Be Edgy Or Be Damned

PR blogger Steve Rubel has some interesting things to say about Weblogs Inc., now that its founder Jason Calacanis has left the AOL-owned company.

Since AOL bought Weblogs Inc I feel it has started to lose that editorial bite it once had. The posts on blogs like TUAW and others have been very informative, but extremely safe.
Meanwhile, Gawker Media, Weblogs Inc’s chief rival, has been pushing the edge – which is what I look to a blog media company to do. After all, if they don’t they’re simply using blog technology to replicate traditional media. It’s the editorial sizzle here that makes the blog steak sell.

Rubel’s post has drawn comments from Nick Douglas, formerly of Gawker Media’s ValleyWag and Scott McNulty of AOL’s TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog).
Douglas said:

While Nick Denton and I both appreciate being called edgy (totally gets us laid), it’s hardly fair to compare Gawker to Weblogs Inc. One is the cute but pretentious corner cafe; the other is Burger King. No matter how clever that cafe is, it’s not gonna serve billions and billions.

McNulty said:

I can’t speak (or type) for anyone else about this, but as the Lead Blogger at TUAW I’m not going anywhere.
As for being edgy, TUAW was never as edgy as Valleywag and it never will be for a simple reason: our readers don’t want us to be. We have a slight edge and people seem to like that just fine, since it is all about the Apple news and not about who can be the snarkiest. Right?

It’s kind of odd that Rubel would see being edgy as the primary way for blog writers to differentiate themselves from mainstream media. His blog, Micropersuasion is the standard in his field, yet has no discernable edge.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.