To me, what makes a blog a candidate for winning the popular tag is having a relatively narrow and focused theme. The more directed, the easier it is for their target audience, whoever that may be, to find and maintain interest throughout the blog’s posts. Some blogs that I’m into are appealing to me for that reason. Engadget, for instance, is all about computers and technology, which is sort of my vice. The same could be said about Gawker, except instead of technology, substitute in sarcasm, snide remarks, and the oh-so easy to hate hipsters of Manhattan.
Gawker, the “Manhattan Media News and Gossip” blog is popular for a few reasons. First off, it’s very focused. The content is all gossip, stories, and rumors regarding the “in” crowd of Manhattan. The writing is clever, witty, and well put together. Also, the blog is quite controversial, but not in the same sense that a political blog is. It’s controversial more along the lines of whether or not it’s worth reading, or whether or not what they’re saying is true, or whether or not is “proper” to discuss people’s lives in the manner it discusses them. For lots of people, that’s enough reason to read it, and that’s why it succeeds.
What keeps Gawker entertaining is the constant stream of updates, and the integration of photos and video in the posts. My favorite post, “The Strokes Really Speak To Graydon Carter’s Emo Kid Spike” is a prime example of the site’s content and style of humor. The post is a video found by one of the site’s contributors. You’ll really have to watch it get the full effect. Oh, but don’t watch it if you’re around children, at least the second half (there’s a brief image of pornography thrown in for absolutely no reason by Spike).
I, for one, like this site for it’s purely sarcastic and sardonic tone. I’ve always been annoyed by the arrogant and overly hip attitudes of some New Yorkers. I could go into a whole discussion of how New York’s music scene is open mic night when compared to the vibrant music scene of Minneapolis and St. Paul, but that would take way too long.