Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Gakwer survivors form microfame posse

Everybody who knows me knows that I love the concept of online cliques. I’ve wasted a ridiculous amount of time trying to follow the blogrolls of people in the Gawker network, convinced that whatever flaws Nick Denton may have, no one can match his eye for talent.

Denton finds the best young writers on the Internet, “turns them out” in a matter of days, wrings out their youthful energy like an old man trying to squeeze the last bit of toothpaste out of a tube, and eventually leaves them as cynical burned-out shells of their former selves,

The pattern repeats, over and over, as the victims emerge from obscurity, fumble through their charming awkward phase, reach an apex of creativity and snark, and then, right on schedule, they develop a conscience and leave for greener pastures.

Then, after they leave, the Redemption Phase. They struggle for a while, move on to other jobs, and slowly come into their own as writers and editors.

Call me naive, but I believe in the ultimate triumph of talent over greed, and the ultimate superiority of substance over flash.

Whatever you may think of Denton and his recent missteps, no one can fault his eye for talent, and Gawker is the ultimate boot camp for Journalism 2.0.

I don’t have all the pieces yet, but I think the revolution starts with this list:

Microfame is an ecosystem, a collection of fans who contribute and invest themselves in the brand called you. The best current example of this esprit de corps in action is the diaspora of former Gawker editors who have picked up microblogging. Alex, Doree, Choire, Jess, Elizabeth, Emily, and Josh each have their own sites, but their cross-references and incestuous linking have created a blogger’s version of Entourage. The posse—or as media theoreticians call it, the network—creates influence that grows exponentially with its size. If fame is an investment, the members of your posse are the stockbrokers keeping your wealth properly distributed.

So, the Gawker Rat Pack is:

Alex Balk
Choire Sicha
Doree Shafrir
Elizabeth Spiers
Emily Gould
Josh Stein

To this I would add:

Alex Pareene
Ana Marie Cox
Lindsay Robertson
Maggie Shnayerson

and a dozen others that I haven’t identified yet.

Collect the whole set!

UPDATE: Unbelievable. I spent 20 minutes rounding up links to supplement Balk’s quote of this, then I locate the original source and find that Rex Sorgatz had already done it for me. Epic Stalker Fail.

Written by Michael B. Duff

June 21, 2008 at 00:09

Posted in Gawker

One Response

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  1. You can’t think of Gawker without also thinking of Richard Blakely. Or Nick McGlynn. Or, for that matter, anyone on randomnightout.com


    November 5, 2008 at 19:10

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