Mafoo’s Blogosphere Rant

24/7 Wall St. has a list of the 25 Most Valuable Blogs. Interesting to see the breakdown here on how they make their money, readership, etc. Unsurprisingly, the top (by far) is Gawker Media. Aside from Lifehacker, I kinda think that the Gawker scene is a bunch of bullshit. I loathe their main site, which is really just sassy gossip with a condescending hipster air (I mean, Perez Hilton is nothing but gossip, but at least it doesn’t try to be anything it’s not, ya know?).

I guess the troubling thing for me, and a lot of people, is the fear of corporatizing the blogosphere. Gawker has 15 blogs, ranging from sex to gaming. Yes, they all kind of have that Gawker feel to them, but the tone is increasingly seeming less individual and more of a style. I think that writers entering that scene might become encouraged to adopt the sassy tone and the snarky attitude, at the loss of their own voice. I mean, yeah I’m kind of a snarky fellow, but when snark becomes the norm it loses its effect.

For example, take Pitchfork Media, a site that is blessedly past its prime. A few years ago, Pitchfork was your destination for finding new indie rock/pop and reading unique reviews of recent releases. Sure, some of the reviews were a little over-the-top, but that was their thing, so ok. It quickly devolved into a circle-jerk of: Who can write the most overwrought pretentious bullshit? Now its a joke. All of the hipsters who used to suckle at its indie-teat have now deduced that its now cool to hate Pitchfork and ditched them. I mean, they are still popular, but that scene is dead. (PS check out David Cross’s classic column in Pitchfork where he skewers them for their evil evil ways.)

Ok, its about time for me to be grasping for a point to hold this all together. Alls I’m saying: Centralization in the blogosphere is new, precarious territory. Fads are fleeting and site fads are even worse (how much time do you think is left for Stuff White People Like?). Where does Gawker go from here? (PS I also like Gizmodo and Fleshbot)

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