Our best work here at Gawker is not always our most popular. Sometimes those two indicia—popularity and quality—are negatively correlated, and sometimes they're aligned. It's a crapshoot. Below, you will find the a list of the best stuff we came up with over the past 12 months. It's a grab-bag of searing criticism, straight dirt, personal assaults, intense narrative journalism, dark essays, a dead dog, jokes we couldn't get out of our heads until we put them on the site, gag headlines, and screaming goats. We hate to disappoint the loyal readers who expect, as one wag recently put it, "the short newsy posts typical of Gawker." But this is the stuff the staff was really into.
For months now, we've run been publishing stories of unemployment, based on first-person reader submissions about struggles with joblessness. This week, a reader raised concerns that one of the writers who submitted a story might be trying to scam people. This one appears to be a false alarm, but we'd like to address the broader issue here.
The cast of the College Podcast "Student Loans For Beer Money" decide to poke fun at the typical students that attend New York University. Is it accurate? We'll let you be the judge of that!
Isn't this neat! On tonight's episode of Jeopardy—during the "Double Jeopardy!" round—there was a category called, "Blogs & Bloggers." You know where this is going, right? When the $1,600 answer came up... well, just watch and see.
Former Gawker commenter Newtojezebel has been banned for nine months now, which is probably some sort of record, but apparently people continue talking about her, all the time. She was banned for seeming a little unstable, so naturally she decided to contact former Gawker editor Alex Balk, via fax for some reason, to ask him to please email all of you to explain that she is not him. Balk, of course, is too busy writing on issues of great international import at Radar to do this on his own, so we've decided to help. You follow? Just read it!
Gawker Media Publisher (and acting Gawker Managing Editor) Nick Denton just sent word around that he's sold three sites. April Fool's! Except for real this time! Maura Johnston's Idolator, the music industry gossip and news site, goes to Buzznet—the "music-focused web and social
network" that recently bought Stereogum. Gridskipper, the urban travel site, goes to Lockhart Steele's Curbed network. And Wonkette, Ken Layne's political news site, is now Ken Layne's alone. If you're looking for official comment from us, we think all three sites will be better off under ownership by people who actually care about their respective topics (even though no one should ever buy blogs). Denton's internal email is below, because he's off this morning and why not beat the Observer to running it?
I know there's a non-disparagement clause in our agreement but, then again, Conde Nast promised they'd leave the formula that had made Jezebel so refreshing. So they can hardly expect us to stay silent. Anna, Dodai: if those craven purse-promoters have really driven you out, though I can hardly believe they would be so moronic, there's always a home for you back at Gawker Media.
It's a bittersweet moment. Jezebel has been Gawker's most successful ever launch, and Conde Nast's acquisition of the women's site is the ultimate validation. But it's heartbreaking to let Jezebel go, and part with Anna Holmes, Dodai Stewart, Moe Tkacik, Tracie Egan, Jennifer Gerson and Jessica Grose, the writers who brought a new tone and intelligence to coverage on the web of fashion, media and relationships. It wasn't an easy decision.
Valleywag now has a Tips Tool. Use with care.
pareene: omg sheila is in JAIL
pareene: ha! her mom just emailed me. she was picked up for drinking in public last night!
nick: and they put you in jail for that?
pareene: if they feel like it!
pareene: i mean usually no but it's not unheard of. she probably mouthed off.
pareene: ANYWAY we are not allowed to post about this, according to mrs mcclear
nick: well, someone is going to
nick: can sheila blog from jail?
Portfolio, which Condé Nast started because there were no other credulous business magazines, has a story on why media companies should buy blogs, which is of course entirely wrong. Here's why Gawker Media, TechCrunch, Boing Boing and every other blog making over a million dollars should never be for sale.