« Matt Welch Covering Republican Convention for Reason | Main | Prague Author's Second Novel, Not So Much »

D'Amato launches Pestiside

A few weeks ago, Erik d'Amato invited me over to his place for a peek at a project he was developing. I was intrigued, but he couldn't convince me that Budapest really needed its own version of Gawker.

Now that I see the result, Pestiside, I've changed my mind.

On his 'about' page, Erik promises "spicy and incisive original items about the things that make Hungary actually worth living in or visiting, pithy recaps of the most important and colorful local news, and unbiased information and reviews of locally-available goods and services you are actually likely to use."

So far, Pestiside delivers. Recent topics include kooky Magyars petitioning the government to be officially classfied as 'Huns', a serial dog killer in the village of Rábacsanak, and Hungary's recent porn Oscar awards night. (Ironically, that item got Erik a link in Nick Denton's Fleshbot - congratulations!)

I especially like Erik's parody news summaries. The 'Serious New Update Service' seems to be items off the MIT newswire, or perhaps from Hungary Around the Clock. 'Sun Screen' presents the latest from Budapest's venerable paper of record:

Here at Pestiside, we read the Budapest Sun so you don't have to! And thanks to our patented Sun Screener™ we can offer you all the important highlights of Budapest's de-facto English-language newspaper of record, with none of its headache-producing rays and toxic emission.

Yes, even though I live in Budapest, I usually can't be bothered to pick up the local English-language newspapers. And when I do read it's usually the Budapest Times, which features Erik's popular gossip column, Stink. Naturally, the column is regular fodder for Pestiside.

It remains to be seen whether Erik can keep up his enthusiasm for the project (apathy being the leading killer of weblogs) and whether this project can actually make money. Erik hopes to build up enough of an audience that he can earn an income selling advertising. That may or may not happen, but I believe Erik has made his first point. Budapest is ready for its own version of Gawker, and Erik looks set to deliver.

Steven Carlson | Useful Resources | Sep 13, 2004 | Comments (3)


Steve, thanks for pointing this out. It looks great. For those of use who don't know him, what's d'Amato's story?

I particularly love the post about Arthur Phillips's new novel and the delight local would-be writers are taking in its poor literary reception. I'm not saying that I feel that way, just that the post is amusing...

Rick Bruner | Sep 15, 2004

Erik came to Budapest several years ago as the editor of the Budapest Business Journal.

| Sep 16, 2004

Steven Carlson (Scandinavian heritage?),

I will check out your expat resources before my trip to Hungary in November. I will work on a school project at a company in Sopron. Do you know any good web sites on Ödenburg?

All the Best,

Martin Lindeskog
Gothenburg, Sweden.

Martin Lindeskog | Oct 10, 2004