Saturday, December 31, 2005

What's the "consumerist"?

The Consumerist is part of the new and rapidly growing genre of semi-commerical blogs. It's run by a freelance technology writer in New York, and appears to have several contributors. This blog version of a consumer magazine is not to be confused with the non-profit owned Consumer Reports, which has testing labs, scientific underpinnings, and a lot of lawyers.

The Consumerist is taking a purely journalistic approach, gathering consumer-relevant stories from all over the web, and offering links to sites for irate consumers who want to strike back.

At the moment, it's an odd mixture of tips on the hot online sales of the day (Amazon's Friday specials, free shipping at Zappo's) with snarky gossip (about's CEO, and the Catholic Church vs. an artist who draped a statue of the virgin in latex).

Well, I've often bemoaned the hopelessly drab, finger-wagging style of Consumer Reports (which likes to save us money on canned soup and, in the last year or two, finally decided that iMac and iBooks were not necessarily a complete waste of money). The Consumerist, with it's "yo, dude" in-your-face style, is certainly the antidote to that! Though I don't think I'm going to be getting my car-buying advice from them any time soon.

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