Maggoty Flesh & More

In the realm where media gossip meets media business you may have heard that the alluring Ana Marie Cox, aka Wonkette, will cease authoring her naughty political blog to write books. A Washington Post article says her successors will include lawyer and soon-to-be former federal prosecutor David Lat. He once secretly authored the Underneath Their Robes blog about the federal courts — using a woman’s persona — until he outed himself to the New Yorker in November, and is thus obviously skilled at writing political gossip in a woman’s voice. This drama is no doubt fascinating to jaded media ghouls who enjoy feasting on the maggoty flesh of the body politic. But my MiniMediaMind asks a business question: does traffic at Wonkette build, decline or stabilize? Wonkette has been a mainstays of Nick Denton’s Gawker Media empire and it remains to be seen whether the brand can stand the switch.

Speaking of the fast switch … I’m not part of the independent music world, but my mantra is finding ways for small media producers to self-aggregate and thus gain collective power to market their works. In that vein I was recently pointed to the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (, which aims to explore new ways of selling music and “using collective bargaining power to benefit the entire independent community.”

Tell your indie music friends to check out the “how it works” page that says in part:

“IODA is a digital distributor, with the primary goal of making music available to fans via digital “retail stores.” Independent labels send their music (CD’s or Vinyl) to IODA, which then distributes it to the myriad of download services available.”

I learned about IODA at a dinner where I sat next to Parker Thompson, one of the principals of a Web business called As I understand it, the notion is to create ad-hoc, online communities in wireless cafes so patrons who plug in laptops while they enjoy lattes can “see” other digital personalities who may be around. PlaceSite says that, having tested the system at one café in Berkele it is gearing up to “release the code free of charge so that café owners around the world can install our software and turn their cafés into PlaceSite cafés.”

Tom Abate
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media