Very rarely is a topic so in tune with what is actually happening in my real life but as I stare out at the blinking lights of the Las Vegas strip, each light trying desperately to draw my attention from all its competitors, I can't help but think about this whole Gawker Media/Pay Per Post thing.
First let me say that I think people are looking at this issue all wrong. There is no global blogging mantra that is going to be right for both Gawker bloggers and every other blogger out there.
Having said that I don't think paying bloggers by the traffic they get is going to increase quality for anyone. In fact I suspect it will actually hurt the quality of posts influenced by it. But in this case I don't think it matters because...and I honestly intend no insult here but...its Gawker Media.
The reality is that there are different kinds of media companies and each of those media companies have different goals. A newspaper like the Wall Street Journal isn't going to say whatever it takes to get your attention because people buy the WSJ based largely on the integrity of the publication. The WSJ isn't selling news as much as its selling reputation so how it says things is just as important as what it says.
The New York Post on the other hand is a company that is designed around putting something on the cover that will push out as many copies as possible. The stories themselves obviously aren't as well thought out or as well written as what is in the WSJ but that isn't what their readers want.
That's the key here, not that one is better than the other but that they both have different reputations that are designed to sell different products. The people reading the New York Post wouldn't care if the articles were as well written as those in the WSJ which makes trying for that level of quality a waste of time and resources.
Gawker has always been, for lack of a better term, an "in your face blog network". They're the network that brought us Valleywag after all. Gawker isn't a network built around prose and poignancy its a network built around getting attention. Even the more serious entries such as Lifehacker still focus on end results more than the actual posts. No one cares how well a Lifehacker post is written they care what it will teach them to do.
So for Gawker I think this is exactly the right thing to do because in their business it isn't so much how well something is written as it is getting the interesting information out there. Paying people for traffic might cause the quality of some articles to fall slightly but, to be blunt, its superfluous quality to begin with because the readers of sites like Fleshbot aren't visiting for the prose.
Anyway this post was just a way to kill time while my date got ready to go out so I'm now off to enjoy some of those twinkling lights out there. One last night on the town and then its back to (ugh) real life.
Happy (almost over) New Year to all!