My office was the living room closet in a huge one-bedroom in a 1920s East Hollywood apartment court, across the street from the big blue Scientology headquarters in the old Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. There were built-in bookshelves and just enough space for a chair and a laptop and an ashtray. The neighbor lady's rescued pit bulls romped outside in the overgrown garden, and that electric L.A. sunlight came filtered through the grimy old French windows to the hardwood floors. It was a very pleasant place to work, my friends lived within walking distance in other cheap apartments in Los Feliz, and I had a bad case of being in [...]
The teaser for tonight's "Rock Center with Brian Williams" very special episode on Gawker Media is the most mindbogglingly dumb thing I've ever seen. It features reporter Jamie Gangel acting like a prosecutor, with all her notes bundled in her hand. She is also holding a pen? Just in case she wants to jot down some notes. After reading off a list of adjectives, to get "unapologetic" Gawker honcho Nick Denton to word-associate with them, or whatever, she then presents her case: "these blogs pay for salacious scoops, publish rumors, settle lawsuits when they have to, and if they get it wrong, they simply update."
To illustrate that when [...]
The latest traffic memo arrives from Gawker Media honcho Nick Denton: in it, Comscore shows that his network of sites is bigger than any newspaper online but the New York Times. That being said? "The newspapers are now the least of our competition. The inflated expectations of investors and executives may one day explode the Huffington Post. And Yahoo and AOL are in long-term decline. But they are all increasingly in our business."
Exciting news over at the world's last profitable (online) magazine company, Gawker Media! We're hearing that the company's widespread use of full-time yet non-employee contractors is finally being ended. Workers at the company's various blogs will have the choice between going full-time, as actual employees, or staying as contract workers, but only working four days a week. This is awesome news for those among us who were afraid that in the hideous future, no one would ever find employee status anywhere again. On a day-to-day level, this is less awesome for Gawker Media employees, who have to choose between being squeezed into the office (where, exactly?) for every workday [...]
Gawker Media Overlord Nick Denton [see, context!] reminisces about his early days in New York: I remember going to a party with a bunch of Broadway and film gays, and the one-liner one-upmanship felt like a scene from Will & Grace, which at the time was my lame yardstick for what passed for New York salon conversation. My HTML skills had improved in San Francisco, but I'd lost my edge. I thought I was being really witty, but at one point on a ski trip to Tahoe, it became clear that everyone thought I was just an asshole.
I can't believe I'm typing this, and may God have mercy [...]
On the night after the Heaven's Gate UFO cultists were discovered dead by mass suicide in a San Diego suburban McMansion, I was standing in a dark patch of the Presidio, watching the Hale-Bopp comet and its forked tail over the Marin Headlands. Someone passed around binoculars, somebody else passed a little pipe around, and after a half hour everyone was cold and bored and we drifted back to the battleship-gray Victorian on Haight Street that I shared with a rotating group of five or six pals.
My bedroom was just a large closet on the upper floor, with enough room for a narrow mattress and a chest [...]
So, Gawker got sued again—this time by HarperCollins, for publishing excerpts from “America By Heart,” Sarah Palin’s latest contribution to the annals of American thought. The book doesn’t come out until tomorrow, but Gawker posted segments of it last week, mostly in order to make fun of them. Some people got upset! On Saturday, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against Gawker. So the page with the excerpts from the book is down.
So what’s going on here? Does Gawker have a First Amendment right to excerpt Sarah Palin’s book and make fun of it? Or can Sarah Palin use her powers under copyright law [...]
Another terrific monthly wrap-up email from Gawker Media honcho Nick Denton to his staff! One item that will surprise you: "There's too much news on the web; and way too little explanation." Intrigued? Want to… win the mornings? Read on!
Today is that awesome panel at this magazine media thingy, at which Awl pals Nick Denton and Simon Dumenco will tell you what to do with your magazine. It is a great time to do this for two reasons: one of which is that, overnight, Gawker just digested and extruded Twitter in some weird hashtaggy way. And also, this Gawker memo from the other day! Subject line: "We're not running a newspaper."
You know, if you threw Nick Denton out of a plane, he'd float up.
There are many ways to read today's New Yorker profile of Nick Denton, a New York City-based man who runs a network of popular websites. I think the best way I've found to read it so far is this one: print it out, or to otherwise somehow obtain a printed copy of the piece, and then highlight (perhaps in yellow?) all the quotes by Denton himself. As with all previous Denton profiles-and it's not a fault of these profiles or the writers, I don't think!-you will come searching for a "why" and you may again come away frustrated on a quick read. And yet still, when this one [...]
Gawker Media honcho Nick Denton offers a perspective on the announcement yesterday of the sale of Gothamist to Rainbow Media, which is owned by Cablevision. "It's subject to long-term capital gains — but also to New York State tax. So that's at least a quarter off. Let's say Jake and Jen end up with $1.5m each. That sounds like a lot; but they've been at the job seven years. And my understanding is that the contract would require them to stick around for another three, making a decade in total. So that works out as about $150,000 per year — plus any compensation under the employment [...]
A British paparazzo snapped this photo of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and NBC's Andrea Mitchell while they were enjoying some private time at the Aspen Institute's Ideas Festival in Colorado. Will no one protect our celebrities from the brutal intrusion of these camera-wielding thugs?