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.
The favored commenters will be silent; and the illiterate ones will rant, well, illiterately. But we’ll be able to encourage the kind of discussion that *we* want — not one that is dominated merely by the most prolific of our commenters. It’s our party; we get to decide who comes.
People overall usually find it easier to complain and criticize, than to offer kind words and encouragement. Especially when you hit the mainstream, the trolling out there is somewhat overwhelming at times.
Anyway, the comment changes will roll out across the network today, and the pageview bonus system is valid for the coming six months. If you’re curious about who’s getting the most pageviews, check out the public stats,
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.