Denton in 2007
24 August 1966 |
Hampstead, London, UK
|Residence||Manhattan, New York City, US|
|Education||University College School, University College, Oxford|
Superior writers, videographers and other content makers want to work with their own kind and for their own kind.
I don't really mind playing tabloid monster. I always liked those characters in the old movies.
Jonah Peretti is one of the smartest web publishers out there. And Buzzfeed is an aggressive and dynamic company.
Web media needs to move to TV metaphor – with full-screen imagery and other content interrupted with full-screen ads.
I regret the stories we didn't do – the stories that we knew about and talked about but didn't have all of, so didn't publish. The whole idea of Gawker was to remove the barrier between the thought and the talk – and the page.
Ben Smith's quick-hit campaign 'scoops' are about as viral as cat videos. That fits with Buzzfeed.
Three-quarters of our sites – Kotaku, Gawker, Jezebel, Deadspin, Gizmodo, Lifehacker – are led by editors who built their careers within Gawker Media. That's the career path.
My background is economics and maths. I think one of the reasons I studied humanities at all, or even went into journalism, is because, like, science and maths wasn't cool in England when I was growing up. No one ever talked to the engineering students at Oxford.
While I love the medium, I've always been skeptical about the value of blogs as businesses.
That's always been my test for what makes a story: is this something journalists would gossip with each other about?
The idea of harnessing the intelligence of the readership has been lost in the quest for Facebook likes. For many, readers have become synonymous with hateful commenters. It's time for a renewed push to realize some of the original dreams of the web.
Most good media come out of somebody saying, 'This should exist; this is something I want to read.'
We believe that the best Web content optimization strategy is something as old as journalism itself: the shocking truth and the authentic opinion.
I've never really understood people who climb socially by sucking up. It seems like the least efficient way to climb, and also the most psychologically debilitating.
Google and others truncate headlines at 70 characters. On the Manti Teo story, Deadspin's scoop fell down the Google search results, overtaken by copycat stories with simpler headlines. Deadspin's headline was 118 characters. Vital information – 'hoax' – was one of the words that was cut off.
Henry Blodget does occasionally have a new idea. If you're making a point about aggregation or the emptiness of modern journalism, he's far from the best target. Try Huffpo – or Gawker writers whose souls have been corroded by irony.
Personally, as a print journalist, I always found the most interesting stories to be the ones hacks talked about in the bar after work.
The original idea of blog publishing was that writer and reader would be on the same level. That it would be a conversation – not a lecture. People lost sight of that. We didn't. Kinja is designed to break down the walls of the ghettos. So that everybody – editor, writer, source, subject, expert, fan – can be a contributor.
Apple makes beautiful products. I own a Mac Pro, a Mac Book, a Mac Mini, an iPad, an iPhone, pretty much the entire collection.
There was a rivalry – and some pie-throwing. But that was probably because Gawker and Radar had more in common than they wanted to admit. Each was the other's future. Radar served up the exclusives I always envied. Gawker was actually comfortable on the web, in the medium Radar should have made its own.
It's no wonder that new ventures such as The Daily look first to Gawker Media when staffing up. We should not wait for a poaching expedition to pay someone what they deserve. I apologize if that has been the case and will do better in 2012.
As a print journalist, if you hear a rumour you try to stand it up and if you can't, the story dies. With a blog you can throw the rumour out there and ask for help. You can say: 'We don't know if this is true or not.'
Is there Gawker ethics? I mean, I guess there's Gawker ethics. It's a dangerous thing to talk about.
I think people are sort of waking up to it now, how probably the biggest change in Internet media isn't the immediacy of it, or the low costs, but the measurability. Which is actually terrifying if you're a traditional journalist, and used to pushing what people ought to like, or what you think they ought to like.
An employer would be a complete fool to let an image like college partying influence their hiring decisions.
I think straight couples have a schedule: You're together for two years and then there's the 'where is this going?' question, which wouldn't necessarily be good for everyone, but I think it's pretty healthy for relationships, for there to be a presumption that there is a decision to be made.
It irritates me that everybody concentrates on Gawker, because it's just one of 15 sites and it doesn't even get the most traffic. It's a significant site, but it's not what we are.
Forget about someone's resume or how they present themselves at a party. Can they blog or not? The blog doesn't lie.
You could argue that as web audiences have grown larger and advertisers have demanded scale, the web has dumbed down – like the mainstream media we so mocked.
The most interesting comments, they don't come from people with Klout scores. They don't come from people with a history on our sites.
I have to come to terms with the paternalism of American business. Companies are expected to take on so many social responsibilities which are the province of the state in Europe.
Critics say Internet advertising suffers from limitless inventory, which depresses prices. These exclusive front-page sponsorships are not limitless. If HBO doesn't move quickly enough, Showtime can buy out Gawker and Jezebel for the key fall TV season. On any individual day, there isn't room for both of them; and that's healthy.
You know how the best story angles often spring from that thought you have on reading an article or watching a show – that thought you have before the responsible journalist in you comes up with something boring. I usually recommend people get in touch with their deep 'reptilian brain.'