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Posts Tagged ‘Gawker Media’

Joel Johnson Named Gawker Media Editorial Director

GawkerJoel Johnson, founder of Consumerist and former editor of Gizmodo and Kotaku, has been named editorial director of Gawker Media.

Johnson had most recently served as an editor-at-large for Gawker. He has previously served as an editor at Boing Boing, Wired and Animal NY.

Johnson tweeted that he was “Happy to return to my ancestral homeland Gawker Media.”

Gawker Launches Redesign, Readers Hate It


Gawker Media has revamped its website layout once again, and once again, readers are voicing their disapproval. For the record, we agree with the readers, the design sucks. However, it was changed because of that thing called money.

The most recent version of Gawker sites featured a lot of large images and space. The new look is much more dense, replacing the big photos — most of which were great — with smaller ones. The other big change is a box ad on the left side of the page, which sort of sticks out. Nick Denton, Gawker’s CEO, expects everyone to get used to it. “Viewability is increasingly important to advertisers,” he told Digiday. “And like it or not, the 300 x 250 is the most common ad on the web.”

Just like every other Gawker redesign, readers greeted the change with irrational anger.

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Nick Denton Talks to Nieman About Gawker Media’s ‘Most Significant’ Tech Investment

It rhymes with “ninja” and Denton tells Nieman Lab’s Adrienne LaFrance that for the past year, a team of 30 full-time tech staffers has been working hard to integrate it across Gawker Media properties. Tonight, that Kinja coolness is being fully implemented.

It’s the latest bold attempt by Denton to reinvigorate the experience of commenting on and sharing breaking news, gossip. Among the more notable aspects of what LaFrance refers to as an embedded “reblogging platform” is the ability for readers to create new, customized headlines and teasers for a Gawker, Jezebel or other site story:

“For instance, say a story was written for gamers — they can translate it for a more general audience,” Denton said. “And, if that URL is shared, it is shared with the new headline and intro.”

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Interns Sue Gawker for Unpaid Wages

Three former Gawker interns are suing Gawker Media, claiming that the company broke the minimum wage law. Bloomberg reports that the filing claims the interns worked for Gakwer — writing and editing posts, etc. — from 2008 to 2010, without pay. The lawsuit seeks compensation for unpaid wages and overtime.

“Gawker employs numerous other ‘interns’ in the same way, paying them nothing or underpaying them and utilizing their services to publish its content on the Internet, an enterprise that generates significant amounts of revenue for Gawker,” explains the court document.

The action comes at a good time, considering that a judge just ruled that former Fox Searchlight interns should have been paid for their work. Also, Gawker does pay interns now, so you’d think the three former staffers have a real chance at getting some cash.

Nick Denton in Fleshbot Payment Dispute

Nick Denton wants his porn money. The head of Gawker Media has filed papers with New York’s Supreme Court claiming that he still hasn’t been paid for the sale of Fleshbot, the porntastic site that used to be under the Gawker umbrella.

The New York Post reports that Denton alleges Noa Gottlieb signed a promissory note to pay $100,000 Fleshbot. The total would be paid in four installments that were supposed to begin May 1 of last year. But Denton and his legal team claim that never happened. “Fleshbot made none of the $25,000 payments and despite repeated requests for payment still owes Gawker $100,000 plus interest,” read a court filing.

Gottlieb’s position (Haha!) on the matter is that “actions” by Denton and Gawker Media voided the promissory note.

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.

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