The Daily Dot, the “hometown newspaper of the Internet,” is a bizarre proposition to say the least. But founder Nicholas White is determined to make it work, and more power to him. (Jobs! Journalism! Awesome!)
He’s hired scads of talent, including former Valleywag editor Owen Thomas, and as White says in this piece for MediaShift that that’s all part of the plan.
“Everything, from Backfence to Patch, is about creating a technological solution and keeping human expenses as low as possible. That only works if you’re creating a content farm,” he says. “When sites have gone (comparatively) premium — The Huffington Post, Politico, TMZ — they can be successful, but they are expensive. They have a lot of employees.”
Out of White’s five tips for other media entrepreneurs, two of them involve hiring.
One: “Get the team in place, and get them in place early. You can never have someone too early — you can always manage budget or other timing issues by having someone keep their current job for the time being and start in a month, or three months.”
Two: “Don’t compromise on people. People make any business. But early on, there are no norms, no momentum to sweep people along. Everyone is going to feel like they’re dragging a big boulder uphill. There’s going to be lots to improvise, and relatively little room for learning on the job. You need people who are ready to operate on the best information they have, and yet still question everything they know. You need people who can take surprises in stride, who are ready to plan, but also to act.”
The Daily Dot exited beta this week.