Gawker's Nick Denton Says BuzzFeed is 'Pointless.' Also a 'Perfect Competitor.'
Gawker Media founder Nick Denton used his company's own commenting platform to field a virtual company meeting on Tuesday, taking questions on the company's competition, turnover among top editors and whether there's room for one more guest at his wedding.
For Gawker's biggest rival, Mr. Denton picked Jonah Peretti's BuzzFeed.
"Jonah Peretti's company is pointless," he wrote. "But he understands the internet; he manipulates the Facebook ecosystem better than anyone; and he is utterly shameless in his pursuit of viral stories. (Even more shameless than we are, some would say.)"
"And Buzzfeed is the perfect competitor -- highly motivating. It is a fair fight; some earlier rivals like Gothamist required too much puffing up to make a plausible rival. And it's a meaningful fight, because Gawker Media and Buzzfeed represent two very different forces struggling for the soul of internet media."
On the business model for the commenting system, Kinja, which has been a big priority for the company, Mr. Denton said:
"There is no business objective. Just as there was no business objective when we founded Gawker. At least, no business objective beyond this: break stories that people want to read about; and the rest will take care of itself. (Or rather, Andrew Gorenstein and his sales team will take care of the rest of it!)"
Mr. Gorenstein is chief revenue officer at Gawker. Part of his job is signing on brands to use Kinja -- Jaguar, for instance, has used the platform -- but Mr. Denton said Kinja's first target is in fact vaping journos:
"The initial target of Kinja is Matt Buchanan. Or people like him. Twitter-using journalists, the kind of person who settles down with a laptop at 10pm, pulls on an e-cig, and stirs up shit on Twitter."
Read all of Mr. Denton's answers here.
In addition to its namesake site, Gawker Media brands include include Gizmodo, Jezebel, Defamer, Deadspin, Valleywag and Jalopnik.