Tag Archives: Gawker

Nieman Journalism Lab: MinnPost editor on new audience building strategy

Valuing returning readers over vagrant visitors, a strategy extolled by Gawker a few weeks back and termed “reader affection”, has caught on at non-profit investigative site MinnPost. Speaking at the ASNE NewsNow Ideas Summit this week, editor Joel Kramer announced that MinnPost is also a fan of the affection metric, and aims to build up a “community of intensely engaged followers”. From Nieman:

The strategy, for MinnPost, is a financial as much as an editorial one: It’s about concentrating impact, but also about monetising that impact. The outlet’s ultimate goal in developing a core readership, Kramer said, is to “convert that community into enough money to sustain the journalism”.

Full story at this link…

Read Journalism.co.uk’s interview with Kramer at this link.

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…

Media Beat: Former Gawker managing editor talks niches and revenue streams

Dramatically named blogger and journalism entrepreneur Lockhart Steele has guested on mediabistro’s Media Beat video series in the last two days, with the last episode appearing later this afternoon. Steele began blogging around the beginning of the decade while working in magazines. He was recruited by Nick Denton as Gawker began to pick up traffic and later became managing editor of the site, seeing it expand from just a handful of editorial staff to around 150.

In the second installment of the Media Beat series, below, Steele discusses getting traffic through Twitter and Facebook, diversifying revenue streams online, and “looking for niches where we can be a little bit weird”.

Follow this link for the first installment, in which Steele discusses starting out in blogging and breaking away from Gawker to establish his own blogging network.

Mediabistro: New Gawker.TV powered by interns; hopes site will sell ads

Mediabistro.com reports on the launch of a new spin-off site for Gawker – a video website, Gawker.TV, manned by around 16 interns working under a video editor.

Videos are a big traffic driver for Gawker and founder Nick Denton has admitted that selling ads will be easier on a site with a less specific focus, according to Mediabistro.

Full post at this link…

Gawker: Crowdsourcing a translation of GQ’s Putin article

Last week Gawker asked readers to help it translate an article into Russian from Conde Nast’s GQ, which the publisher reportedly went to great lengths to prevent from being read in Russia, because it contained criticisms of Vladimir Putin.

A full translation of the article has been completed and the process behind it can be read about at this link.

Issues of copyright and press freedom arise from this – Journalism.co.uk will be contacting Gawker to find out more.

Felix Salmon: Gawker sums show why it’s a ‘highly profitable media co.’

Over at the Reuters blog, Felix Salmon does some calculations about Gawker and blog profitability, following a post on the Nieman Journalism Lab.

“(…) overall it’s easy to see how Gawker has now grown to the point at which it’s a highly profitable media company.”

Full post at this link…

Washington Post: ‘Whiny WashPost Reporter Makes His Point: Respect the Genuine Article’

Well, that’s Ian Shapira’s suggested headline for a follow-up story on Gawker, after the site picked up on and heavily excerpted his story on ‘branding consultant’ Anne Loehr.

Gawker included a link to his original article – but only at the very bottom of the post.

Shapira’s initial happiness at having his story featured on Gawker turned to disillusion as he questioned the benefits of traffic driven by Gawker to his original piece, he writes in a follow-up piece.

Gawker may make money from advertising around its aggregation of original reporting from other sources, which have invested time and money into the report, but does a spike in traffic help the Washington Post’s bottom line, he asks.

“After talking with Denton [Nick Denton, Gawker founder], Nolan [Hamilton Nolan, the Gawker author] and others for this article, I still want a fluid blogosphere, but one where aggregators – newspapers included – are more transparent about whom they’re heavily excerpting. They should mention the original source immediately. And if bloggers want to excerpt at length, a fee would be the nice, ethical gesture,” he writes.

Full article at this link…

Nick Denton: Gawker revenues up 45 per cent in first half of 2009

The plunge has already been pretty terrifying for a range of companies from Yahoo and IAC to the newspapers,” writes Gawker founder Nick Denton, referring to his previous prediction that media companies should prepare for a 40 per cent downturn in advertising revenue over the economic cycle.

“But I was wrong in one respect: a few premium internet brands, Gawker’s among them, have withstood the advertising apocalypse.”

Full post 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)