Tag Archives: gawker media

CNET News: Journalist shield law may not prevent iPhone prototype investigation

Over in the US the iPhone prototype drama continues, as Gawker Media challenges the legality of the search warrant served on Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, last Friday. Gawker’s Gizmodo site had received an iPhone 4G protoype and revealed its features online. As CNet reported:

Police have seized computers and servers belonging to an editor of Gizmodo in an investigation that appears to stem from the gadget blog’s purchase of a lost Apple iPhone prototype.

Gawker claimed the search warrant was invalid under a part of California law. This part of the law, CNET reported, ” prevents judges from signing warrants that target writers for newspapers, magazines, or ‘other periodical publications.'”

But yesterday CNET reported that Gizmodo might not be protected by journalist shield law after all.

If Gizmodo editors are, in fact, a target of a criminal probe into the possession or purchase of stolen property, the search warrant served on editor Jason Chen on Friday appears valid. A blog post at NYTimes.com on Monday, citing unnamed law enforcement officials, said charges could be filed against the buyer of the prototype 4G phone – meaning Gizmodo.

Background to the Gizmodo scoop at this link. Promo video below:

Nieman Journalism Lab: Barriers to entry can improve quality and quantity of reader comments, says Gawker

In 2009, blog network Gawker Media introduced a new, stricter commenting system in an attempt to free the site from certain readers who were dominating comment threads. Nieman Journalism Lab has the full rundown of how the system now works, which includes trusted commenters having greater access to discussions and most recent comments placed at the top rather than bottom of threads to steer discussion.

“We’ll be able to encourage the kind of discussion that *we* want – not one that is dominated merely by the most prolific of our commenters. It’s our party; we get to decide who comes,” wrote founder Nick Denton at the time.

A graph on the blog of Gawker Media chief technology officer Tom Plunkett shows an initial dip in comment volume when the changes were first made, followed by a steep incline:

Though there were some calls to do so, purging commenter accounts is not a solution for the out-of-control commenter community. Nor is a large moderation staff. We believe pruning, and a commenting platform as we have implemented, will lead to increased participation, while at the same time encouraging quality. This data, and the subjective opinion of many, seem to back this assertion.

Full Nieman Journalism Lab report at this link…

Nieman Journalism Lab: Gawker’s new traffic metric measures ‘reader affection’

While others pour over pageviews and underscore uniques, Gawker Media has been quietly working on a new metric, one designed to measure so-called “reader affection”. This new metric is called “branded traffic” and is, according to Nieman Journalism Lab, “both more nebulous and more significant” than traditional forms of measurement.

The idea is to measure the number of visitors that arrive at the site via a direct search for its name or variations on its branding, or by typing in the site URL directly, and distinguish them from more incidental traffic.

The metric comes from a simple compound: direct type-in visits plus branded search queries in Google Analytics. In other words, Gawker Media is bifurcating its visitors in its evaluation of them, splitting them into two groups: the occasional audience, you might call it, and the core audience.

The original Gawker release highlights the value the site places on turning the internet passerby into an affectionate reader:

While distributing content across the web is essential for attracting the interest of internet passersby, courting these wanderers, massaging them into occasional visitors, and finally gaining their affection as daily readers is far more important. This core audience – borne of a compounding of word of mouth, search referrals, article recommendations, and successive enjoyed visits that result in regular readership – drives our rich site cultures and premium advertising products.

Full post at this link…

Nieman Journalism Lab: Gawker stirs up online commenting with new #tips tags

Gawker is encourage commenters and readers of its site to share news, links and tips using a new tagging system.

Using a text form on the site, tagging a message with #tips for example will send it to a ‘tips’ page, where all similarly tagged submissions will be pulled together to create a stream.

Individual hashtags for different sections of the site have been introduced as part of the new Gawker Open Forums, reports Nieman Journalism Lab.

“[A]s the front pages of our sites become ever more professional, it’s even more important to allow anarchy to bubble up from below. The goal is to blur the line between our editors and commenter-contributors,” publisher Nick Denton told Nieman.

Starred contributors – e.g. those members of Gawker’s commenting community that have been given a star rating by the site’s editors – will have their tagged submissions immediately fed to the aggregated pages. Other tagged contributions will need to be flagged up by these starred users.

Full story at this link…

Why Nick Denton wouldn’t set up shop in UK

From Politico: a report on a panel at the Institute’s Ideas Festival in Colarado, asking ‘What’s the News Worth to You?’

For us Brits, this is the interesting part:

“During the panel’s Q&A, Gawker Media’s Nick Denton sarcastically thanked the American newspaper industry for being so unaggressive, making it possible for ‘thugs’ like him to succeed.

“Conversely, Denton said he’d never set up shop in England. ‘Every single day, those editors get up and try to kill each other,’ said Denton. Not so in the U.S.”

(Hat-tip: Martin Stabe)


NYTimes.com: Life after ‘snarky’ – the future for the gossip site writers

Defamer is being absorbed into Gawker, but what’s happenning to its writers?

The NYTimes takes a quick look at the reopening MovieLine website, the new home of Defamer’s editors and writers.

“Whenever it is time to leave those [gossip] sites, though, the mocking writers often seem to have a change of heart as they try to change their jobs,” Stephanie Clifford comments.

“The editor and writers at Defamer, the Gawker Media site, have taken a similar turn.”

Full story at this link…

Gawker: Gawker to sell three blogs from its network

Gawker Media is selling three of of its blogs – Idolator, Gridskipper, and Wonkette.

Music blog Idolator will be sold to Buzznet network of sites.

Urban travel blog Gridskipper is to be sold to Curbed, the network is run by former Gawker Media editor Lockhart Steele and Gawker says it is an investor in the project.

The sale of Wonkette will come as the biggest surprise as it has long been associated as one of the core elements of the Gawker network.