One thing Caroline O’Donovan might want to check out is how many Gawker Media staffers are friends with BuzzFeed staffers, and how that shapes the former’s commentary on the latter. That is at least as interesting as the snark v. smarm lens through which people tend to cover any perceived rivalry or animosity between the two outlets.
Haha wait I want to know your theory about this now. (Do I?)
Trotter, if you know how many Gawker Media staffers are friends with BuzzFeed staffers, why don't YOU just tell us that fact?
I am not actually sure!
Would Max know? He "crashes" BuzzFeed parties and he's probably sitting like 20 feet away from you, right? You should ask him, and then share the answer.
I think it would surprise some people—well, those who read Gawker’s coverage of BuzzFeed—if they were aware of the degree to which Gawker staffers socialize and are friends with BuzzFeed staffers. Those connections seem additionally noteworthy because we consider BuzzFeed our foremost competitor, not just a company worth covering (e.g., Fox News or the New York Times).
If you’re looking for a way in which this manifests, have a look at our staffer comments yesterday! The staffer who wrote that BuzzFeed post doesn’t seem to be friends with anyone at Gawker Media (judging by Facebook graph search). Would any of us have felt comfortable saying his post made us feel suicidal if he was?
On on a higher level, it’s been made pretty clear that we should be wary of criticizing or badmouthing BuzzFeed—at least on Gawker’s homepage—unless we can land a very clean and possibly devastating blow. Because otherwise we’d risk looking like bitter losers.
(This is also Ben Smith’s philosophy! Listen to any reporter or writer who’s ever worked with him—he’s completely obsessed with the idea of “punching up” or “punching down.” How a story comes across is just as if not more important than what the story actually says.)
None of this really adds up to a profound theory or whatnot, but I think it does indicate that Gawker, as well as BuzzFeed, doesn’t have an especially firm sense of where it stands in relation to the other. I mean, if we’re so different, why are so many of us friends with so many of them?
I agree with most of this. We tend to sound a bit like Stannis when we rail about Buzzfeed. I think at the very least criticism of Buzzfeed should be accompanied with an acknowledgment that by many measures (importantly and in specific: traffic) they're more successful than we are.
I don't—necessarily—agree that friendship prevents us from being critical. (Personally I am probably less likely to say that a post makes me suicidal if it's written by a total stranger? Obviously that doesn't hold for Sam.)
The direction of our punches is important, and something we're still figuring out as we grow. That's one thing Disputations is for—complaints and objections and arguments about things that matter to us, and need some amount of space and time, but that don't deserve the full institutional weight of Gawker and its hundreds of thousands of front-page visitors (and Facebook and Twitter followers).
I'm friends with a bunch of people who work at BuzzFeed, but none of the ones who suck.
Were any of your friends featured in that post that made you suicidal?
I dunno, I didn't make it very far down.
A couple of thought-out, introspective responses that give much to chew on. Cool beans.
Buzzfeed is fad. Fleet street scandal rags are for the ages.
I love you guys.
I think Caroline gets it better than any of you do.
Disputations is basically the same thing, only with the trademark Gawker snark in place of the trademark BuzzFeed smarm
I feel like I should note publicly somewhere (and why not here) that none of this is strictly speaking being "monetized" nor is "monetizing Taylor Berman's private jokes" really even among the immediate goals of Disputations.
I'm confused. Is disputations a place where we are just supposed to read your backchannel content, so should we be adding our own? Because we've been using two year old Awl threads.
No. You don't have to do that. Nick's freaking out for some reason. Run his ideas by me.
I think we're topped off on the Party Crasher story.
I thought I was trying too hard to be funny yesterday, but I was really neatly summing up the feeling those on the periphery of the Manhattan bloggerati might experience.
Huh. You're welcome.