Google Blogoscoped

Friday, July 7, 2006

Gawker Sells Some Blogs

Steve Rubel, citing the NYT, writes that Nick Denton of Gawker Media is kicking out some blogs, and switching or firing editors on others. Screenhead and Sploid will be closed unless they’re sold till the end of this month. At Gawker Media, it’s “survival of the fittest,” as Steve puts it.

Here’s from what seems to be a leaked memo from Gawker’s Lockhart Steele:

More than anything, I think the moves are driven by our belief that Gawker needs to remain in a state of constant revolution. Resting on our laurels, and getting lazy, becomes easier as the company matures. Yet, so many of our titles are still in their infancy in terms of what their potential audience size, impact, and editorial could be. Look at our biggest traffic sites – Gizmodo, Gawker, Fleshbot, Defamer, Kotaku, Deadspin, Lifehacker, just for starters. Each amazing in its own way. And each capable of being two, five, ten times bigger than it is now – not just in traffic, but in influence, buzz, and significance. I’m also excited by the buzz around some of our newer titles, like Consumerist, and some ideas we have for new sites.

We’ve spent the first half of this year developing the Ganja publishing platform that Lifehacker and Consumerist are now operating on. The goal of the Ganja project is simple: to further empower you to create the best sites you can. Over the next year, the platform should help us evolve our editorial product in myriad ways. Cleaner layouts. Bigger photos. More video. The ability to incorporate content from other sites, and readers, directly. Greater interactivity. But all backed by our desire to continue investing in our editorial – in our editors, photographers, videographers – that form the core of all Gawker sites.

Also, according to the memo, Gawker has a music-related site in the works. And this is reported to be a draft of a blog post by Nick Denton, according to the same memo shown at Eat the Press:

We’ve never liked crowds, nor believed in their wisdom. Gawker launched and expanded in the middle of the web bust; as, four years later, web 2.0 enthusiasm reaches dizzying new levels, it’s time for another perversely countercyclical move. (...)

[E]ven successful sites can settle into comfortable habits. Over time, on the same beat, all journalists get into a routine, or too close to sources, or lose their nose for a story. Bloggers are far from immune. We want always to be open to new editorial talent, even if that means making painful changes.

One of my favorite Gawker blog remains Valleywag, but when you become a regular on a Gawker blog you really notice how unbloglike they are for hiding the person behind the blog. A blog post should be signed with the name of the writer, period.

Possibly, the author of Valleywag...

[Image hat tip to Nick Douglas.]


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