Today in Tabs: Everything You Never Needed To Know About Media, In One Simple Chart

The four humors: Smarm, snark, media, tech.

Today in Tabs: Everything You Never Needed To Know About Media, In One Simple Chart
[Photo: Everett Collection via Shutterstock]

I had a theory that every major publication and media org could be sorted on a quadrant chart, where one axis was the publication’s voice on a scale from “snark” to “smarm” and the other axis was the business orientation of the publisher, whether it primarily wants to be a media company or a technology company.


Some well-informed friends, who wish to remain anonymous out of a complex mixture of shame and professional self-defense, helped me make the following chart. I don’t expect anyone to agree with all of it (I certainly don’t) but it’s an interesting artifact all the same.

Click to enlarge/despair (don’t @ me)

Some Good Things to Read:

  • Lily Benson’s How To Hit On Girls In The Club (Or Not) is such humane and gentle good advice aimed at horrible people who don’t deserve it and won’t listen.

  • Jia Tolentino returned to her alma mater, UVA, for this year’s greek rush after the Rolling Stone fiasco. The article is long and nuanced and manages not to simply consist of “Virginia colleges are revolting and we should burn them all to the ground and salt the earth they befouled,” which is what I would have written. Or, I guess, just wrote. Anyway, it’s a rare #longread that doesn’t feel long.

  • Ben Smith reminisces about how he helped destroy what was once a vibrant community by treating early-2000s blogs as slot machines that could, with the right touch on the lever, vomit forth clicks for his employer. I like Ben, and I think everything he writes about here is what makes him good at his job now, but the kind of professionalized click-whoring he unselfconsciously recounts is part of what killed blogging as a nascent alt-media form.

  • Guest-tabber Hallie Bateman in The Awl: After the Snow.

That’s it! Go have a day! There’s nothing else you need to be fussed about today. I love you all.

~No, I’ll stand my ground, won’t be tabbed around~

Today in Tabs sometimes likes to throw a change-up. Don’t get too comfortable. Subscribe here or read us on Fast Company. I tweet @rustyk5 and @TodayinTabs.