Kitty Power

Principles Before Personalities


A post earlier at Gothamist riled me up in a way that hasn’t happened since the last time I had to riff. To start, I call bullshit on Jake Dobkin, but I’ll get back to that later.
The main crux of the argument is the lines between professional bloggers and hardcore blogging hobbyists (with the casual bloggers bringing up the rear). Blogs are hot in the media. News stories are all around trying to explain what it’s all about and break it down for easy to digest morsels for people. People blogging about whatever can find themselves pulled up in Google and quoted in an article. If you wanted to get some fame (or infamy), there’s no time greater than the present. With a little luck and ambition, you could be Elizabeth Spiers!…or so they would like people to believe.
I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t operate this blog with some sort of ulterior motives. I am a writer (who doesn’t write nearly enough) and I use this to sharpen my skills and stay fresh until I figure out where I want to go. But, this is a hobby. A semi-expensive hobby compared to when I was just on Geocities or Blogspot, but regardless my blog is still mostly what I’ve intended it to be since I started with the web stuff in 2000 — a space so my friends and the occasional other can see what I’m thinking and for me to do little experiments. I’ve got my niche and I’m happy in it. I’m not trying to usurp any of the names bandied about when the quarterly “who’s who in the blogosphere” article comes out. I do this because I like it and frankly, I know they’ve got way more dedication to this than I do.
I was amazed at the conversation going on in the comments at Gothamist where Jake demands that all bloggers reveal themselves and stand behind their names with their writing. That’s the most sanctimonious piece of shit I’ve ever read. Hence, why I call bullshit on him. If we’re going to be really honest, Gothamist is like the Disney of blogs. “Hey, guys, we’re on a hunt for some good ribs!” “We went to Olive Garden!” “We love us some Law and Order!” There is nothing remotely edgy or controversial that ever occurs on those pages. It’s vanilla, it’s non-threatening, a snark-free zone. And that’s okay. It’s a clearinghouse for information on the happenings in NYC, nothing more and nothing less. Not everywhere can be tongue-in-cheek with a razor-sharp wit like most other blogs of note. But, apparently, Jake has forgotten that fact. If all I was writing about was food and what went on in the papers everyone else read, I could put my name up here too, as could a lot of other bloggers. With some obvious exceptions, it’s not even that hard to figure out who most of us are. Most definitely follow the common sense rule that if it’s something that could damage us, it need not be posted — at least not in its entirety.
To have your name on your blog leaves you open not only for your employers to see what you’ve been up to, but relatives, ex-friends and lovers, future employers, stalkers and all sorts of other riff raff who can go fuck themselves. But, besides that, it’s totally inhibiting if you want to create an online persona to accompany your blogged exploits.
The true final word on the matter is: there are no blogging rules, especially if you’re someone who has gone out and bought a domain and are operating your own shit on your own time. The operating procedures are different for every blog and person. Now, someone go remove Jake’s head from his ass.


  1. BRAVO!!!!!!!!

  2. for one, i really hope you don’t take everything i say as a personal opinion- often my posts just argue the unrepresented other side of the argument. today, i felt that the anonymous bloggers were sort of sounding off, so i tried to defend the opposite view. i think most people who read gothamist know that by now.
    but this point should be well taken by anyone who blogs: your ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends, stalkers, friends, lovers, and parents are already reading your blogs. It’s silly to pretend otherwise.

  3. “for one, i really hope you don’t take everything i say as a personal opinion- often my posts just argue the unrepresented other side of the argument. today, i felt that the anonymous bloggers were sort of sounding off, so i tried to defend the opposite view. i think most people who read gothamist know that by now.”
    That explanation does not mix well with the one provided by Jen Chung:
    “If you’ve read Jake’s blog, or other aspects of his “writing” (like comments in other places), you’d realize that his writing is meant to be associated with himself and his name. That’s Jake’s school of thought.”

  4. Jake,
    Your attitude on the site your publish is one thing. Your attempts to now track down every individual person who you fought with and basically get them to “shut up” is pathetic and does not help your case. In fact, your behavior right now is proving most every claim against you on the “drownout” website linked above.
    That said, while you have your own right to your own opinions–everyone does–your efforts to conact me personally and now post in Kitty Power’s blog are simply sad and pathetic. You clearly want people to say what they wish and stand by what they say… Unless it upsets YOU Jake. And that’s it.
    I’ve said my fill on this already, but I just wanted to doubly- and triply- applaid Kitty Power’s post and all those of others who called bullshit on your assinine attitude Jake.
    Now please shut up and allow other bloggers and Internet users to post their opinions and speak their minds.
    Long story shortl shut up Jake and stop trying to delluge people who disagree with you with e-mails.
    Get some help Jake.

  5. I’ve been trying to stay out of this cuz I really like Gothamist, and I really hate conflict.. but I gotta say this not their best day.
    I will post here because they seemed to have closed the original thread.
    Jake says: “jeez, jack, that’s taking things way too far. i hope you, and everyone else on this thread realizes that i generally play devil’s advocate on topics like this- my true opinions i certainly keep to myself.”
    Jack is not the one who took things too far. His was the natural reaction to Jake’s posts, having no way to know Jake was actually engaging in devil’s advocacy, as he now claims. If that is indeed the case, it is Jake who went too far, continuing to antagonize after it was abundantly clear that most posters were taking these as his genuine opinions.
    It seems to me that such a mixture of representing himself forthrightly and playing devil’s advocate will do more damage to a blogger’s “authenticity” than anonymity ever could. What kind of relationship can readers develop with a blogger who at any moment may switch from sincere expression to exercises in sophistry, which he then escalates further and further with no regard for whether anyone gets the joke? This is a betrayal of the audience’s trust, leaves people feeling like they were taken for a ride.
    I’ll probably be reluctant to join in other conversations there for a while. I was assuming parts of it were tongue-in-cheek, the more extreme “who needs a job? why not be homeless?” remarks, but to hear that the entire conversation was devil’s advocacy on his part is disappointing.
    That is, assuming this latest explanation is accurate, even that is hard for me to be sure of at this point. It’s always difficult to completely trust someone who tells you “I was pulling your leg before but I’m telling the truth now.” That’s the problem with this entire episode.
    That being said, I wish nothing but the best for Jake and Jen, and hope this uncomfortable affair will make their site better in the end. I don’t think there was any malicious intent here, just a certain amount of tone-deafness as to how their approach was affecting their audience. (I hate conflict!!)

  6. For anyone who cares, the site Jake publishes (Gothamist) has not only shut down all comments on the offending piece, but has deleted them all.
    I hope Jake and Jen learn from this whole thing, but the thing is that when you post a comment saying people who are “anonymous” are cowards and then berate anyone who dares speak otherwise and then top that off by deleting all comments the tag of “coward” really sticks to Jen and Jake more than anyone else.
    It’s one thing to disagree. Another thing to lock the comments. Delete them all? I call bullshit on that happening.
    Who’s the coward now?

  7. Wow…what a crazy run.
    I don’t think it’s Jack’s comment in particular that finally pushed them over the edge and made them close the topic, but regardless, I think effectively ending the discussion because it became a little too hot for Jake is pretty lame to say the least.
    With that said, I like Gothamist, but the blog police they are not. I’m glad everyone else came down on them for such a post and Jake playing devil’s advocate or whatever in his comments. And Jake, I can cede that stalkers are pretty much a hazard of blogging, but family members and all else are pretty unlikely to necessarily uncover it unless you want them to. Hence, the point of anonymity.

  8. Pretty much like what has been happening with Orkut and other blog-frequented places, where rules are demanding complete disclosure and full frontal transparency, with all it entails: they want my number, my work, my address and all those little details actually make my profile.
    We are defined by our associations, and having then open like that only makes sense if we are stars, with the resources to fend off stalkers and similar fauna. Otherwise, it is quite dangerous.

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