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These Kids are Awl Right
October 25, 2010 10:05 AM   Subscribe

“I’m surprised that there aren’t a lot of independent, owner-operated editorial Web sites out there,” Mr. Sicha said. “We will be two years old in April, and we are self-sufficient and stable. That’s pretty fast.” The NYT on the ups and downs of The Awl, which happens to be launching their new site, The Hairpin, today.
posted by geoff. (41 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
“I’m surprised that there aren’t a lot of independent, owner-operated editorial Web sites out there,”

What do you call a blog, then?
posted by LSK at 10:06 AM on October 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


It should be noted that I believe Matt was espousing the philosophy that you can make nice money on the internet without having to chase investors or looking to constantly sell to Facebook/Google/whatever. I tried in vain to find the link before posting this, but it is an idea that I rarely hear repeated for some reason.
posted by geoff. at 10:08 AM on October 25, 2010


What do you call a blog, then?

An easy way to get your writing online for free, but not even close to the kind of edited site Matt seems to be talking about.
posted by mediareport at 10:18 AM on October 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Is it destroy the NYT with their own words day and I wasn't told?

First the vacuous pyramid family, now the revelation that people run blogs for money. I'm off to troll todays paper for something that makes the Times look clueless so I can do my part to destroy dead tree publishing. Slightly more difficult on a Monday without Sunday Styles as a hunting ground.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:21 AM on October 25, 2010


YOU MEAN MEFI'S OWN RJREYNOLDS
posted by mathowie at 10:22 AM on October 25, 2010


Is the Hairpin their answer to Jezebel? I don't see any explanation of the site or the angle, I just noticed female authors talking about stuff in NYC like the Awl.
posted by mathowie at 10:24 AM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


“I’m surprised that there aren’t a lot of independent, owner-operated editorial Web sites out there,”

I guess it helps if you have pals at the NYT whom you can call on to drive traffic to your next venture.
posted by felix betachat at 10:27 AM on October 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


The internet really doesn't have a lot of pictures of cats.
posted by Artw at 10:28 AM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Site seems to be.. pinned.
posted by hanoixan at 10:29 AM on October 25, 2010


"There is that name for one thing — both ancient and fusty with the bonus of being hard to pronounce."

For real, David Carr? You find a three-letter, one-syllable word hard to pronounce? You gotta be foolin' ...
posted by barnacles at 10:34 AM on October 25, 2010


All or arl?
posted by Artw at 10:37 AM on October 25, 2010


ancient and fusty

What? I'm sorry, if it's on a Swiss Army Knife it's neither ancient nor fusty.

with the bonus of being hard to pronounce

Hard to pronounce!? It's pronounced exactly the same as the word all. What nonsense.
posted by jedicus at 10:40 AM on October 25, 2010


please be a non-shitty version of Jezebel oh please oh please oh please.

(I like to pretend that media targeted towards women can make me not cringe.)
posted by kalimac at 10:40 AM on October 25, 2010


The Hairpin is a little confusing-- the writers are solid and it's definitely not Jezebel territory yet, but The Awl has been really great at not ghettoizing women and women's issues (see: Sex Offender Week), and it would suck to see stories by and/or about women that would have otherwise been on The Awl proper shunted off to a "special-interest" site just because vaginas are involved.
posted by oinopaponton at 10:41 AM on October 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


geoff., mediareport: Matt who? There's no Matt quoted in the NYT story. Was there a deleted comment?
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:51 AM on October 25, 2010


Matt who? There's no Matt quoted in the NYT story. Was there a deleted comment?

Oops, I don't know who mediareport is talking about, but I was talking about Metafilter's own Mathowie. It was either in a podcast or metatalk comment.
posted by geoff. at 10:55 AM on October 25, 2010


It's just so difficult to pronounce it by itself without slipping into an "Awl yeah!! David Carr in the HOUSE!!!"
posted by Naberius at 10:57 AM on October 25, 2010


I think there is room for both sites. But I'm so far into the lady-ghetto that I am maybe not the best judge of these things.
posted by hermitosis at 10:57 AM on October 25, 2010


*bitch please* + "get off my lawn" = mehtastic blogdiva :P

helps to have NEW YORK MAG, GOTHAMIST, GAWKER and NEW YORK TIMES drive traffic to your site.

meanwhile, culturekitchen will be 10 years next year.
posted by liza at 10:59 AM on October 25, 2010


I had never heard of this site until the past few days, and all of a sudden it's EVERYWHERE.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:00 AM on October 25, 2010


Just what is an "independent, owner-operated editorial Web site”, if there are so few of them? I know plenty of sites that would fall under what I expect that phrase to mean, but it's obviously not what Choire Sicha means.

If it just means "sites like The Awl", well, it's not exactly a novel concept, it's just that they've executed it well. That doesn't mean there aren't tons of sites that are similar conceptually, but for whatever reason don't pull in the same kind of audience.
posted by simen at 11:02 AM on October 25, 2010


The Hairpin seems aggressively vacuous and full of insane ALL CAPS bullshit.

Love The Awl (didn't realize it was RJ Reynolds. Damn, I probably need to pitch something…)
posted by klangklangston at 11:05 AM on October 25, 2010


Cosign the "please be a non-shitty version of Jezebel" thought. Also, I'd never heard of culturekitchen, so thanks for the pointer, liza.
posted by immlass at 11:07 AM on October 25, 2010


I had never heard of this site until the past few days, and all of a sudden it's EVERYWHERE.

Odd, The Awl has been linked to from Metafilter a number of times, and Choire is actually an active member of this site (unlike "Metafilter's Own" Mythbusters, etc.). Hi Choire!
posted by Threeway Handshake at 11:11 AM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow.... The Hairpin seems to have a decent enough premise (a less trashy jezebel, I think?) but there are already far too many LOLSTUPIDMEN posts on the front page. I thought that we had finally reached a point where "Mens" and "Womens" publications were finally becoming irrelevant.

For the authors sake, I really, really hope that this article is a joke.

The Awl ain't too bad -- it doesn't fit into any of the internet's clearly-defined niches, which IMO is a good thing. It's nice that there are at least two pop cultural zeitgeists that don't drive me raving mad (the other being The Onion's AV Club).
posted by schmod at 11:15 AM on October 25, 2010


Okay, I can pronounce "awl" without too much difficulty, but how the fuck do you pronounce "Choire"?
posted by briank at 11:17 AM on October 25, 2010


I believe it's like "corey".
posted by kenko at 11:20 AM on October 25, 2010


Isn't this the site that had that god-awful "your cat's jaw is actually broken, ROFL" article that was on the blue a while back? I'll pass.
posted by jbickers at 11:43 AM on October 25, 2010


Yes, it is pronounced like "Corey." And his last name is pronounced seek-uh.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:09 PM on October 25, 2010


Back in the old Gawker days, it was "Choire rhymes with story" and "Emily rhymes with memily".

Sidhedevil, of course, rhymes with pee level.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:13 PM on October 25, 2010


Ah yes, the DRAFTS folder.

God help me, but I don't have the self-control to keep much in the drafts folder for long.

(Love it, by the way)
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:37 PM on October 25, 2010


Matt who?

Yeah, I was jumping off .geoff's comment and botched the name. Meant the Awl guy. Sorry for the confusion.
posted by mediareport at 12:53 PM on October 25, 2010


I wish The Awl would poach Richard Lawson from Gawker then I'd never have the urge to visit it again.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 1:00 PM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ha! You know it's shocking how many people call it The Owl. I'm always shocked! I would name some names here but that's awkward.

The Internet is weird. Everyone likes so many different kinds of things on it.

Anyway, in response to some questions above: I have a number of friends who do amazing jobs running niche websites--and LIVING OFF THEM. It's fantastic. But more than that, I talk to suddenly un- or under-employed journalists, and they don't know what to do, and I beg them to clump together and form A Thing that they can then Live Off Of If Everything Goes Well. And they don't, or can't, and and and well I'm worried. Why isn't the web burgeoning with new newspapers? I really don't think it is. (Yet?)

Sadly, Metafilter has already been invented and now it can't be invented again, because it is the best website on the Internet, end of story. DARE TO DISAGREE WITH ME.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 2:46 PM on October 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


"The NYT on the ups and downs of The Awl, which happens to be launching their new site, The Hairpin, today."

What a lucky coincidence!
posted by vidur at 3:14 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


"we are self-sufficient and stable. That’s pretty fast.”

Yeah, in internet time that's about the moment when the world moves on from your "self sufficient and stable" project.

But I guess that's why they're starting a new site today.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:31 PM on October 25, 2010


Mmm, drive-by cattiness. I love it! It's a good warmup for all of our family Thanksgivings, the one magical time of year when people on the Internet actually say things to people's faces that they'll say on an Internet message board.*

*Even on the Internet's best message board!
posted by RJ Reynolds at 5:11 PM on October 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


I tend to judge websites/publications in general by their submissions policies, and the Awl, as far as I can tell, doesn't invite submissions at a(w/l)l, although they do want you to contact them "regarding any sort of business activity, including advertising and other opportunities for your brand." By the way, you know how writers have to state any relationship to the subject of their story? I think that there should also be a journalistic norm requiring the disclosure of the writer's relationship to the publication and how that particular story came to be published. "John Doe submitted this piece as an unsolicited manuscript." "Jane Smith was invited to contribute by an editor familiar with her academic work on the subject." "James Roe was the managing editor's roommate at Yale."
posted by Ralston McTodd at 6:20 PM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


What a lucky coincidence!

In olden days, such coincidences were called "news".
posted by dhartung at 10:35 PM on October 25, 2010


I skimmed the Hairpin article titles and decided it wasn't for me, but then I got a link to this. Hi-larious.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 8:19 AM on October 26, 2010


"Mmm, drive-by cattiness." Aww, I miss you, Choire.
posted by arielmeadow at 3:17 PM on October 28, 2010


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