In what is probably his boldest move so far, Nick Denton, Gawker Media Guru, has opened the rights to publish on the Gawker media properties to everyone. Just like on any other blog, readers could send Gawker editors tips via a submission form or via email, but now tips send via the new submission form will be published immediately on the tag pages.
A small redesign across the board introduced the new submission form on all 9 Gawker blogs.
User submissions will have to include a tag, using the Hashtag format, popularised on Twitter. Submissions with tags will then be published on the blogs’ appropriate tag pages. The new move is reminiscent of the once so popular community portals with forums and Denton appropriately called the new asset ‘Gawker Open Forums’.
From the internal memo sent to editors:
With the launch of Gawker Open Forums, we’re allowing readers to post tips, sightings, game cheats, amateur pap shots and spy photos directly from a form on the front page. Readers can also initiate discussions on any topic they choose simply by including a Twitter-style hashtag in their post. And commenters can expand on a story, or rebut a post, just as now.
Although even Denton doesn’t know what the new format will bring, and reactions have predicted the Gawkercalypse already it certainly is one more proof that the web recurrent is. After networks such as B5Media started to merge their channel blogs in larger platforms, communities, to both cut costs and minimise the amount of micro-management needed but also be more attractive to advertisers, the Gawker move will certainly lead to more sites trying to reboost or improve the community factor with open contributions. I can perfectly see this help the popularity of WordPress based open source platform BuddyPress and lead to more and more community created blog networks with one central homepage where member stories will be featured. Maybe it could even be the boost for the OpenMicroBlogger.org platform.
Just like we know it from the Postnuke and vBulletin portals many of us used to hang in. But at the end of the day this is nothing more than a new weapon for bloggers in the battle for page views and fight to stay ahead and be faster of the mainstream media who continue to endorse blogs more and more.