The late David Carr, who for years wrote a column in the New York Times, was a bit of a father figure to many media-savvy kids who are now running various projects. Carr was always a lucid interpreter of what was happening in the jungle of new media. But when the Awl appeared, he said, “If you were going to launch a site, you’d look at everything that Awl did – it’s hard to pronounce name, its eclectic mix of content, its literate but minuscule audience – and do the exact opposite.” Carr was probably joking – he must have loved these extraordinarily fast-thinking young men who lived such intense lives that they thought they might as well die by the time they were 35 years old. Who didn’t think that way in their twenties?
The Verge, a site founded in 2011 that covers the intersection of technology, science, art and culture, recently published a profile of the Awl with the title, “Why are the most important people in media reading The Awl?” I will let you read the piece without telling you the secret, but perhaps adding my own little thought: it is also because David Carr is no longer writing. For those who might not know who David Carr was, I would suggest reading our post dedicated to him.
However if you read the piece on Awl, the Verge will take you into the eclectic minds of two columnist, Matt Buchanan and John Herrman. The two men present interesting – if unusual – ideas, such as Buchanan’s belief that “anybody who thinks they know what they’re going to be doing in more than couple of years is mistaken.” The article is definitely worth reading.
To get a better sense of the columnists’ work, I would suggest reading two of their most recent pieces: Hermann writes on new consumption habits of weed smokers, while Buchanan visited new restaurant on the top floor of the World Trade Center.