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October 16, 2009

Gawker Media Opens Publishing Rights to… Anyone

Gawker MediaIn 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.

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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: read more

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September 3, 2009

Gawker Media Averages More Than 1bn Page Views Yearly After 7 Years

Gawker MediaToday Erin Pettigrew announced the total traffic Gawker Media has generated in little more than 7 years. Nick Denton announced the first Gawker blog, Gizmodo, on August 14th 2002, some weeks after Peter Rojas started the blog with 6 daily entries. Denton called it a low-risk experiment and wanted to know if someone could make a living from blogging.

I have no idea how much Gizmodo can bring in revenues. All I know is that weblogs are a compelling form, gadget addicts are all online, and Amazon.com’s API makes it easy to connect product with content.

Most importantly, this is a low-risk commercial experiment. Most media companies suffer from overblown editorial, an ad sales force with padded expense accounts, and overly complex publishing systems with a team of primadonna sysadmins to maintain it. By contrast, Gizmodo will be a couple of hours a day of Pete’s link-picking skills, some automatically generated Amazon.com links, and $150-worth of Movable Type. Media has never before been this lean. read more

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August 18, 2009

Gawker Media Featured as Winner in AdAge Story

The fact that Nick Denton’s Gawker Media is making a bundle despite the recession, filling its sites with heavyweight advertisers, is old news. That doesn’t stop Advertising Age to feature the blog network as something that is actually working. It gets a bit silly though:

Did Gawker Media just grow up? The little web publisher that big media loves to hate is now teaching them a thing or two about brand advertising. No belly-fat ads, ads with festering sores or diet-success stories; just big, splashy brand ads from HBO, Audi and Samsung.

I don’t exactly recall the Gawker Media brands being littered by Civony Adsense ads before everything went downhill in the advertising industry. But fine, yeah, there’s no doubt that the 45% revenue increase accounts for some sort of maturation. I’d like to put that to the fact that advertisers get the web and its strengths over old media channels better these days. After all, when you feel the pinch it is a good thing to be able to track everything in realtime.

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August 4, 2009

Consumerist Brought Down Gawker Media

Gawker Media has been struggling to serve their oh so necessary pageviews, and the culprit turned out to be none other than the Consumerist. The site is hosted by Gawker Media as part of the deal with the Consumers Union, who acquired it late last year. As the clever already deducted, the Consumerist site was attacked by hackers, which caused the technical difficulties. All sites are back up, although the Consumerist isn’t behaving perfectly well yet.

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July 28, 2009

Gawker Hires Los Angeles Times Editor

defamer.jpgMore Gawker Media news coming across the wire, err, feed reader. Simon Owen’s Bloggsam has published an internal memo from Gabriel Snyder regarding Gawker hiring a new West Coast Editor. From the memo:

Ever since Defamer was merged into Gawker earlier this year, I’ve been looking for the right person to hire in L.A., so I’m pleased to announce someone who was worth the wait: Richard Rushfield is joining Gawker as its new West Coast Editor. From his Venice bungalow he’ll proudly fly the Defamer flag as well as pitch in with charting the general editorial direction of the site.

Richard Rushfield is slated to start at Gawker on August 31st. He was previously the Entertainment Editor at Los Angeles Times, which should fit the Defamer part of Gawker perfectly. The Defamer brand was merged into the main Gawker site in February this year, after failing to sell it. Read the full memo at Bloggasm.

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Gawker Media Revenues Up 45%, So Much for the Adcopalypse

Good news for Nick Denton & Co., his Gawker Media reports that revenues are up by 45% in first half of 2009. So much for that “adcopalypse” where Denton spoke about 40% decreases in ads online last year, and warned media outlets to cut their costs why they still could. Gawker Media certainly did that, but it hardly hurt them, it would seem. They even brought back the pageview bonuses.

See Denton’s blog post for charts and more.

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July 10, 2009

Gawker Media is Back to Promoting Pageviews

Gawker Media has had a good year so far, with ad revenue up 35% when the industry is suffering. The network clocked 334 million pageviews in June, and Nick Denton is happy. He is, in fact, so happy that he’s bringing pageviews to the table again, with bonuses for writers reaching their individual targets. This from an internal memo published on the Nieman Journalism Lab blog.

Don’t all get excited: the levels will be modest; aimed at the writers who aren’t paid as much as their traffic would warrant; and we’re only committing to bonuses for the second half of this year. Chris Batty’s sales and creative services teams have done an impressive job in bucking the advertising slump; but we have no idea how long we can continue to out-perform competitors.

He’s also mentioning the new commenting system and policy change, further outlined in a Jezebel post. Skipping that, the memo actually gives some insight in how Denton & Co. thinks about comments. read more

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July 2, 2009

Gawker Writer Recruited by CBS

CBS Interactive has recruited blogger Richard Lawson from Gawker, according to Silicon Alley Insider who also has a quote from Lawson:

I’ll basically be doing what I do now, just probably fewer posts a day plus some actual reviews and stuff. I’m excited/nervous/gassy. All that.

Richard Lawson is one of the key entertainment writers on Gawker, and apparently averaged 2.4 million pageviews per month which is top of the bill according to the SAI story. In other words, a blow to the Gawker Media network, not only by the loss of a writer but also in pure money since it is unlikely that his replacement will reach the same levels quickly.

Lawson will write for CBS Interactive’s TV.com.

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June 18, 2009

BloodCopy Leaves The Gawker Network

The BloodCopy ad campaign, which put the True Blood promotional blog BloodCopy within the Gawker Media network and caused quite the ruckus, it now over. That means that BloodCopy has left the network, and is now a half-decently hacked Kubrick-based WordPress blog. Better yet, they left the network in character:

Effective at Sundown today, I’m taking back control of Bloodcopy and leaving the Gawker network.

Probably for the better.

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June 17, 2009

Gawker Media Traffic Sees 17% Increase In First Five Months 2009

One of the good things with having your stats open in public, like Gawker Media has (using Sitemeter by the way), is that you can get others reporting on how much you grow. Like Simon Owens, who blogs at Bloggasm, and has been analyzing the stats, finding that the Gawker Media network (BloodCopy not included, of course!) increased by 17% during the first five months of 2009.

For the first five months of ‘09 the blogs showed a combined 1.4 billion page views, compared to 1.19 billion in the last five months of ‘09 — a jump of over 200 million.

To conduct this survey I compiled page view data from Gawker Media’s Sitemeter stats from each of the blogs. The number of page views does not represent the number of unique visitors to a site, but rather the number of times a page was loaded.

More numbers and analysis by Owens in the Bloggasm post. I guess Gawker Media could just link it, sit back, and save the money on that marketing rep who usually does these things.

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