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Posts Tagged ‘Nick Denton’

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.

Ken Layne Recalls the Enterprise Known as LAExaminer.com

Despite the Church of Scientology across the street, the pit bulls next door and a car that didn’t really work, Ken Layne insists his original home office set-up for LA’s defunct LAExaminer.com was “very pleasant.” That description also applies to his overall reminiscences for The Awl.

Layne says he was prompted to start the site and quickly rope in neighborhood pal Matt Welch by his daily dose of Romenesko. Later on, Richard Riordan would almost turn the blog into a weekly print publication, which would have been super cool:

The style was just the way we talked around endless pitchers at Ye Rustic Inn up the street on Hillhurst, full of moral certainty and outrage and cheap jokes — it’s what is widely practiced and critically dismissed as “snark” today, although we never had any interest in celebrities. The dreary mayor James Hahn and the pompous columnists at the terrible Los Angeles Times were regular topics, as was boosterism about the Lakers, public transportation and the eastside neighborhoods in general. We were reflexively opposed to the bland wealthy valet parking lot of the Westside.

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A.J. Daulerio Steps Aside as Editor of Gawker, John Cook Takes Over

The A.J. Daulerio Gawker era is coming to a close. According to New York’s Daily Intelligencer, Daulerio is stepping down as editor-in-chief of Gawker, and John Cook is succeeding him.

“John Cook is the most experienced reporter on the team, a surprisingly powerful opinion writer and a gossip of the most refined kind,” wrote Nick Denton, in a memo. “He has natural authority. John will preserve the crew and build on the success of 2012. I’m grateful to AJ for leaving Gawker in such great shape and I can’t wait to see what John and his colleagues will do in 2013. Roger Ailes’ excitement may be more muted.”

For the full Denton memo and Daulerio’s note to staffers, head over to Daily Intelligencer.

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.

Gawker Grabs $2 Million in Revenue in One Day

Gawker Media boss Nick Denton just had the pleasure of sending out what must have been one of the most delightful memos to write in all his years. According to Denton, on Tuesday Gawker made $2 million in revenue, which is pretty damn impressive.

Denton also has Kate Middleton’s boobs and that fancy iPhone thing to thank for things going great. “Kate Middleton, iPhone and our excellent coverage of those and other stories drew 39.1m readers in the last month,” Denton explained in the note. “22.6m of them from our main market, the US. That’s a record.”

For the full memo from Denton, head over to Jim Romenesko’s site.

Finke-Easton Ellis Feud Gets a Whole Lot Uglier

Reclusive blogger Nikki Finke appears to be foolishly going after someone who has no fear of her.

In the latest bit of news connected to the public feud that erupted last Friday between Finke and author Bret Easton Ellis thanks to an article on Gawker and quick echo at the New York Observer end, the Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the author’s agency ICM has engaged lawyers Howard Weitzman and Lawrence Iser to counter her threats:

The lawyers have fired off two separate letters to her website’s owner demanding that she stop harassing agency employees…

Sources who have seen the cease-and-desist letters say the letters also claim that Finke has told top ICM employees she would reveal their home addresses and where their children go to school. Finke also is alleged in the letters to have told at least one agent that she would write things damaging to the agency on the Deadline blog that the agency’s executives believe to be false.

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Why Richard Lawson Left Gawker For Atlantic Wire

It’s been almost eight months since entertainment writer and TV recapper extraordinaire Richard Lawson jumped into The Atlantic Wire. After racking up 2.4 million monthly views as Gawker’s most popular writer, you’d think Lawson would want to stay put.

But in Mediabistro’s latest So What Do You Do? interview, the scribe said he left Nick Denton‘s empire simply because it was time to “grow up.”

“After a while, the Gawker snark — for lack of a less heavy word — can get a bit tiring. I think it’s great and I think it has its place, but I felt like I wanted to be a little more mature, I guess,” he said. ”I love all of the writing at Gawker still, but just for myself, I’m getting a chance to do more serious movie reviews and stuff I think wouldn’t have necessarily played out well on Gawker.”

Nick Denton Addresses Gawker Media Changes

This afternoon Nick Denton sent Gawker Media staffers a memo outlining some managerial and advertising changes. Nothing major was announced, but here are some highlights via Jim Romenesko, who obtained the memo.

  • “We are creating a new content department within sales to be headed by Ray [Wert]. It will encompass the existing creative services team and several additional functions: primarily branded content, marketing communications and events. Ray is the first editor to move to sales.”
  • “The days of the banner advertisement are numbered. In two years, our primary offering to marketers will be our discussion platform. Expanding on our existing sponsored post program, Ray’s team will recruit and identify a client’s spokespeople and advocates, advise them on web etiquette and language, and help make their most persuasive case.”
  • “The second main growth area for Gawker Media is content-driven commerce, ranging from affiliate marketing to in-page transactions. A historical tidbit: the original business model for Gizmodo was affiliate fees from purchases of gadgets through Amazon. We didn’t have the scale then to make that work. We do now.”

For the full memo, click through to Romenesko’s site.

Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for the Week

Courtesy: Patrick McMullan/nymag.com

Here’s a look at what FishbowlNY stories made the most buzz this week.

  1. Nick Denton Defends Pathetic Fox News Mole Posts By Saying They Brought Traffic, April 17
  2. Hearst Taps Former BlogHer Exec as New Women’s Digital Ad Network Head, April 17
  3. The 2012 Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced, April 16
  4. The 2012 Time 100, April 18
  5. More Daily News Departures, April 13

Keep up-to-date with the latest FishbowlNY news. Click here to sign-up for the FishbowlNY daily newsletter, bringing you our articles each afternoon directly to your inbox.

Nick Denton Defends Pathetic Fox News Mole Posts By Saying They Brought Traffic

Today Gawker announced that it was blowing up its commenting system, which of course brought out the crazies. And while they were entertaining in their passion — what ever will Gawker do with all the people lying about not visiting the site anymore??? — we thought we’d focus on a comment from Nick Denton, regarding the Fox News Mole, Joe Muto:

Despite AJ’s, um, antagonistic relationship with some star commenters, he and his writers have drawn a record audience: 2.5m people in the US in the last seven days alone. That’s amazing. Lest you think that these are morons drawn by pet videos — stories such as the Fox News Mole have drawn a ton of press attention.

If you’ve been following Muto’s updates, you know by now what a complete failure the whole thing was. Gawker was clearly hoping for something monumental with Muto’s posts, and instead got dispatches about — excuse the pun — crappy bathrooms. But here Denton is defending the experiment by saying that it brought in traffic.

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