Gawker 101 — its history and influence
If you don’t know what to think about the recent shutdown of Gawker.com, then you must read Farhad Manjoo’s column, “Gawker’s Gone. Long Live Gawker.”
It is rich — full of history and examples that bring context to the development and decline of the digital service.
Here are a few tidbits from the column:
- “It was the first publisher that understood the pace, culture and possibilities of online news.”
- “Elements of its tone, style, sensibility, essential business model and its work flow have colonized just about every other media company, from upstarts like BuzzFeed and Vox to incumbents like CNN, The New Yorker and The New York Times.”
- “It was one of the first web publications to understand that the message was the medium — that the internet wasn’t just a new way to distribute words, but that it also offered the potential to create a completely new kind of publication, one that had no analogue in the legacy era of print.”
- “Gawker didn’t just publish stories to satisfy these audiences, it also brought readers into its coverage — mining their thoughts and feelings for comments, tips, clicks and insights into what to cover next.”
- “After Gawker, you didn’t take nights and weekends off. You couldn’t publish once a week. The internet was a beast that always needed feeding, and it demanded ever-hotter, ever-more-outrageous takes.”
If you think this says it all, think again. And read the full column for a clear understanding that to know where we’re headed, we need to know where we’ve been.