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Posts Tagged ‘Gawker Media’

Gawker’s Crackstarter Campaign is Over

Gawker’s Rob Ford Crackstarter campaign is officially over. When it first started, we wondered here why readers should pay to see in the first place. Like all things drug related, the campaign took a nose-dive when the video became randomly unavailable.

The cash is now being divvied up, as promised, to Canadian charities that John Cook has deemed worthy. Apart from the ethics of making readers pay for source material, if you’re thinking about running a crowdfunding campaign for anything, you should remember to estimate fees into your goal:

 

The total take from Crackstarter was $201,199. Indiegogo, the service that hosted the campaign, withheld $8,047.96 in fees. PayPal, which processed the payments, withheld $8,368.43. That left the Crackstarter with a net take of $184,782.61, which has been held in a non-interest bearing account since PayPal released the money to us.

That’s over $16,000 that Indiegogo and PayPal pocketed jsut because Gawker readers are crazy enough to want to watch a mayor smoking crack. And they say there’s no money in journalism these days.

Image c/o Gawker

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What You Can Learn From Profitable New Media Companies

It ain’t easy being in the media business these days, or so they say.  There are in fact lots of people allegedly, or actually, raking in digital dollars, according to this article from Fortune. They’re all content producers with a journalistic twist. They are all different in their own ways, but you can parse out some ingredients for financial success in the industry. 

Not surprisingly the top, profitable companies are: The Huffington Post, Gawker Media, The Awl, Business Insider, SAY Media, Vox Media, and BuzzFeed. 

So what sets them apart?

 1. Niche, Niche, Niche

Choire Sicha of The Awl says they only want to be read by ‘smart people,’ and as it’s grown, it’s added other niche sites to its cache, like the female focused The Hairpin. Business Insider lives off of business and technology news and gossip, straight from the mouth of editor ‘Wall Street bad boy’ Henry Blodget. Gawker peddles snark, and BuzzFeed caters to culturally in-tune Millenials and their parents. HuffPo is grandfather of all of them — they have the verticals and dedicated, SEO hungry, writing staff for everything. By dabbling in it all, they essentially cater to segmented, yet focused, audiences. All of these organizations are like the good old magazines of the paper days: each site has a distinct look, feel and tone, reminiscent of say, Sassy or even Spin. It’s no wonder that Jane Pratt is part of the profitable crew under SAY Media. All of this ties into the next thing profitable companies have in common…  Read more

Gawker’s Kinja Platform: Please Don’t Make Me Blog for You

It finally happened. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a bit of a Gawker groupie and I’ve been waiting for the rollout of Kinja on all of their sites. Not because I am an avid commenter (that requires more dedication than I can give), but because I wanted to see how it was going to work from the sidelines. I have mixed feelings.

 1) Mobile Layouts 

I know that everyone keeps saying that mobile is the future, and it is, of course. Fine. But I still don’t know how I’m supposed to work on a tablet. The old Gawker layout was optimized for a desktop experience, with the main blog post and a scroll down menu of new and trending posts. You could pick and choose, hop around the site before getting back to whatever you were avoiding before you came to Gawker in the first place.

The new Kinja layout is clean, sleek and modern. Everything you want a digital experience to be — except that you have to scroll around too much. I find myself reading many of the blurbs without actually clicking on a story. And when you do click into a story, that’s it. You have to work to browse. 

On a tablet, the Kinja reading experience makes more sense. Video and ads and posts all come together in one, non-annoying, continuous roll. My reaction to reading the new Gawker on my laptop is the first time I ever felt old. And why can’t you Tweet single posts? What’s the deal, Denton?   Read more

Coming Soon From Gawker: A Way To Get Rid Of ‘Boring’ Comments?

There are spam comments, flaming comments, troll comments … and then there are just plain old boring comments.

Nick Denton. (Photo by Dave Winer)

It’s a problem that faces many news websites.

So Nick Denton, the influential head of Gawker Media, said at a conference hosted by Advertising Age on Tuesday that his company was developing a product to rid his sites of comments he considers boring.

“I would like an AT&T engineer who has an explanation for why AT&T’s data coverage is weak in New York and San Francisco to feel comfortable in our comment environment,” he said.

Indeed, the comment sections of articles are often used for official responses and the like. But that’s often the exception. Read more