Crosstalk has been a relative calm in some of the storms which have brewed on Jezebel and other forums. I realize that addressing any part of this most recent dust-up could cause ripples in our oasis which is why I'm going narrowly, but because @MorningGloria'a outburst could cast a shadow, I feel the need to speak.
For those who don't know, Erin Gloria Ryan is a Jezebel blogger. She had been a commenter, who was brought onto the staff — I believe after agreeing to move to New York from the Midwest, á la Matt Cherette. She was on the Jezebel staff for a while, then I understand she took a job on a canceled cable show and now she's back blogging for Jezebel.
Over the past couple of months, a vocal segment of Jezebel readers have taken issue with some of the things Ryan has done, both on and off Kinja. One of these incidents was previously touched upon by me with a Storyfied collection of tweets, while others may have posted about or made mention of different incidents, here or there.
On Friday, after Jezebel had suffered an onslaught of poor public reaction to a misguided stunt from both their readers and the internet, Ryan saw reference to a Groupthink post which had been critical of her in the past and after getting a link, she posted the following.
Guys? We don't owe you a forum. If all you're going to use our bandwidth for is to shit on the staff, then, maybe find some other bandwidth.
However one might feel about that particular post, thread or the incident which inspired them, no matter whether you think them fair or unfair, this (now deleted) comment shows that she does not understand Kinja. Apparently, she believes they'll just change the whole concept and Nick Denton will write-off the millions he's invested, all to protect blogger's feelings.
Kinja is a publishing platform. Jezebel is a group Kinja, like Crosstalk and Groupthink. What sets it apart is that it has banner ads. One could also suggest that having paid bloggers is another distinction, but there are other Kinjas with paid bloggers and there are some on Kinja who may be getting some kind of pay, so the only real thing setting Jezebel, Gawker and the similar blogs apart is that they're owned by the same parent and they have banner ads.
Since the advent of the hashtag forums, it has been possible to carve any number of corners off of this webspace and Kinja is the crowning achievement of that quest. At its heart, Kinja is a publishing platform. We have the same tools as the paid bloggers and as Nick Denton declared a couple of years ago, he is no longer just a publisher, he also owns a technology company.
Though the management of Jezebel could cut their link to Groupthink in the same manner as A.J. cut the ties between Crosstalk and Gawker, they're still not going to take back their bandwidth because that would require the realignment of the entire enterprise.
By itself, Ryan misunderstanding the company for which she works might be enough, but she also added a bit of irony by commenting in a Jezebel thread on a post being critical of Vogue and Anna Wintour that those posting in Groupthink didn't expect her to see it.
If Ryan believes there's no expectation for Kinja bloggers to see criticism posted to another Kinja blog, even those associated so closely they share an URL and positions on a dropdown, one has to wonder why Jezebel went to the trouble of criticizing Wintour? After all, until someone gave her a link, she wouldn't have been expected to see it.