Mosaic / Reviews / February 5, 2014

Slacker hub of the week: Gawker Media

There’s a blog for every reader, and chances are you’ve come across one of the eight blogs run by Gawker Media.

During sparks of procrastination, reading a quick blog post with an eye-catching headline for five minutes provides a slippery slope into hours of sifting through similar, equally luring articles and blogs. Gawker Media blogs provide a near absolute outlet for blog addiction.

Each Gawker-owned blog, which vary by theme and audience, follows the same format: logo in the left with a static list of top stories below it and a scrollable list of recent posts on the right. Each article generally dedicates more space to photos than text and the static bar to the left features “recommended” stories to accompany the article being read. The clickability of every recommended article is what gets readers to continue reading.

Gawker Media’s openness to user contribution further adds to the appeal of the blogs. Like traditional news sources, a good portion of content comes from reader feedback and Gawker furthers that relationship with the readership by creating a “community” section that publishes and features stories written by users themselves. This idea has been adapted by newer, equally community-driven websites such as Buzzfeed.

Gawker — The original, anonymous Gawker blog functions on celebrity gossip, trending topics and glaring headlines in attempts to draw readers in. In a sense, Gawker is the newsier, older relative of Buzzfeed. Their tagline “Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s news” encapsulates the website’s emphasis on trends and fast uploads rather than substance.

Despite its drawbacks, Gawker’s timeliness and accessibility to less serious readers offers a more productive and informative mode of procrastination for both casual and heavy internet users.

Deadspin — Despite sounding like a retro-zombie horror flick, Deadspin is Gawker’s resident sports blog. With personable sports critique in the website’s “The Stacks” section and detailed game day recipes in the “Foodspin” section, Deadspin boasts an engaging repertoire of articles.

Gizmodo — Originally an independent website, Gizmodo is focused on technology news in the context of design. Like similar technology blog Engadget, Gizmodo draws in technology enthusiasts with their reviews and tips.

Gizmodo is also most known for leaking photos of the iPhone 4 prototype in 2010.

i09 — This site focuses on science fiction and fantasy and is marketed towards fans of the genre, comic book geeks, movie buffs, “futurists” and artists. Like Gizmodo, i09 highlights technology news, but in the context of scientific breakthroughs and trends. One of the highlights of i09 is the “concept art” section, which features otherworldly art and designs by fans or original art by famous animators.

Jalopnik — One of the more niche blogs, Jalopnik focuses on car news. In line with other Gawker blogs, Jalopnik incorporates humor and trends into its stories, which can be inferred through the blog’s play on the words “jalopy” and “beatnik.”

Jezebel — Probably the most distinct of the eight, Jezebel targets women and feminists in a blog that focuses on “Celebrity, Sex, [and] Fashion.” One could simply compare the site to a feminist version of popular women’s fashion magazines such as “Cosmopolitan” or “Vogue,” but the appeal of Jezebel is its response to the vapid nature of the above.

Parodied on “30 Rock” in the guise of “JoanOfSnark.com,” Jezebel went under fire for criticizing “The Daily Show.” Recently, the website has been criticized for offering $10,000 for unretouched photos of Lena Dunham’s “Vogue” photo shoot. In response, Dunham found Jezebel’s actions as a waste of resources for “faux altruism.”

Kotaku — “The Gamer’s Guide,” Kotaku focuses on video game news. With articles on anime, cosplay, conventions and Asian culture, the blog also focuses on the subcultures of gamers and otakus.

Like its Gawker siblings, Kotaku’s overtly opinionated section “TAY” (for “Talk Amongst Yourselves”) features witty and oftentimes amiable long form pieces ranging from the implications on owning a Gamecube to Pokemon Tournaments and rowdy fans. Following Gawker’s focus on community-driven content, Kotaku also runs open forums through IRC chatrooms.

Lifehacker — When you’ve had enough with procrastinating, head over to Lifehacker, where productivity software, resources and tips are curated for (and by) users.

Unlike the other blogs, Lifehacker is a great resource for learning skills and staying productive. It spotlights successful entrepreneurs and their work habits, provides resume and job interview tips, creating and staying on a budget, etc.

One of the more illustrious and praised Gawker sites, Lifehacker has been named by Time Magazine as one of the “25 Best Blogs” of 2009 and one of the top sites of the United States MENSA.

The site should not only be read frequently but bookmarked for easy access.

Casey Mendoza
Casey Mendoza is a senior majoring in political science and double minoring in philosophy and Chinese. This is her fourth year working at The Knox Student, previously as a photographer and photo editor. Casey is the recipient of two awards from the Illinois College Press Association for photo essays. During the summer of 2014, Casey also worked as a photography intern for the Galesburg Register-Mail, covering local community events and working alongside award-winning reporters and photojournalists. During the winter and spring of 2015, Casey studied journalism and new media in Washington DC, learning more about the world's political arena, networking and gaining a greater understanding of the field. There, she worked as a Production Assistant at a documentary film company, The Biscuit Factory. During the summer of 2015, Casey will help produce a documentary on airline reservation technology for the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC).

Tags:  deadspin gawker gizmodo i09 jalopnik jezebel kotaku lifehacker media procrastination site

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Casey Mendoza
Casey Mendoza is a senior majoring in political science and double minoring in philosophy and Chinese. This is her fourth year working at The Knox Student, previously as a photographer and photo editor. Casey is the recipient of two awards from the Illinois College Press Association for photo essays. During the summer of 2014, Casey also worked as a photography intern for the Galesburg Register-Mail, covering local community events and working alongside award-winning reporters and photojournalists. During the winter and spring of 2015, Casey studied journalism and new media in Washington DC, learning more about the world's political arena, networking and gaining a greater understanding of the field. There, she worked as a Production Assistant at a documentary film company, The Biscuit Factory. During the summer of 2015, Casey will help produce a documentary on airline reservation technology for the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC).




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