Look, there’s nothing wrong with the editorial voice of Thrillist that a lunch hour’s sensitivity training or maybe a forced viewing of John Waters classics wouldn’t cure. Right-minded bloggers have been known to get their undies bunched over the “hipster misogyny” (Gothamist) and “fratty” attitudes (Gawker) of this sort-of-daily e-mail tip sheet for straight-boy New York shoppers, but hey now, this is a guide for finding collectible vintage athletic shoes and “great sushi you don’t have to sell jugs of your precious sperm to afford,” not a manifesto. Besides, it could be worse. One whiff of the competition—the soulless UrbanDaddy, pitched at NYC and L.A. guys who would actually consider wearing a tie with a hidden iPod Nano pocket—will leave you craving the gym-sock funk of Thrillist’s pose. And even DailyCandy, the authoritative sort-of-daily straight-girl-shopper tip sheet that created the genre, might read a little less like catalog copy if it let some personality into the prose the way those Thrillist boys do.
But with DailyCandy on the auction block for $100 million, it’s the boys that are taking all the cues right now. Not quite ready to match DailyCandy’s 10-city empire of local editions, Thrillist’s two-bud operation is positioning itself for its piece of the Boom 2.0 millions with a national edition, set to launch next month. And hey, nothing wrong with that either. But it’s hard not to get a little depressed at the thought that after all is said and done—after the blogosphere has unleashed its million and one lone voices, after sites like Flickr and del.icio.us and MySpace have demonstrated the creative power and social depth of amateur collaboration—there’s still nothing that gets the venture capital flowing like the thought of using that Internet thing to tell people what to buy.