But while Mr. Denton says he's been happy with how his writers
and editors have taken to the makeshift publishing system, he can't
help but lament his favorite component of his websites that was
left behind: Kinja, Gawker's new commenting system rolled out this
summer that aims to surface the best comments, and threads of
comments, on individual articles.
"Kinja would be so awesome right now," Mr. Denton said Thursday
afternoon at The Breslin, a New York City restaurant located a few
blocks from the temporary office Gawker has set up for employees on
34th Street in Manhattan. "We had the first really good signs on
the commenting system maybe two or three weeks before Sandy," he
said, referencing Gawker Media site Kotaku's use of Kinja to
crowdsource the best videogame sunsets for a post. "You apply that
to an event like Sandy, where you have a million people with a
story ... it would have been amazing. That's the great missed
So did Mr. Denton consider employing another backup publishing
platform that supports other commenting tools, or looking elsewhere
to solicit comments?
"They all suck, and I'm not just talking about Disqus," Mr.
Denton blurted out before the entire question left the reporter's
mouth. "Then you have Branch, which is good, but limited. Reddit
has pedophiles. Facebook has idiocy. And Twitter has lies and such
telegraphic short space for comments that there's no potential for
any real discussion."
Tell us what you really think, Mr. Denton. Yet these strong
words don't come as a big surprise considering Mr. Denton built
Kinja to solve this very problem: in his eyes, there's no
commenting system that can intelligently surface really smart or
witty comments to the top while banishing so-called trolling to the
When it became clear on Tuesday that the main sites wouldn't be
back up for at least a few days, Mr. Denton asked his ad team to
look for a sponsor, since most of its advertisers had no interest
in running their campaigns to the backup sites. Working with OMD
Chicago, the backup sites began carrying State Farm sponsorship
Still, this was not exactly new revenue for Gawker; instead,
State Farm simply chose to allocate some of the money it was
already supposed to spend on Gawker properties toward the
sponsorship, according to ad director James Del.
For Mr. Denton, the revenue isn't the main attraction here, he
"A campaign like this is capturing the moment, and capturing
attention," Mr. Denton said. "It works on a media level and a