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Beyond the blog?
December 1, 2010 6:34 PM   Subscribe

With it's new redesign Gawker, and it's affiliates, will be moving away from being blogs. They want to be like Television.
posted by Artw (63 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is this something I would have to have a blog to know about?
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:37 PM on December 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm usually interested in what Nick Denton is up to but I have to admit I found this article a little dry.
posted by josher71 at 6:40 PM on December 1, 2010


I cannot wait to see the sparkling new personality of Gawker (as they represent it) in all of these video pieces they're going to produce. It could be hilarious.
posted by defenestration at 6:41 PM on December 1, 2010


How get off my lawning is it to wish for the return of Elizabeth Spiers?
posted by josher71 at 6:43 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, regarding the redesign:

I dig the new approach for the most part, but they weren't kidding about the Beta this time — choppy, slow, buggy ugghhh.
posted by defenestration at 6:48 PM on December 1, 2010


I just read Lifehacker and Gizmodo in Google Reader, I'm assuming that they'll still look the same there or will they break the feeds?
posted by octothorpe at 6:55 PM on December 1, 2010


they weren't kidding about the Beta this time — choppy, slow, buggy ugghhh.

It might have something to do with the horrible little visitor counter at the top. I didn't notice it at first, but then I realized it's counting wildly up and down all the time; Firefox responded by using up 25% CPU and 300K memory for the MeFi tab and the Gawker tab. Unbelievable.

And I guessed I missed what's supposed to be so revolutionary (video?), but it still looks like a "blog" to me.
posted by asciident at 6:55 PM on December 1, 2010


Oooh! I only hope it's as good as boing boing TV.
posted by benzenedream at 6:56 PM on December 1, 2010


They haven't been "blogs" to me in a long time. Go visit gawker.com. (I never do, because I only ever see individual articles when they're linkbait on popurls or delicious or something). But it's not a blog. It's not like, oh I dunno, Metafilter or Slashdot. It's a straight media site CMS like Wired or Salon or something. Publishing something using hypertext on teh internets does not make you a blog, just to continue a discussion that's been going on for over a decade, now.
posted by Jimbob at 6:57 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, cool. Now that Nick Denton is one of the big guys, I won't feel as guilty for hating him.

Also, remember when Salon did this? It was a colossal failure. The "online magazine" is hardly a new invention, and places like Salon and Slate had actual (and interesting) writing talent to back them up.

Sites have "pushed the borders" successfully in the past, most recently with the introduction of video content. Pitchfork's latest redesign actually might have kept that site relevant, if they had done it a year or two earlier. Their video content is quite good. Similarly, The Onion's efforts to branch out into video content have produced some pretty spectacular results.

BoingBoing tried to push its boundaries, and became very "corporate," while still allowing Cory to post his increasingly-incoherent rants about civil rights. Although they're still quite good at churning up interesting links, very few of their recent "enhancements" have added value to the site. On the flipside, Kottke knows what he's good at, and hasn't changed his format at all in recent memory. Ditto for MeFi. Both sites are better for it.

I'm just not sure that this is going to work. Gawker's content has grown increasingly stale and contrived, and their site designs have never been particularly effective IMO. Even the formerly-excellent Lifehacker has been slacking as of late. I don't see this new format as being any better.
posted by schmod at 6:57 PM on December 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is just sad.

At least their consultants got paid. Which is a good thing in this economy.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:03 PM on December 1, 2010


Wait. Postpersonal postblogging?
posted by kipmanley at 7:04 PM on December 1, 2010


Why? Television isn't even like television anymore.
posted by jonmc at 7:07 PM on December 1, 2010


Please don't capitalize "television" unless you're talking about the band.


More things should be like Television.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:09 PM on December 1, 2010 [10 favorites]


This reads like an internal memo or project pitch.
posted by sfts2 at 7:10 PM on December 1, 2010


I love the fake ad on the Gawker beta, for Acme Vodka:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elid. Nullam varius nibh a libero euismod id interdum arcu accumsan. Quisque nisi sapien, sagittis quis auctor ac, interdum ned justo.

Drink responsibly.

posted by JHarris at 7:12 PM on December 1, 2010 [8 favorites]


Wow the beta crashes safari.

Video is over, a second life presence is done, minecraft server is stale. Location and mobile are king. Kik is hot.

A location based microblogging site. When I walk down the street it messages me all the details that I would never have known before. Who's got weed on this block? Now I know! Which tenant just died leaving an empty apartment? The info is right here!

Feel free to contact me gawker.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:12 PM on December 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


Will I lose interest now that I won't feel so much like a featured star commentator there? Yes, because that's what people who post on Gawker (like me) are like.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:13 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Making the web more like TV is like making indoor plumbing more like an outhouse.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:17 PM on December 1, 2010 [21 favorites]


Video? The 80s really are back!
posted by entropicamericana at 7:18 PM on December 1, 2010


I heard push was going to kill the web. I can't wait to get in on the Marimba IPO
posted by Ad hominem at 7:20 PM on December 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


You can A-B them by sticking "beta" in front of the URL of any Gawker site.

So here's io9 new and old.

Now, I follow io9. And Sometimes it has the flaws of any Gawker blog, but in general it's got good content, sometimes great content, and I'll unashamedly say I've linked to it before here, or linked to content I've found via it.

I have to say I am a fan of the new version of the site. I'd go as to saty I fucking hate it. It's basically a single article view with the mobile view tacked to the side, and reading the site from the mobile view has always been a matter of guessing the cryptic headline, so I am not too keen on that.

Still, I kind of admire the peice on why they're changing it, if only because it makes it blatantly clearly how little my concerns there count for anything, and who is the Consumer and who is the Product here (cf. Blue Beetle).
posted by Artw at 7:20 PM on December 1, 2010


I get it. It's a good move, and once they get the HTML bugs worked out, it will be pretty slick and touchpad friendly. It's focusing on long-form blog posts, and navigated by blurbs in a TOC on the side rather than a relentless scroll downward to a link to another unweildly long page you need to scroll down. This isn't the TV part, tho.

The TV part is that there's apparently more of an emphasis on selling sponsorships and site-specific advertising rather than relying on web-ad clearinghouses like Google. Well, that shouldn't be news to anyone at this point... no one gets rich off of Google ads these days.

The buisness gobbledeygook probably tossed a few people for a loop.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:21 PM on December 1, 2010


Wow the beta crashes safari.

Works fine for me.

If they think they've redefined a web site or blog, they're wrong.
posted by dobbs at 7:24 PM on December 1, 2010


With scripts blocked, exactly nothing shows up in the beta version. There's the banner and then ... nothing. That's even less than in the normal version. I try to avoid gwaker blogs now, I suppose in the future I'll never visit. Without even loading anything there are seven separate scripts blocked, I'm sure if I allowed gwaker, even more would show up wanting permission.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:25 PM on December 1, 2010


Gawker lost any hope of breaking news when Denton fired Gabe Snyder. it's just a rehash of news broken elsewhere with some snark thrown in.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:28 PM on December 1, 2010


I've been annoyed with Gawker sites ever since they switched away from a full feed to excerpts. Thankfully, Lifehacker still allows a full feed, but Gizmodo and Jezebel annoy me more than they cause me to click through, at this point.
posted by polexxia at 7:28 PM on December 1, 2010


OK, I checked. At the io9 site, enabling gwaker got me 8 new scripts to enable for a total of 15. Although, I only needed to enable io9 and gwaker to get me the article, most of the page was still wonky.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:29 PM on December 1, 2010


Now, I follow io9. And Sometimes it has the flaws of any Gawker blog, but in general it's got good content, sometimes great content, and I'll unashamedly say I've linked to it before here, or linked to content I've found via it.

I will admit to feeling the same way about Lifehacker.
posted by JHarris at 7:32 PM on December 1, 2010


I once caught a nasty case of Gawker while I was in Vegas but my doc gave me some pills that cleared it right up,
posted by loquacious at 7:34 PM on December 1, 2010


Is this something I'd have to have a web browser in order to know about?
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:51 PM on December 1, 2010


Ladies and Gentlemen - meet the next, vaster wasteland.

Video killed the Internet star.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:52 PM on December 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


They're gonna get a lot fewer clicks on those tinier side items now. I give this design 5 months.
posted by mediareport at 7:54 PM on December 1, 2010


polexxia: You can get around that by subscribing to feeds.gawker.com/[blog name]/vip - that should work for all of them, and keeps you getting full articles via reader.
posted by SNWidget at 7:54 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


People still read Gawker?
posted by oinopaponton at 7:55 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Make that 4 months.
posted by mediareport at 7:56 PM on December 1, 2010


Not sure why you'd want to emulate television these days.

Not sure why you'd do it half-assed if you decided to do just that.

Not sure why you're still reading this.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:57 PM on December 1, 2010


I browse lifehacker via RSS because I find about 4/5 uninteresting.

I actually visit Gizmodo several times a day. But I don't see how this new design can work. I like being able to scroll down the page to see pictures and quick comments on the newest phones and such. I like being able to see several pictures of new phones as I scroll down, I'm not going to click on dozens of links every day just to see a picture of each new phone.
posted by oddman at 8:03 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


Am i the only one who cannot get the gawker videos to work about 80 per cent of the time?
posted by PinkMoose at 8:06 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


All it did was crash FF on me, so how can I tell if I like it?
posted by rtha at 8:08 PM on December 1, 2010


Hmm… I actually check into LAist every now and then. I wonder if Tony Pierce ever got over being banned here and re-upped?
posted by klangklangston at 8:12 PM on December 1, 2010


You can A-B them by sticking "beta" in front of the URL of any Gawker site.

Strange that doing this for Wonkette—which Gawker "spun off" in 2008—brings up the beta for Deadspin—which Gawker still runs.
posted by Knappster at 8:38 PM on December 1, 2010


In related news, Perez Hilton has refocused his blog on postmodern literary criticism, and peer-review of astronomy journals.
posted by schmod at 8:44 PM on December 1, 2010 [5 favorites]


I saw this, then thought, hell, do I really want to read a manifesto for why Gawker thinks it can convince me to stick around when one of their ads starts autoplaying?

I've never really liked any of their overhauls (I tend to check Giz, Deadspin, and io9, and occasionally Lifehacker), but have soldiered through them. With the most recent change, where only some stories have excerpts and others have just headlines, I find I rarely click on the headlines. I online click on the excerpts that manage to catch my attention. Sure, it's killing my attention span, but I don't read Gawker sites to get a pile of useful information, I mostly read them to kill time. It just seems that with each revision (and Boingboing is guilty of this as well) the site has gotten less user-friendly, and more a kind of "we feel our site is like this, and you should read it this way" experience.

Honestly, I don't see myself reading much past the switchover, since, for me, the entire point has been to scroll down til I see something I like. Of course, with the self-important proclamations surrounding this venture, they seem quite proud of themselves for discovering the new trend in blogging/postblogging/whateverpleasejustleavemealone. I'm sure it will last for at least 4 or 5 months until something else comes along. Trends in blogging seem to last only a bit longer than memes on 4chan. It's just the bloggers that get so worked up about it.

If you'll pardon me, I need to go clean up from the last time those darn kids were on my lawn.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:22 PM on December 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hope this ill-advised redesign doesn't cause Gawker to go under. Where will I go to find out about stuff that was posted to Metafilter three hours ago?
posted by Rangeboy at 9:46 PM on December 1, 2010


Boingboing?
posted by Ghidorah at 9:58 PM on December 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dear MeFites More Musically Talented Than I Am:

"Video Killed The Blog-i-o Star"

It almost writes itself, but I can't make it work.

Look forward to your special style of wit and insight.

Thanks,
Mike
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:31 PM on December 1, 2010


The new Gawker media - longish article with analysis.
posted by Artw at 11:14 PM on December 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


"If they think they've redefined a web site or blog, they're wrong."

This is almost entirely about monetization and a new way to feature the content that differentiates them from everyone else. I don't think it's being pitched as redefining anything else, but maybe I'm mistaken.

I am involved with a pretty large content rich website, and it's a real struggle highlighting the content that you spend large amounts of time on vs. the daily news churn. On sites with dozens of posts a day things scroll past extremely quickly, and your post that you spend hours and hours on only gets attention if it somehow makes it's way to Digg or Reddit or what have you. But you need both the churn and the good longer form content to be profitable, so it's a conundrum.

I'm also intrigued by the idea of micro-sponsorship opportunities ("personal finance Friday hour" that Denton discusses). Right now it seems like you've either got your banner ads or your site takeovers that usually last a day or more; this idea might provide for something in between.
posted by imabanana at 1:58 AM on December 2, 2010


I can't help but feel that their piece is slightly undervalued by the presence of an ad at the bottom of the page (for me, at least) that says:

"No Joke! You are selected as our 999,999th visitor!"

Seriously - how much do Gawker get from ads like this, and is it worth it in terms of the effect it gives to the other content?

See also all of the sites that carry the teeth whitening ads.
posted by DanCall at 4:19 AM on December 2, 2010


With scripts blocked, exactly nothing shows up in the beta version.

I don't get it, what's the purpose of building a website that's so script heavy? Whenever I visit Jezebel or any Gawker Inc. site on my ancient work computer, it basically has to stop working for a few seconds just to get the energy to load the page. It's the only website I have that problem with. Why do they think that's what people want? HELLO GAWKER, WE DO NOT.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:29 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for that Felix Salmon link, ArtW. I didn't really get what Denton was trying to do when I snarked up above, now it seems even flimsier but ok, at least he has a vision, even if it sacrifices what I think most actual readers visit Gawker for. There's tons of interesting other info in that post about valuing the company, e.g.
posted by mediareport at 5:47 AM on December 2, 2010


I love the TV comparison. My hatred of advertising and structured viewing got me off TV a few years ago, and now I just get RSS feeds pointing me to torrents of shows I care about.

Also, geez, people read their internets using something other than RSS feeds? I can't remember the last time I hit the front page of a gawker site, and I 'visit' about four of them regularly.

protip: add /vip.xml to the end of a gawker site and you'll get a full feed rather than the stupid truncated ones that make you click through to the site. ie, http://gizmodo.com/vip.xml
posted by pjaust at 6:33 AM on December 2, 2010


Would someone please explain this?
posted by erskelyne at 7:24 AM on December 2, 2010


GWAR cannot be explained, it has to be experienced.
posted by Artw at 7:25 AM on December 2, 2010


So, about the Gawker redesign. Three questions

First comments I've seen on it on a Gawker blog, and of course largely negative.
posted by Artw at 8:07 AM on December 2, 2010


Oh I get GWAR, but the article's tone baffled me some.
posted by erskelyne at 8:24 AM on December 2, 2010


I kind of like the new look. I definitely prefer it to the clusterfuck linkfest that the previous design favored.
posted by kryptondog at 8:29 AM on December 2, 2010


I like this too, it is a big win for iPad users. The junk at the top of the screen is now gone.

Every time I hit a page on the iPad all I see is a giant usless header bar and I end up pawing furtively at the screen for a few seconds before I can see actual content.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:39 AM on December 2, 2010


Guess I'll be visiting just as often as I watch TV, then.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 8:50 AM on December 2, 2010


Anil Dash - Gawker Is A Blog. Just Like Twitter.
posted by Artw at 11:56 AM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


See also all of the sites that carry the teeth whitening ads.

I hear you can lose weight by obeying this one weird tip.
posted by JHarris at 12:49 PM on December 2, 2010


The important question to ask is will all the embedded videos on Fleshbot still work?!
posted by Ber at 2:43 PM on December 2, 2010


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