A Pre-Post-Mortem for Gawker ⇥ newyorker.com
Adrian Chen, writing for the New Yorker:
I worked at Gawker for four years, walking the tightrope. The immediacy of publishing encouraged me to be extremely sure of arguments and facts and to write things I truly believed, since I had nobody to fall back on but myself. And, in order to find an audience, I had to be entertaining and provocative. At the site’s best, these two often conflicting impulses encouraged writing with a spontaneity, humor, and self-assuredness that wasn’t like anything else on the Internet. At its worst, it led to gratuitous meanness and a bad lack of self-awareness. I know I’m talking in generalities, but looking back on one’s old writing is rarely a fruitful prospect, even when it was produced under the most considered circumstances. There are plenty of posts that I’m proud of, and others that make me cringe to think about. Regardless, I can’t imagine having had a better place to develop as a journalist than Gawker.