Both Joseph Clarke,
in the comments to my Gawker Stalker piece, and Andrew
Krucoff, today, make the good point that the evil nature of Gawker Stalker
can be allayed by celebrities (or anybody else) reporting false sightings. Indeed,
false sightings could be a whole new art form: imagine a series of sightings
of John Travolta, say, doing increasingly improbable things in increasingly
improbable places – but all in a manner which is consistent in terms of
the fictional celebrity being able to get from one fictional sighting to the
next in time.
I’m sure that Nick Denton doesn’t care in the slightest if people report false
sightings, so long as the feature becomes/remains popular. In fact, insofar
as the popularity of Gawker Stalker is a function of the number of sightings
reported, Denton might even like the fictional ones: there’s no such
thing as a bad datapoint, if all datapoints, at the margin, drive traffic.
I’m just not sure who we’re meant to rely on to submit the false sightings.
It’s a fun joke for Krucoff for one day, but he’s not going to do it day in
and day out – and I doubt the celebrities and their minions are going
to want to come up with such things day after day, month after month, either.
Still, if you’re ever feeling bored at work, go ahead and give Gawker something
fictional. It’ll throw some noise into the Stalker Database, and will probably
help pay Denton’s
hamsters interns as well.