blog.

He was discussing the organizing power of social networks when he broke out some impressive emoticons:



It was a masterful use of the flustered/embarrassment face, only surpassed by his use of the lovable sunglasses-dude face a bit later: