What do Reddit trolls read when they wake up in the morning, before they start "work?" How do 4channers prepare their souls to die on /b/? How do super obsessive microbloggers read about Tumblr, to elevate themselves above hipsters who merely read Tumblr? Six hundred thousand dollars says the answer to those question is "The Daily Dot," the official newspaper for crazy internet people.
Created for that princely sum by a longtime web entrepreneur and a longtime newspaper executive, the Daily Dot officially launched today, billing itself as the local newspaper of the internet, covering virtual neighborhoods like Reddit, Tumblr, 4chan, and Twitter. "The Daily Dot isn't just aggregating or highlighting the most popular online stories, posts, trending topics or videos ," writes VentureBeat. "Its reporters pick up the phone (or send the Direct Message, as the case may be) and contacts the people involved to get the real story."
In other words, the Dot is really a meta newspaper, covering the internet's backstage with stories like this one about the life and times of online craftselling critic "Etsy Bitch" and this one about parents who filmed a viral YouTube sensation. As VentureBeat notes, the TV show Tosh.0 has been doing segments like this for a while, and while "many of the resulting articles are great... some feel forced." But as Daily Dot editor Owen Thomas knows from his days as chief Valleywag and as a Gawker hand, the curiosities of the internet's most insane obsessives quite often end up being the interests of everyone else, too. (Good luck getting them to click on your ads, though.)