With Gawker's New Redesign, the Observer Wonders: Is the Blog Dead?

Nick Denton's Gawker Network started rolling out a redesign yesterday that moves away from the standard reverse-chronological format that we've grown accustomed to seeing on most sites over the past years. The new design will allow Denton's team to highlight big stories -- investigative or otherwise -- that would have been quickly buried in a matter of minutes by quick hits and snarky photo captions with the old design. The New York Observer's Dan Duray has used the redesign as a peg to talk about the state of blogging as a form and question its future.

Whatever blogs have become, there seems to be universal agreement that the format that made them ubiquitous--the reverse-chronological aggregation accompanied by commentary--is not long for this world, and Mr. Denton's scoop-friendly redesign would seem to be the best evidence of that. In fact, the decline of the blog has come so quickly, one has to wonder whether we ever really liked the medium at all.

"From the beginning, I didn't call the sites 'blogs,'" said Dan Abrams, who launched his Mediaite network in 2009. "And that's true because I always had this vision of them being more than just advertising-supported, ah, well, blogs. You know, whatever the word is."

"What is blogging?" asked Lockhart Steele, publisher of the Curbed network. "Is what Capital New York is doing, do you consider that blogging? Well, yes and no."

"It always has been an embarrassing word," The Awl's Choire Sicha said. "First it was embarrassing because bloggers were these dirty, horrible people, and then it was embarrassing because our grandmas have blogs, God bless them."

Read the full story at the New York Observer.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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