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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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July 28, 2009

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 22, 2009

The Guardian Sacks Paul Carr

Paul Carr used to write the Not Safe For Work column for The Guardian, but no more. The reason is a slashing of the freelance budget, says Carr on Twitter, and then goes on and tells us that he thought about doing the column for free but decided against it. That last part was on his blog though, which is a good thing because the reasoning would take up quite a few tweets… In the same blog post he writes a bit about leaving.

Having said all that, I will miss the outlet the Guardian gave me every week; to boast and swear and talk about things that were on my mind. I’m not sure there’s another UK paper that would give me such freedom – and for that reason I’ll be eternally grateful to my former paymasters. And I’ll miss them, like a sometimes-mental, socialist former girlfriend.

Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch isn’t sad about this. “Their loss our gain” he says, as he announces that Carr will be writing a weekly column for TechCrunch to run each Saturday morning. Good call, Carr’s Not Safe For Work Column over at The Guardian was a treat, and I’m thinking it was a huge mistake to cut it loose. But that’s the media industry for you right now. I’m just surprised Nick Denton didn’t snatch him up already.

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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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May 21, 2009

Nick Denton Believes In Content

The king of Gawker Media, Nick Denton, is featured in an interview over at Ad Age. Naturally, a lot of the focus is on advertising revenue and the fact that Denton doomed it last year, and then did well enough after all. While online revenue for a blog network like Gawker Media is interesting, this caught my eye:

If a good exclusive used to provide 10 times the traffic of a standard regurgitated blog post, now it garners a hundred times as much. That should be reassuring to people. The content market is finding its new balance. Original reporting will be rewarded.

Denton then goes on and talks about recent strategic hires to strengthen the voice of the network’s key titles. Content is king yet again, eh?

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March 4, 2009

Gawker Media’s February: Really Good Actually

Blog network Gawker Media apparently had a great February, up as much as a fifth from last year, according to a leaked email from Nick Denton to the staff. Denton naturally doesn’t want to get overly optimistic, especially since he’s made so many changes the last few months to his network.

February 2009 wasn’t nearly as dreadful as it could have been. A lot of sites struck traffic records — including io9, Gawker, Deadspin, Jalopnik and Jezebel. In total, we drew 297m pageviews — some 34% over last February’s level and 50% up if you account for the sites we spun off in the meantime. Comments — so much improved in the last year — grew even more rapidly. Now that Defamer has been consolidated under Gawker, we don’t have a single weak site.

It seems like niche is king in these days of economic turmoil.

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February 23, 2009

Defamer Takes the Valleywag Route

It appears as if Nick Denton wasn’t able to sell his celebrity gossip (aren’t they all?) blog Defamer. Instead, it is now becoming a part of Gawker.com – the entertainment column according to PaidContent. Said business site is quoting a blog post written by Denton which unfortunately is no longer available, it just redirects to the not so updated nickdenton.org blogit’s back up! Assuming PaidContent got it right, Denton said “the brand was worth more to us — as a section of the Gawker site”.

Free translation: The bids we got were too low, and we can use the 900,000 monthlies to strengthen our key brand.

The defamer.com site will show all Defamer posts from Gawker, but the team is leaving to do something else, yet to be announced.

You might remember Valleywag making a similar transition late last year.

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November 13, 2008

Valleywag Bites the Dust, Gawker Scoops It Up

In his ever present search for more money through slashing, Nick Denton of Gawker Media obviously concluded that the 1 million pageviews monthly on tech gossip rag Valleywag just won’t do. It has to go, and will do so at the end of the month according to Owen Thomas. Valleywag got to stick around two and a half years, but will live on as a part of Gawker Media flagship site Gawker, to which Thomas invites us for more snarky tech gossip.

I’m sure we’ll all be there.

Do read the VentureBeat piece on this, full of internal linking and gossipy stuff.

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