Website of the week
When I read this week that Nick Denton and his Gawker empire were starting a shopping blog, my heart dropped a little. I love Gawker, and read it and its L.A. sibling Defamer daily (MW loves their sports blog, Deadspin), but you just can't compete with 'em. Not that it's a competition, but, you know, I'm an overachiever, so everything's a competition with me. Anyway, the new shopping blog is called Consumerist, and as one can sort of infer from the name, it's more about consumerism, rather than shopping. What does that mean? Well, instead of telling you about cool clothes or accessories, or even home products or books or whatever, the focus is more on being ripped off by shady companies (or, more accurately, legit companies that do shady things), with a little dash of sales thrown in. In other words, it's no Cheryl Shops (or I Am Fashion or Closet Therapy, for that matter). I think the main reason for this is that the writer, Joel Johnson, is a guy, and also a former editor of Gizmodo, Gawker's techie blog (this explains Consumerist's electronics-heavy focus). I just get the feeling that when Consumerist feels compelled to talk about the girly stuff, they just don't get it right. Take this post, a review of the Anthropologie "solstice" catalogue--it talks about how "stunning" the models are, the artistry of the photography, and the quality of the paper stock, but there is scant mention of what's really important: the products featured in the catalogue. Also, you can tell a guy wrote this post, because, for christ's sake, it talks about reading the catalogue on the can. And this post, about the Bliss sample sale, features copy lifted word for word from Bliss's email, then a reader comment complaining about how Bliss's products smell. Um, and the point of that is...? As my coworker AW would say, "Don't yuck my yum."

So, is this a blog worth reading? Well, it remains to be seen. I'll probably keep reading it, just to keep up with the Joneses, but I'm not going to be green with envy over it--it is quite different than Cheryl Shops, and comparing them would be like apples and oranges (or, to paraphrase my friend CK, apples and pencils, because, really, apples and oranges aren't so different after all). I feel like the (straight) male Cheryl Shops readers might enjoy the Consumerist, due to its focus on stuff that women don't really care about (like XBoxes), but I can't quite figure out their editorial focus, so I don't really know. My only recommendation: Keep reading Cheryl Shops!

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