I asked him how the site’s writers, editors and producers had been dealing with it. But definitely, psychologically it affects you.” Critical press attention is nothing new for the site.
“Our staff is a tight knit group of people, they’re very caring and empathetic people,” he said. Its role as a repository for inexperienced writers and unedited writing attracts it, and Lavergne said the cycle of scorn is “part of our platform.” But with the publication of these two posts, a sense was spreading among many that perhaps the site had pushed its luck too far.
(Lavergne frequently compares Thought Catalog to blogging site Medium, which is built on the idea of being a “platisher.”) Not quite a one-way publishing megaphone, a “platisher” serves as both an editorial product with a paid staff and a platform where anyone with an Internet connection can self-publish.
In Thought Catalog’s case, you could simply e-mail in an article and a producer would post it on the site as soon as a few hours later, without any editing.
as a publisher, a philosophy that persists today and has become a central strategy of the site’s growth.
That self-proclaimed void of oversight is how the site has published articles as harmless as “25 Things I’ve Learned In My 20s” — one of its many ultra-personal, first-person stories that have become major traffic cash cows for online publishers everywhere.“Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural,” and “Ferguson, Missouri Looks Like A Rap Video”: So declared headlines on two consecutive days this past August from early adulthood-angst purveyor Thought Catalog, a Web site for and by millennials.Both pieces racked up thousands of social media shares while being dissected and denounced by dozens of blogs and news outlets.” Each of those was either written by a Thought Catalog employee or selected to be published by a Thought Catalog employee, blindly or not.The site’s growth plan is one that attempts to remove the accountability of publishing while still reaping the traffic such stories bring in.
But Thought Catalog, a powerhouse publisher that ranks among the 50 most visited Web sites in the United States, has disavowed any accountability for the pieces by claiming to be not quite a platform, not quite a publisher, but instead a “platisher” — an online publishing trend that blurs the lines between editorial product and free-for-all blogging site.