Aug 30 • 1HR 2M

Extremely Online (w/ Taylor Lorenz)

On Dead Cat, we talk with the iconic internet culture reporter about "nimcels," podcasting, and her various feuds.

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Eric Newcomer
A podcast about Silicon Valley, hosted by newsletter writer Eric Newcomer and Tom Dotan, with Katie Benner as a regular special guest.
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Taylor Lorenz, a columnist at the Washington Post, has helped to popularize “cheugy,” “OK Boomer,” and, most recently, “nimcels.”

She wrote about “niche internet micro celebrities,” or nimcels:

While influencers use their online followings to make money, “for a niche internet micro celebrity, the goal is purely to entertain, versus an influencer,” said Da. “I think this term emerged to distinguish people doing a similar thing to influencers, but for completely different motivations. Being a niche internet micro celebrity feels less capitalist, less ‘I’m a brand.’ ”

On this week’s Dead Cat, we used Lorenz’s latest story as a jumping off point to talk about the evolution of the terms “creators” and “influencers,” the rise of podcasting, and Lorenz’s various Twitter scrapes.

Lorenz is a language obsessive and is writing a book called Extremely Online. She doesn’t like the name for the beat most people associate her with — internet culture reporter — since she doesn’t see a sharp line separating the real world and digital life.

We covered a lot of ground in this week’s episode. We talked about Lorenz’s recent tweet dismissing Dimes Square and her online beef with Marc Andreessen.

“All these billionaires are so fragile,” Lorenz told us.

“I love debating tech. I love it,” Lorenz said. “Andreessen had me on their podcast twice and didn’t release either of the episodes.”

We also discussed Dead Cat co-host Tom Dotan’s latest story on YouTube’s accidental podcast ascendancy.

He wrote over the weekend:

Two recent surveys, one by Cumulus Media and one by Voices, showed that YouTube was the most frequently used podcasting platform, edging out Spotify and Apple's podcasting apps.

Last year the entire podcasting industry made $1.4 billion in ad revenue and is set to surpass $2 billion this year, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. It’s a quickly growing industry but still a drop in the bucket compared to the $29 billion that YouTube made in ad revenue in 2021, or the $209 billion that Google ads made.

So befitting the provincial, self-referential nature of the podcast industry — we talked about a tiny industry, on an insider-y podcast, with a guest who herself says she’s looking to get into the podcast game.

Give it a listen.

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