At Monday’s IAB Mixx conference in New York, Gawker Media Founder Nick Denton took the stage with AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka to discuss the future of the blogging network — and that future is all about images and video.
“People don’t really want to read text,” Denton said. “They want videos, they want images, bigger, more lavish.” In other words, consumers are looking for online media products that more closely resemble TV and magazines.
Denton cited Gizmodo’s notorious leak of the iPhone 4 as an example, which quadrupled traffic for the blog that week. “There is a huge kind of hunger for that image, for the video we produced,” he said. “The core of that story was the image of the phone.”
Text, he contended, is more useful for providing context and explanation for more visual kinds of media, rather than serving as the primary medium itself.
Gawker’s eight media properties are currently undergoing a redesign to accommodate better delivery of image and video-based content. The current design of the blogs is “ludicrous” he said, noting that Gizmodo had to hold publication of all stories for six hours to keep its iPhone 4 story at the top of the page. (We wonder if Denton should consider implementing a “Trending Story” box in the meantime.)
Since video is generally expensive to produce, Gawker staff will concentrate on finding and curating available video to embed on the site. However, Denton noted it was considerably less expensive to produce video that captured gameplay or software run-throughs and that Gawker titles — particularly, we imagine, Gizmodo and Kotaku — would look to create more original video in those areas.
Denton also said that Gawker may eventually roll out Facebook versions of its Google-optimized sites, which would allow for a more personalized, “intimate” news and entertainment experience. Facebook versions would also allow the company to further capitalize on the sharing capabilities of the platform to reach new readers. Denton does not have similar plans for Twitter, which he thinks is too much of a closed system.
Image courtesy of The Guardian.