Gawking and geeking

An interesting aside from The New Yorker’s profile of Gawker founder Nick Denton:

The “geek” sites, as Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Kotaku, io9, and Jalopnik are known internally, bring in twice the traffic of the “gossip” sites, suggesting that British-inflected class angst may not be a long-term-growth model.

The New Yorker, 18 October 2010, Search And Destroy: Nick Denton’s Blog Empire

Most people accept that going low is the way to win the internet: the celebrity skin sidebar of the Daily Mail website, for example, demonstrates a strategy thoroughly inflected by the success of Gawker, Defamer, Perez Hilton, and all the other dirt dishers with an eye for a headline. And it does work.

But the Gawker Media model suggests that what works even better is finding a few subjects about which people have an obsessive desire to be informed, and writing about them. A lot. Because coverage on the geek sites is narrow and deep, they don’t have the same brand recognition as the scandal portals; but the passion of the readerships, and the fact that they come handily pre-packaged for advertisers, makes them very valuable in their semi-obscurity.

Text © Sarah Ditum, 2010