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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Gawker, Which Gave Us Julia Allison, Emily Gould,and Owen Thomas, Closed This Week

Gawker, Which Gave Us Julia Allison, Emily Gould,and Owen Thomas, Closed This Week I have to admit I never thought I would miss Gawker, after the Hulk Hogan Sex Tapes case, but now I do. And because when I think of it, I think more about the people who came to comprise what it was. They ushered in a style of blogging that some call "oversharing" and at the same time a number of vloggers were doing the same on YouTube. Either the blogger told a lot about themselves or was telling a lot about someone else. Take Julia Allison. Gawker bloggers had a field day writing posts that made you wonder "Why am I reading this shit?", but you kept reading anyway. I once accused Allison of trolling tech events in search of white guys she thought were tech and rich. To say the least it got her attention, and Meghan Asha's too - but I think now both of them see my point. For the few blacks in tech, or in this case media tech, it was case of feeling like you were on the outside even as you were in --and feeling like you were not seen, even if you had a blog and were one of six black folks out of 300 at 2006's Vloggercon San Francisco. Uh. Me. Vlogging got me on the CNN / YouTube Democratic Debates. And the NY Times Kit Seele wrote about me but didn't use my name - just referred to two vlogs I made as if I was two separate nameless black guys. Owen Thomas, then the Editor of Valleywag, a Gawker blog, took up my defense and attacked the NY Times. Kit sent an email apology. Owen's cocktail parties are where I met a number of fascinating people. Foremost amount them Sara Lacy, who now runs Pando Daily, but was making a name for herself with TechCrunch and Business Week. Back then Emily Gould was the Gawker editor until she quit and then faced the wrath of founder Nick Denton, who felt inclined to blog about who she slept with. Not cool. Gould wrote blog posts attaching Nick Denton and in the process delighted a page view hungry New York Times. Then she jumped over to The Observer, which blasted my friend (I guess we are still friends) Rachel Sklar. At that point I jumped in and at SF Gate.com called Rachel the hottest woman in the World. Made a vlog too. Through all of that I never net Ms Gould, though we were Facebook friends until my stream of filtered blog content became too noisy for her and she jumped ship. Gawker was the blog who's very personal style made for personal connections of people who were either blogger, subject, or echosphere dweller (me). I think that is to be celebrated and studied. It's a way that forms a good business model - until the people get sick of each other.



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