Monday, November 10, 2008

Reinventing the News: Maps

I'm not obsessed with celebrities the way some blog-readers are, but I definitely get the occasional kick from the oddities of a celebrity only discovered when their army of PR people aren't around. Enter GawkerStalker. When I lived in Manhattan, I would check the GawkerStalker map to see how interesting (or boring) celebrities found the neighborhoods I lived and worked.

The beauty of this map-based celebrity sighting system as opposed to new stories is that these Google Map presentations are non-linear. Like me checking GawkerStalker around my neighborhood, the reader can enter a map news presentation anywhere pertinent to them. GawkerStalker also adds another level of audience interaction: the sighting tips are submitted by local Manhattanites with their own analysis, usually interesting and slightly funny. These are updated daily. Of course, leave it to PR flacks to work Stalker for their own benefit: with the launch of her new show soon, many overtly nice sightings of Whitney Port starting pouring in to Stalker presumably from her PR hacks. Gawker did not post them.

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