Thursday, March 16, 2006

Gawker lives up to its name

Gossip website Gawker is finally living up to its name with its latest celebrity stalker site, which puts the crazies and celebs on an intercept course.

This is how it works: readers send in their celebrity sightings and in as little as 15 minutes these are published as maps in detail down to the street corner, using Google Maps, on the Gawker Stalker website, giving the crazies, students and the unemployed enough time to jump in the stalker-mobile and roll on to the celebrity location.

You have to be quick though... celebrities are a nervous bunch and are prone to move around a fair bit, but with the number of Blackberries and other mobile devices, its pretty much happening in some cases in real time.

  We are talking major league celebs here, with sightings having included Julia Roberts, Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz. Coldplay's Chris Martin was also recently spotted and was said to be looking nervous. Or maybe he was just looking over his shoulder.

Typical entries go like this: "Just saw Adam Sandler heading into the Reebok Sports Club, Upper West Side, on 67th and Columbus Ave...ready to work out in sweats...

Or "We spied Mark Ruffalo with a natural-looking red-head woman at Le Pain Quotidien waiting for their coffee or perhaps just coming in from the cold. He is shorter than I thought but they both looked like total New Yorkers."

See? It's kind of fun...for at least five minutes. Gawker Stalker for more sightings.

The stalker site, as you might have expected, seems to have backfired with stars complaining that Gawker is putting stars in danger.

Ken Sunshine, who reps for the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Timberlake and Ben Affleck, is not a happy man.

"It invites weirdos, if not dangerous weirdos, to physically come in contact with anybody they choose to expose on this site," Sunshine said.

In its defence, Gawker editor Jessica Coen says that if people are intent on doing some sort of sick harm to a certain celebrity "that information for finding them is already out there".

Although she doesn't exactly say where.


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