Gawker Media boss: “We now have not a single site under 20m pageviews a month”

Memo from Gawker Media’s chief exec

From: Nick Denton
Subject: Nearly!
To: edit@gawker.com
Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009, 12:36 PM

Just a shade off 400m pageviews in November. Damn. Close. To put that in perspective, Los Angeles Times is somewhere between 100m and 200m. New York Times is about 1bn. In web traffic, we’re somewhere in between. Not bad for a bunch of scrappy bloggers!

io9 sucked those Twilight vampires dry. The scifi site continues to run at twice the traffic of this time last year. It’s now twice the size of Boing Boing, the closest competitor — a site which has been around since the beginning of the blogs. io9′s growth means that we now have not a single site under 20m pageviews a month. (The threshold of success used to be 1m!)

The ESPN controversy and other stories seem to have left Deadspin at a consistently higher level than the summer. It’s also doubled in traffic. If you needed any more evidence that scoops are rewarded, here it is. Deadspin has largely abandoned the blog filler. The site is down to 20 posts a day. But they’re damn good posts.

The other big standout: Fleshbot. The site got a boost from the Awards party at The Box — and the coverage thereof. But the Miss Universe threeway didn’t hurt either. Fleshbot had been stagnant for a couple of years. It’s now on the move again. The turnaround — and the recent performance of Gizmodo and Gawker — show that even our most established sites have plenty of potential.

One little footnote. Pageviews have been our standard measure of success. They’re easy to understand. The Sitemeter numbers update throughout the day. But we do need to recognize that not all pageviews are created equal. A slideshow view is not worth as much as a click from Twitter or Facebook or Digg which brings a new reader to us. Expect more emphasis in 2010 on clicks through from external sites — and the “uniques” which measure of the number of people that we reach. We can’t just satisfy our existing regulars; we have to recruit new ones.

So start paying more attention to this list.

Nick

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