Gawker's Nick Denton Wants To Give Commenters Power And Turn Them Into Journalists

nick denton

Photo: Michael Seto

Nick Denton, founder of Gawker, has been working on a project he hopes will disrupt the commenting system on his network.Actually, he hopes it will disrupt online journalism completely.

Denton is creating a platform that will turn commenters into featured writers. Instead of being an article’s afterthought, Denton is creating a platform that will turn readers’ opinions into group discussions. They will be able to control who’s in the discussion, and who’s left out.

Denton is still vague about the details of his new system. He tells Gigaom:

“I want to take all of those people and I want to have them in the discussion. I want to see the story evolve and see the rebuttal, and the rebuttal to the rebuttal. “your rebuttal will be given as much prominence as the original piece — we will respect you, we will protect you from the mob and we will let you say your piece. It’s great because it adds drama, and it keeps our writers honest.”

“He said he even wants to take the discussion around a story that editors at Gawker engage in via private IMs and chats and make all of that public, as a way of sparking discussion,” Gigaom writes.

It’s hard to imagine what the platform will look like. It most sounds like Branch, a startup backed by two of Twitter’s co-founders that hosts online discussions between thought leaders.

Gawker is the high-brow gossip sheet covering media, entertainment, politics and technology.

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