Media Morph: Valleywag

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YORK, Pa. ( -- Every week MediaWorks’ Media Morph looks at how emerging technology is changing the way consumers get their information and media companies and advertisers present their messages. This week: Valleywag.

WHAT IT IS: A gossip blog about Silicon Valley types, part of Nick Denton's stable of tattletale sites that also includes Gawker, Defamer and Wonkette. Launched in February, the site has already tackled the love life of Google founder Larry Page, published a nearly naked photo of Microsoft top blogger Robert Scoble, run more than a dozen “Vallewag Hotties” contest (Scoble was not in any of the contests -- enough said), took Larry Ellison to the shed for his noncharitable giving, and predicted endlessly an end to the tenure of Yahoo Media Group chief Lloyd Braun.

WHO’S BEHIND IT: Mr. Denton and Gawker Media are paying the bills, while 21-year-old Nick Douglas, lured from blog-watching blog, tackles writing/editing. Interestingly, the first and elder Nick is in New York, while the second Nick just moved to San Francisco (from a small town in Pennsylvania) to take the Valleywag helm. The two Bay Area “outsiders” claim advantage in the untainted perspective.

WHO’S READING IT: Like Gawker for New York media types and Defamer for the L.A. idle and curious in the biz, Valleywag attracts a specific breed -- mostly tech types interested in the after-hours lives of industry moguls.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Mr. Denton is rounding out his online National Enquirer-like blogging empire, and as part of that Valleywag bears watching. More compelling in Valleywag’s case is the first time Mr. Denton has lifted the hem of a rather staid business machine not used to the glare. And big online advertisers as well. Some have predicted trouble on that front, as heavyweights like Google and Yahoo are already favorite targets.

WHAT’S NEXT: Will the Valleywag outsiders break into San Fran's inner circle -- or at least persuade underpaid employees to tip them off? Will Silicon Valley types ever leave work early enough to generate the gossip Valleywag needs ? How many retinas will be burned by half-naked pictures of nerdy executives from Silicon Valley? With Denton & Co., you can be sure if it's naked, salacious or just plain juicy buzz from the Valley, you'll see it there first.

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