Wow. I’ve been obsessed with and concerned about the Fourth and Fifth Estates for a while. Some serious intrigue in this FAQ by Nick Denton, posted to Medium on March 22nd. An excerpt and link follows.
The sale of Gizmodo and other properties is concluded, the litigation around Gawker.com settled, and my next project underway. Here’s a short recap of the past and a preview of what’s next.
What was Gawker Media Group?
Gawker Media Group was the first and largest independent news organization to emerge in digital media. Run by journalists, it was credited with bringing a bracing honesty — sometimes called snark — to news, lifestyle and product coverage. Founded in 2003, and based in New York and Budapest, the group built brands such as Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Kotaku, Jezebel and Deadspin. All seven properties together drew more than 100m readers worldwide each month, and more than $50m in annual advertising and e-commerce revenue. GMG is one of the only digital media companies to achieve profitability without external capital.
What comes next?
There is a new challenge: to encourage the free exchange of ideas and the development of internet communities, while avoiding unnecessary provocation and shaming of people from other groups. (And yes, Gawker was proud of its provocative journalism.) Private messaging and niche forums may contribute to a solution. This is the project on which I am embarking. I’m working from Europe, where the technology platforms for my two previous companies were also developed. If you have an interest in conversational media, let’s be in touch — especially if you also have experience in online and offline debate formats, graph databases, encrypted messaging, threaded forums or machine learning.
Read more at @nicknotned on Medium.