‘Gawker redesign tries to accomplish the impossible’

Poynter.org

"It forces readers to focus on one editorially selected topic while the norms of the online world make everyone into little hummingbirds, flitting from link to link, site to site, and story to story," writes Latoya Peterson, who was a contributor to Gawker Media's Jezebel.com. "The online world is built and based on distractions." (Read Gawker boss Nick Denton's memo after the jump.)

From: Nick Denton

Subject: A quick guide to getting through Day Two

To: edit@gawker.com

Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 10:33 AM

* splash the regular roundups like Jezebel's Dirt Bag and Jalopnik's Morning Shift, which contain lots of links

* splash themed packages like Remy's Journalists in Peril roundup of news from Egypt: they create a sense of excitement

* put up splashes in full, usually, otherwise the front page can feel thin

* longer descriptive headlines, which will bear some of the burden that excerpts carried

* regular use of bigpic and galleries to ensure the sidebar remains visually enticing

* more quickposts to keep up frequency

* use standard tags to indicate that quickposts are quick, e.g. IN BRIEF or QUOTE MARK

* rotate quickly through splashes

* stay cool: we've been through worse backlashes

Nick

---------

> Nicholas Jackson: Denton's sort of given up on the redesign already

> Gawker redesign doesn't exactly thrill the Internet

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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