Gawker: Continually jumping the snark

by Mathew on January 12, 2008 · 3 comments

The New York Times has a piece in Sunday on Gawker, and how it may have “jumped the snark.” It’s a look at some of the turmoil that the site has seen in recent weeks — including the departure of writer Richard Morgan after just one day, and the sudden resignations by former editor Choire Sicha and writer Emily Gould not that long ago.

Of Morgan, Nick Denton has said he “didn’t so much quit as splutter out. We did manage to get two publishable posts out of him before that happened. I wish him luck at a more leisurely institution” (for bonus points, you can read a transcript of an instant messaging conversation that Morgan and Denton had before he started.

In any case, the Times notes how recent stories in New York magazine and n+1 were rather unflattering, and talks about how the quality of the writing at Gawker has declined (according to some). The story also throws in some numbers about the traffic the site is getting now compared to the “glory days,” and just to pour salt in the wounds the writer calls up Tina Brown and Kurt Andersen and both say they no longer read it. Oh, snap.

For his part, Denton has a post in which he notes that Gawker has reportedly jumped the shark at least twice before — once in 2004 and once in 2005. Meanwhile, the site’s pageviews have continued to climb, according to a chart included in the post. Gawker’s views are now double what they were when the last shark-jumping comment was made.

  • jwestfall

    The problem with Gawker, and Gawker Media as a whole, is that Denton doesn't care about his employees. This is more than easily seen when actually talks about his employees. Denton cares about his PVs and his money and getting it his way, ethics or professionalism be damned!

    On the whole, most Gawker Media sites' quality of writing has been in sharp decline in stark contrast to their pageviews continually going up. With such an ongoing fresh crop of readers, very few people realize how bad the writing has actually gotten and how little anyone on a Gawker Media site actually writes anything other than being a press release-repeating, RSS-feed-regurgitating machine. It's paying the bills but it's not doing a thing for their credibility.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    I'm not sure about that. It's true that Denton doesn't seem all that
    attached to his employees, but the sites I read regularly –
    Valleywag, Idolator, Gizmodo and Kotaku — seem to still have more
    half-decent posts than not. It'll be interesting to see how that
    changes with the new compensation scheme.

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    I'm not sure about that. It's true that Denton doesn't seem all that
    attached to his employees, but the sites I read regularly –
    Valleywag, Idolator, Gizmodo and Kotaku — seem to still have more
    half-decent posts than not. It'll be interesting to see how that
    changes with the new compensation scheme.

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