Citizen Denton: New Yorker profiles Gawker founder

Paul Raven @ 14-10-2010

Offered without comment, and via sources too numerous to link, is this profile of Gawker Media blog-mogul Nick Denton at The New Yorker. It’s simply a fascinating character study in its own right, though you could read it as an insight to the sort of attitudes and drives you need to make a blog network a paying proposition in the flux-plagued churn of The New Media.

Through Gawker, Denton wages war on self-regard—or presumed self-regard, as his cast of mind is both abstract and deeply tribal, inclining him to sort nearly all people into one or another category that could be judged full of itself. There is a well-travelled image of Denton on the Web, in which he is wearing a tuxedo and tilting a wineglass to his lips. The image bothers him, because it suggests a level of comfort and formality in his presentation that doesn’t accord with his self-image. Denton is tall and rangy, and has a famously large head that sits precariously on a thin neck and narrow shoulders, leaving the impression of an evolved brain that is perhaps a little too conscious of its pedestrian context. He looks perpetually unshaven, with gray stubble complementing his close-cropped, receding hair, which he teases casually forward. He is someone who likes and knows how to have fun—“Nick has a fairly strong hedonic streak,” his friend Matt Wells, of the BBC, says—but who doesn’t wish to be seen enjoying himself overly. “Hypocrisy is the only modern sin,” he likes to say.

Intriguing, and full of storyable ideas and character traits. Go read.

Be Sociable, Share!