Josh Stein carved an original niche in the vast field of internet sociology: Figuring out exactly what drives the tools who comment on the New York Times website. Drawing, surely, on his own experience with an admittedly smarter batch of internet nano-pundits, and wisely selecting a random-as-all-hell Jennifer 8. Lee article as his test subject, the former Gawker writer discerned a rough ontology of Web news commenters, expressed in four types: smarter than you, more insanely random than you, boring and bored. Stein's study is sure to revolutionize community management at, like, Slate and a couple of other sites, but in the meantime he has already moved on to the next unconquered research frontier: ranking sites based on the sadness of their commenters. Hint: YouTube is near the bottom. [Joshua David Stein] (This headline stolen, by the way, from a commenter.)
The object of your curiosity is a $21 variation on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich: a special, though almost every night it's on the menu, described as a "torchon of foie gras, macadamia nut butter, strawberry-vanilla jam, toasted brioche." At a restaurant known for taking culinary whimsy to a sometimes illogical extreme, this invention seems decidedly illogical: a kitschy bastardization of a fourth-grader's lunch.
Didja hear the one about the young writer who got her start as a big bad blogger—until a savage backlash from readers made her reroute her career? Well, check out the October Glamour, in which Gawker alum Jessica Coen calls for an end to the "unmitigated and unintelligent nastiness" you find online. How did Coen's Damascene conversion come about? WWD has the scoop.
The bizarre Gawker colonization of (or assimilation by!) New York magazine continues. Following in the footsteps of founding editor Elizabeth Spiers, who spent a year at the magazine, and her former Gawker co-editor Jesse Oxfeld, who was recently booted upstairs to the position of senior editor, Jessica Coen, most lately of Vanity Fair's website, is taking a position as New York Senior News Editor, managing their ever-growing online presence. (Forty-something staff and growing!)