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"He has fun when people say horrible things about him."
October 11, 2010 6:24 AM   Subscribe

Eustace Tilley lifts up his monocle to peer curiously at Nick Denton and the Gawker Media empire.
posted by Horace Rumpole (23 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
havent rtfa yet but wishing i could favourite the fpp sentence
posted by The Lady is a designer at 6:27 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I read the whole thing, but didn't feel like I learned anything I didn't already know. Either I know too much about Gawker Media, or the piece wasn't that interesting. I can't decide.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:44 AM on October 11, 2010


My vote is for not interesting, especially if you live outside of NYC. They lost me at "radical Manhattanism." Seriously?
posted by lagreen at 6:51 AM on October 11, 2010


I admire Denton's business sense. I really do. Gizmodo set the template for a whole lot of other blogs and without Denton the shape of the blogosphere would look different. His belief that blogging could become a corporate business model was fairly innovative back in 2002 and while everyone oohed and aahed at Instapundit, Denton quickly gathered that it was better business to get other bloggers to build your media empire.

But he's still a dick. The article blithely moves on from how many young, dumb, enthusiastic bloggers Denton had to suffocate before he climbed up to where he is now. It runs through the usual stuff of entrepreneurs - emotional vulnerability, outsider status, hard to read, hard to please, competitive instinct etc - but in my book part of Gawker's story is not the empire but the carnage he caused in getting there.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:54 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Denton is basically a hipper, meaner version of this guy.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:55 AM on October 11, 2010


But he's still a dick. The article blithely moves on from how many young, dumb, enthusiastic bloggers Denton had to suffocate before he climbed up to where he is now.

I think this can be said of most of the current crop of "internet superstars", such as Zuckberg and et all. They have no problem with using others to get where they want to be, and see the world as some toy for them to mess with. "oooh, people! Can I squish them?"
posted by Old'n'Busted at 7:03 AM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


The article blithely moves on from how many young, dumb, enthusiastic bloggers Denton had to suffocate before he climbed up to where he is now.

Assuming he didn't actually asphyxiate anyone, what do you mean here? To whom did he do what?
posted by pracowity at 7:06 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


When o when will there be a media profile about a kindly, warmhearted media mogul?
posted by chavenet at 7:12 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Old'n'Busted: I might suggest that very attitude is a feature, rather than a bug, in their quest for fortune and power.
posted by absalom at 7:21 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


havent rtfa yet but wishing i could favourite the fpp sentence

Cosigning this with all possible fervor.
posted by clavicle at 7:24 AM on October 11, 2010


Assuming he didn't actually asphyxiate anyone, what do you mean here?

Denton's sweatshop. He fairly cynically used the allure of working in the media to sweat young bloggers for ideas. His great innovation on that front was running the operation on metrics, metrics, metrics - something dead tree media can't do at that level of granularity, but which is not particularly conducive to a healthy work environment.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:26 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nick Denton bought me a beer once. That should forgive most sins, I think.
posted by jonmc at 7:31 AM on October 11, 2010


To whom did he do what?

Well, this is all really old news, but the article gives one very good example of why so many writers hated working for him:

He paid Elizabeth Spiers, the original Gawker writer, two thousand dollars a month, on the assumption that posting twelve short items a day, mostly in response to things she’d read in the Times or gleaned from fashion-magazine sources, was a part-time commitment. When Spiers complained, after several months, that the gig was taking over her life, he told her to relax on weekends and pro-rated her pay downward.

I read the whole thing, but didn't feel like I learned anything I didn't already know.

The details about his early journalism career were new to me, but yeah, it's a nicely written roundup of stuff most online readers already know about a mostly unattractive guy whose ambitions and emotional problems end up, not surprisingly, being fairly ordinary. This bit is particularly telling, though:

“Zuckerberg is the Angelina Jolie of the Internet,” Denton explained, in response to a critic who charged him with aspiring to “no higher principles whatsoever,” noting with particular disapproval the exposure of the girlfriend. “His lovers, friends, and acquaintances—like those of any other celebrity—are caught up in the vortex,” Denton went on. “He has to make a choice; and they have to make a choice. And none of the choices—retreat from the public eye, abandonment of friendship—are palatable.”

Just try to imagine the twisted logic from the above to the decision at Deadspin to not black out the names and faces of the Duke students that dumb Fucklist Lady wrote up.

It's not pretty.
posted by mediareport at 7:36 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


most online readers

Well, most Gawker readers, anyway.
posted by mediareport at 7:40 AM on October 11, 2010


4Chan’s partisans had retaliated, at first unsuccessfully and then, after Gawker taunted them, with sufficient force to bring Denton’s gang offline.

You know this guy is an asshole when choosing sides in a dispute 4chan is the lesser of two evils.
posted by MikeMc at 7:50 AM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


"...Denton opposes discretion on principle..."

I oppose Nick Denton on principle.
posted by mreleganza at 8:03 AM on October 11, 2010


Heh, I was wondering where Paolo Bacigalupi got the idea for his post popularity board in The Gambler - now I know! (Or was it that Denton got the idea for the board from him?)
posted by longdaysjourney at 8:18 AM on October 11, 2010


Look guys, thanks for taking Dick Nenton & Piers "Morgan" Moron but can you get to grips with keeping Simon Cowell over there please? He keeps sneaking back & corrupting the children...
posted by i_cola at 8:30 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


“He’s not, like, a sociopath, but you kind of have to watch what you’re doing around him,” Ricky Van Veen, the C.E.O. of the Web site College Humor, told me.

Actually, it sounds like he is pretty much the poster child for antisocial personality disorder.
posted by localroger at 8:33 AM on October 11, 2010


Didn't read the article, because I am pretty much allergic to blog-industry insiderism at this point, but does it mention how inhumanly wide Denton's face is? It doesn't come across in most pictures, but it truly does look like he has an extra face sort of surgically grafted onto each side of his regular face. If Stewie Griffin ever grew up, he would turn into Nick Denton.
posted by rusty at 8:55 AM on October 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


For the record, the "unattractive" I was referring to was his personality.
posted by mediareport at 10:23 AM on October 11, 2010


When o when will there be a media profile about a kindly, warmhearted media mogul?

They can contact mathowie anytime via MeFiMail. Of course, he's not a full-fledged mogul (and that's most obviously why). Still, he's a mogul in our hearts (and a second, late, Happy Birthday to you, #1).
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:25 AM on October 11, 2010


Stewie Denton
posted by i_cola at 10:38 AM on October 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


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