Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The Atlantic Pretties Up With Photos

The rise of the Atlantic’s Web site is a good story, but that tale doesn’t have much to do with pictures, only words.

That’s supposed to change next month, when the site adds a new “In Focus” photo blog, curated by Alan Taylor. The assumption is that Taylor will be doing something very similar to the work he has been doing at the Boston Globe’s site, where his “Big Picture” site has been averaging eight million page views a month.

It’s fairly easy to describe what Taylor does: He grabs brilliant images–culled from Getty, Reuters and the Associated Press, as well as from a personal network of photographers–and assembles them on a no-frills site. But it’s impossible to describe the photos’ impact, so best to take a minute and see the work he’s been doing at

Back? Okay. Now, head over to check out a few of Gawker Media’s beta sites, which showcase the blog network’s upcoming emphasis on big, pretty pictures.

Again, hard to really appreciate how good this stuff can look on a lot of browser windows, but if you’ve got a big enough display–or more interestingly, if you’re looking at this stuff on a TV screen on your wall, or your iPad screen on your lap–you’ll get the full effect. Which is: This stuff doesn’t really look much like the Web–it looks like TV.

And that’s sort of the point.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work