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Risk-taking blogs: Living on the edge

We take a look at some of the edgiest, most provocative blogs on the Web

By John Brandon
October 19, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Standing on the edge of the blogosphere, you can see some pretty strange sights (and sites). Pillows that look like they are stained with blood, a debate about national borders and journalism ethics, and even one site commenting on the staff salary levels of another (now that is odd).

For blogs like Valleywag and Gawker, risk-taking is routine -- even part of their reason to exist. It's obvious when they post about George Clooney's medical record that they are stirring up controversy. Other sites -- such as the less commonly known Daily Awesome or the video blog Rocketboom -- take risks by posting pictures and video clips that traditional media would never touch. A few tech blogs are risky in that they are not afraid to call something ugly, confusing or useless (see Daring Fireball).

Here are some of the riskier blogs on the Web, along with a few examples of what makes them that way.

Dooce

A classic blog in the sense that it really is a daily journal of the owner's life (including kids, illness, finances and husband), Dooce.com is controversial only because it's honest about the mundane. Posts about mental illness, skin cancer, sex, Mormonism and other subjects are sometimes over-the-top -- in some cases, causing virulent reactions from readers. Interestingly, in the comments for the more unconventional posts, such as this one, where the blogger is wearing a shirt about meat, the comments are generally supportive and sympathetic.

Most Dooce.com posts are brutally honest, which makes them risky and controversial by nature.  
Most Dooce.com posts are brutally honest, which makes them risky and controversial by nature. (Click image to see larger view.)

Gawker

This Manhattan gossip blog (and publishing home of blogs such as Gizmodo and Kotaku) doesn't necessarily view itself as controversial or vengeful, but posts tend to be filled with gossip. "We're not trying to be inflammatory," says managing editor Choire Sicha. "We definitely get a lot of mail, some of it a little frightening, when we discuss race, ethnicity and religion."

An entire section related to Jewish people? Only on the gossip blog Gawker.
An entire section related to Jewish people? Only on the gossip blog Gawker. (Click image to see larger view.)


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