Gawker burst onto the scene in 2002 as a new kind of publication. It defiantly skipped magazine prose in favor of Internet snark, obsessively needling the New York-centric media world. Along the way, Gawker became the centerpiece of a blog empire built by former Financial Times journalist Nick Denton that spans gadgets, sports, autos, Hollywood gossip and politics. Over the years, Gawker’s blog siblings eclipsed it in readership—it’s now Gawker Media’s No. 7 blog, in terms of traffic, per Quantcast—but it remains the template for what a blog should be: It made the media world of New York seem like a gossipy small town. Gawker has never been afraid of stepping on toes. Tina Brown was a frequent early target of barbs, and celebrity sighting feature Gawker Stalker ignited the ire of Hollywood celebrities. This year it introduced Gawker Open Forums, allowing readers to publish tips directly to the site, a recipe for “chaos,” in the words of Denton. Though it has cycled through several editors since its founding, Gawker remains the epitome of blogging: provocative, brash and wildly entertaining. —Brian Morrissey


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