Despite a long-awaited economic uptick, the media industry continues to recess, but one small part of it is still growing: Gawker Media. Nick Denton's blog archipelago is expanding its footprint today with a new video site, Gawker.tv.
"The web is a visual medium," Denton says. "As a former print journalist, that's a hard thing for me to acknowledge. But that's the great virtue of the web: It's so measurable. The numbers force one to acknowledge what readers want. Actually, given what they want, I shouldn't call them readers -- rather, viewers."
On the Cheap, as Usual
The new site will be run by Richard Blakeley, Gawker's video editor (and co-creator of the popular disgusting-food blog This Is Why You're Fat). It will be run on the cheap, with a staff of three and a minimum of original content. Denton describes the content mix as "mainly finds, mashups, the usual Gawker/Daily Show formula."
This is the second big initiative this fall from Gawker Media, which underwent a period of contraction last year -- semi-folding its tech-industry gossip blog, Valleywag; selling its consumer-watchdog blog, Consumerist; and trying to sell its entertainment-industry site, Defamer. Last month, Denton introduced Gawker Open Forums, a comment system that lets readers -- rather, viewers -- have their own undirected conversations about people and subjects in the news, and to share rumors with a minimum of editorial filtering. Denton described the concept as "dark Facebook."
Denton says it's too early to say whether Open Forums has been a success, as start-up tech snafus prevented it from working properly: "It overloaded our servers, [and the] search engine was inefficiently designed, but we think we're over the worst now."
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