More on Nick Denton’s Pro Blogs

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Dan Gillmor:

"Denton doesn’t want to make too big a deal of it, but I think he’s onto something important. He’s pushing the boundaries of niche journalism in logical ways, making the most of the Net’s ease — and low cost — of publishing, as well as the advantages that seem to accrue to pioneers.
In just a few months, he says, traffic has been doubling about every two months at Gizmodo, the first of his sites. The weblog is written by a professional tech journalist, Pete Rojas, and had almost a quarter-million page views in January, according to Denton, who takes pains not to over-hype what he’s doing or the relatively modest short-term financial potential."

Nick has an incredible talent to get attention and be talked about. But some people who wrote about Gizmodo as something new displayed their tremendous lack of knowledge about independent niche sites. There are web sites in Gizmodo’s space that have been hanging around for 5 years or more. They look like weblogs, they started out of dorm rooms or basements, they’re run on inexpensive or free software. They have advertisers and make money off affiliate marketing as well. And they pull 10 to 200 times as much traffic as Gizmodo (Tom’s Hardware Guide: 45M page views per month, Gizmodo is about the size of its Turkish subsite.) They’ve always been there, dot com bubble or not. Nano publishing is news only to traditional journalists who don’t hang out online too much and think niche online publisher meant TheStreet or Salon. It’s like CNN suddenly discovering Fox breathing on their neck.
Nick is smart in trying to reach other target markets beyond geeks and online veterans. He’s taking the web to the Hamptons, and that’s savvy marketing, but there’s hardly any "pioneering" in it from a media standpoint. Now, exposing the conversations that bounce from blog to blog, in a way that makes it easy to read them and contribute to them, that’s something else…

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