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Gawker Media gets real

Gawker Media gets real

I’m not so sure that we’re in an advertising bubble, but I do believe we’re up against a creativity wall when it comes to blogging and blog networks. And Nick Denton is seeing something similar.

Blog Networks have always had a low barrier to entry. One only has to take a look at Blog Network List to see how many blog networks have sprung up over the years. While some are better than others – each takes some traffic that might go elsewhere.. and some are damn good and are nipping at the heels of the larger networks.

It was Jack Welch at General Electric who determined not long after becoming CEO that he and his team would aim to either be #1 or #2 in a given business area – or close/sell that business. Welch’s decisions may not have been popular with employees or the communities where GE had ran businesses for decades – but it did make GE one of the most successful corporations – and one of the wisest investments of the 20th century.

Denton is making a move with Gawker that isn’t dissimilar.

Change or Die.

One of the most important things about being successful in business is being willing to make a radical change in what you’re doing in order to maintain that success – and be willing to admit when you’ve had your ass kicked by other competition out there.

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Gawker’s changing – and I’m not sure I’d bet against Nick Denton.

Other perspectives: TechMeme, Steve Rubel, Media Bistro, Chartreuse, Business 2.0, Darren Rowse’s Problogger, The New York Times, GigaOm, & Publishing 2.0.

View Comments (5)
  • Whilst I concur in general terms it’s important to remember that blog networks as a percentage of traffic still make up a very, very small portion of the blogosphere…it just happens that if you take say the top 1000, or 5000 out there, you going to see a much larger number being in blog networks. Whilst there is little doubt in my mind that there isn’t a viable long term business out there for many of the up and coming blog networks, the long tail is still very, very long….

  • The whole point about a blog network is that it’s the aggregated page views that count, not whether individual titles are #1 or #2 in their niche. By cross-linking, the network becomes more like a magazine, with the blogs as topic sections, so the power of the whole is the whole point.

    Nick Denton is creating individual titles, each a magazine in its own right. If it doesn’t succeed by his standards he closes it down. But that’s not the WIN model, despite Engadget. Denton is a newspaper proprietor working with blogs, Calacanis sees the network as the title, not the blog. They’re both publishers, but they have different models.

    Most of us follow the WIN model because it doesn’t rely on individual blogs so much, which is why there are so many blogs in networks these days. The Gawker model requires almost a complete newspaper staff at each blog from the outset. It’s more expensive and problematic. Hence the constant closing down of titles whose traffic many of us would die for.

    Ultimately, it’s a choice between going wide or deep. Deep is close to MSM, wide is using the full power of the blogosphere.

  • it’s interesting to see that the WIN model has changed over time to resemble Gawker in a few ways. For instance, new WIN titles are launched under their own domain

  • I’ve tried the wide model and wasn’t happy with the results. I’m working on the deep model with my first title being PopCrunch so far I’m supremely impressed but with a staff of 7 its a totally different ball game keeping them all happy. So it will be a fun little ride.

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