Felix Salmon, the web’s foremost Nick Dentonologist, has just published a 6,000 word tome on the latest moves at Gawker Media — namely the redesign of the site, and the separation with ad chief Chris Batty.
You’re a busy professional, so you don’t have time to read a 6,000 word post.
Here are the key points:
- The new Gawker redesign will reduce revenue significantly, at least in the short term, as it de-emphasises pageviews. Also, by being perfectly suited for the iPad, the new design closes off apps as a future revenue source. Ultimately, though, Gawker has the potential to make a fortune on video-like ads.
- This was the essence of the dispute with ad chief Chris Batty, who made revenue growth — not audience growth — as a priority. Batty was a big champion of sponsored posts.
- Gawker is now going after the TV industry, both in format, and for the potential to run beautiful video ads. Gawker is selling time on the site, not space.
- Although it’s a media company, Nick Denton has always wanted Gawker to push the envelope as a technology company, going back to its proto-RSS reader Kinja, and before that he sold news aggregator (technology) Moreover to VeriSign. What’s more, the internal CMS technology — Gawker Media Editor — is also extremely powerful.
- Meanwhile, Gawker has been going through a major transformation of its corporate structure. Technically it used to funnel up to a Hungarian company, but now it’s firmly based in the Cayman Islands, and probably represents a new attempt to solidify and clarify the company’s corporate structure. What’s more, because it has a weird structure, nobody — not employees, not VCs — can really value the company, which suits Denton just fine. He likes being in control, not having to worry about short-term issues.
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