MediaMorph: The Consumerist

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WHAT IT IS: Telemarketing schemes, rental-car snafus, shipping screw-ups, banking rip-offs-they're all documented at The Consumerist, the newest offering from that empire of digital snark, Gawker Media. A line from its mission page sums it up: "Capitalism is broken. We'll help you fix it." It's radical chic for the 21st century.

WHO RUNS IT: Joel Johnson, formerly editor of Gawker's gadget blog, Gizmodo.

WHO'S USING IT: Gawker sites are known for their young, upwardly mobile urban readership, but The Consumerist, just weeks after its launch, is more likely to be read by early adopter types, says Mr. Johnson. "In theory, we should appeal to anyone who has been screwed over by a company before, which should be-last I checked-every single person on the planet."

INVITATION ONLY: While The Consumerist looks to be a catalog of shopper grievances, not just anyone can air their beefs there. It's part of a Gawker-wide system in which you can only comment if you're invited, an effort to fight spam and keep the level of conversation high.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: In a fragmented, democratized media environment, the praise and enmity of average consumers carry extraordinary weight. Think of this-and other consumer sites like Planet Feedback-as an always-on feed of the consumer mind.

ADVERTISE, WE DARE YOU: Marketers aren't exactly banging down The Consumerist's door. It's yet to pick up a dedicated advertiser. Mr. Johnson, however, is hopeful. "I'm still waiting for that first ballsy company to buy some ads-almost as much as I'm looking forward to inviting readers to comment about the worst experiences they've had with that company."

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