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Posts Tagged ‘Gawker Media’

Nick Denton Explains Google, Probably Hates This Headline Because It’s Too Long

Nick Denton, the man behind the Gawker Media empire, schooled some people today. Pay attention now, students.

The First Lesson: Headlines 101, Bitch. Denton sent a memo (as in, posted it on Gawker) that said the company’s writers were too long-winded with their headlines. Beginning tomorrow, all Gawker posts must have headlines of 70 characters or under. Or else!

“Our wordy headlines are a growing disadvantage,” wrote Denton. “That’s why from tomorrow we’re going to warn you in the Kinja editor to keep your headlines below 70 characters — and we’re going to only display 70 characters on the front page even if you go longer.”

The Second Lesson: Google 210, Mothef*ckers. The savvy Denton noted that the reason for the headline change was that Google cuts headlines off at 70 characters, and pieces with longer headlines won’t get as much traffic as shorter ones. ”Google demotes search results that don’t get clicked on,” the media maven explained.

Class is dismissed, fools.

Gaby Darbyshire, Veteran of Gawker Media, Departs Company

Gaby Darbyshire has left Gawker Media. Darbyshire, COO of Gawker Media, had been with the company since 2004. Prior to her time at Gawker she helped launch Oriel Wines in 2003.

While details as to what Darbyshire will do next are scarce, she told All Things D in an email that her departure was necessary:

I had a great run with Nick [Denton] at Gawker, but I want to do some other projects. Given that the company has matured into a well-oiled machine, it was the right time for me to move on, and change is a good thing for everyone.

Gizmodo Gets a TV Show

Gizmodo, the tech blog from Gawker Media, is coming to your TV sets. On Monday, March 18th, at 10:20 pm, “Gizmodo: The Gadget Testers” will debut on BBC America. The hour-long special will feature gadget reviews (duh) and is hosted by Joel Johnson, Greg Foot, OJ Borg and Veronica Belmont. Joe Brown, editor of Gizmodo, will also be making an appearance.

The downside of the program is that the stuff being analyzed is a bit dated. Johnson explained why:

Now if you’re reading this, I’m certain you’re going to notice a few things about this show. For one, the gadgets we’re testing are a few months out of date. That’s because we shot most of the it before CES. If we were to make more of these—a television series, let’s say—turning production around faster would of course be a priority.

As it is a pilot, the site needs people to watch in order for more episodes to be picked up by BBC America. So, if you’re a fan of Gizmodo and what they do, why not tune in? Who knows, if this show gets the nod, maybe it will lead to a Deadspin show hosted by Manti Te’o.

Hurricane Sandy Takes Down Gawker Media, Mediaite, HuffPost, BuzzFeed [Update]

Hurricane Sandy hit the city hard, and along with flooding and devastation, several media companies saw their sites go down. All Gawker Media sites, Mediaite, The Huffington Post, and BuzzFeed were down at some point as Sandy made its way across land.

The source of the outage is flooding at Datagram, which houses the servers used by all the sites that went out. “Gawker sites down after power cut off at Datagram, our data center down on Whitehall St. Backup power didn’t kick in fast enough,” tweeted Nick Denton.

The Huffington Post was down, but is now publishing posts on an extremely stripped down version of the site. “Due to power outages caused by Superstorm Sandy, our own website is experiencing technical difficulties,” reads a post on the site.

BuzzFeed is up now, but isn’t being updated. According to their Twitter account, they’re updating content via other platforms, such as Tumblr.

UPDATE:
BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post are both back up.

Deadspin Criticizes Bleacher Report for Being Like Deadspin [Update]

Most sports fan know that Bleacher Report is a site filled with mostly unintelligent content created in such a way that it garners the most page views possible. Almost every post is either a giant exaggeration or a list of some kind. And that’s fine. Sometimes it’s fun to click through a slideshow of “The 10 Most Overrated Socks in The NFL.” But Deadspin doesn’t think there’s anything good about BR, as evidenced by a post today.

Deadspin links to a SF Weekly piece about BR and picks out a bunch of sections to show just how terrible BR can be. Deadspin says that BR uses a team to analyze trends so that the site’s articles will attract hits, that BR’s headlines are purposely misleading and that the site  is “every bad or degrading moment anyone’s ever had in journalism, all strung together and turned into machine-certified corporate policy.”

That is all sort of true! But, uh, isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black? After all, Deadspin is a site most famous for posting a picture of Brett Favre’s sausage, and we’re not talking about an Instagrammed brunch.

Deadspin’s post even admits that they take similar tactics to BR, so why even post the hit piece in the first place? It’s almost like Deadspin went overboard with its opinion just to attract readers. What an odd thing to do.

UPDATE:
Tommy Craggs, Deadspin’s editor-in-chief, just wrote me about this post. He proclaimed that my take was both “fucking stupid” and “fucking idiotic,” which I think means he loved it. The exchange between Craggs and I is below.

Read more

Gawker to Give Power to Commenters

Nick Denton told people gathered at a South By Southwest event yesterday that Gawker Media is going to revamp its commenting system within the next few months. The plan? Give commenters — who Denton has never had much love for — more power. As All Things D notes, essentially the first person to comment on a post will then be able to moderate the thread that follows. There will also be multiple comment moderators and multiple comment threads. Oh, and no one is getting paid for this, they’ll just be happy to comment and wield their new (completely worthless in real life) power.

Denton wants to change the system at Gawker Media because he thinks most comments now are crap. Adweek reports that Denton claimed that for every two comments that are interesting, there are eight “toxic” ones and referred to it all as the “tragedy of the commons… or tragedy of the comments.”

It’s always been funny to think that Denton and other Gawker Media types have considered the sites to be a place where an enlightened conversation would happen. Let’s be honest: Gawker is a place for videos of people fighting in McDonald’s and dong shots. To think that sort of thing is going to bring out the best commenters is a bit ridiculous. Even The New York Times has stupid comments on its site. Time will tell if giving those same commenters more power will lead to even more comedy.

Gizmodo Bans its Own Editor for Insulting Commenters

Jesus Diaz, an editor for Gizmodo, has been banned from commenting on the site. In a post titled, “I Just Banned Jesus Diaz,” Gizmodo’s Editor-in-Chief, Joe Brown, explained that Diaz had crossed the line. “I hate to do this, but we have to hold ourselves to the same standards as we hold our readers; these lines have to exist for us as well,” wrote Brown.

Diaz was banned for hurling insults at Gizmodo commenters who disagreed with a post about Google altering its privacy practices. When a commenter called the post “sensationalist,” Diaz lost his damn mind. ”It’s amazing how moronic people can be and how hard they can suck on corporate cock,” wrote Diaz. “The above [comment] is a good case of this pro-corporate whoring.” Diaz wasn’t done there. He went on to tell another commenter, “Google fandroids like you are as bad as Apple fanboys like Gruber. All of you sucking on corporate cock and lying off your tits.”

Okay! Well then. Everyone please note that corporate cock, pro-corporate whoring and something called “lying off your tits” are not in Diaz’s wheelhouse.

Given the ridiculousness of Diaz’s comments, Brown was right to ban him. It’s a smart move and shows support for Gizmodo’s readers. Hopefully the disciplinary move will make Diaz think more before he writes.

Nick Denton’s Change of Heart

Gawker Media’s Nick Denton has been doing some soul-searching.

In the memo to his staff  that’s been making the web rounds, he wrote:

Relentless and cynical traffic-trawling is bad for the soul. Yes, I just said that.

Irony indeed. Denton, who many could argue built a business on “traffic-trawling,” is now calling for a mix of contributors who use mass-traffic generators like “dong shots” and others who appeal “to a smaller and more influential set of readers.”

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Gawker Media Puts Fleshbot.com Up for Sale

Anyone in the market for a porn blog? If you screamed “Yes!” First, calm down, you probably scared your dog, and second — we have some good news for you: Gawker Media has put Fleshbot.com (link NSFW, unless your boss is creepy) up for sale. Its editor, Lux Alptraum, posted this announcement the morning.

“For the past eight years, Fleshbot has made its home at Gawker Media,” wrote Alptraum. “But as GM has grown, its sales strategy and technology platform have ceased to effectively support Fleshbot’s needs. We think someone else could be a much better partner to grow the site with us… As one of the only adult properties that manages to maintain a solid foothold in the mainstream world, Fleshbot is a unique property — and with our star-studded and much lauded Awards show, we’ve only increased our potential to dominate the mainstream media.”

There are so many puns in that quote that we’re completely overwhelmed.

(H/T Romenesko)

Brian Lam Departs Gizmodo

Brian Lam, the Editor-in-Chief for Gawker Media’s technology site Gizmodo, is leaving after five years. His farewell post didn’t say much, but The New York Times managed to gain access to a memo from Nick Denton about Lam’s departure:

A very quick note to let you know about a big change at Gizmodo before the news hits externally: Brian Lam is leaving the site after five years.

Having moved to the New York office, Joe Brown — another Wired veteran — is taking over as editor in chief at the end of the month. Matt Buchanan will be deputy editor.

Brian is writing up a post on Gizmodo. But let me just say this: Brian’s editorial flair and empathetic management are inspirational. He’s put together the best technology team on the Web. It’s hard to imagine Gizmodo without him; but it will always carry his DNA.

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