What is Nick Denton up to?

I have bene anxiously waiting to see what Nick Denton will do next. I had liked his Moreover idea of news aggregation – it was something I had wanted to take Samachar to, but did not. So, when he had announced a few months ago that he was looking to do a new venture with blogs, I’ve been curious to see what he would do next. This was even as we had our own ideas with BlogStreet.

Now, Nick Denton describes what he is doing next:

Putting together a series of weblog media businesses. The more ambitious is a news filtering system, about which more below. That project launches later in 2003. In the meantime, we’re launching a series of niche media sites, powered by weblog publishing software.

The first are Gizmodo and Gawker, two sites covering categories too small to warrant dedicated print publications, but with an appeal to advertisers sufficient to support a bare-bones editorial operation. This is what Jeff Jarvis calls nanopublishing.

Gawker is an online magazine for Manhattan launching in January 2003. It’s target audience is the city’s media and financial elite. Think of it as the New York Observer, crossed with Jim Romenesko’s MediaNews. The publication will be supported by advertising, primarily from real estate brokers and luxury goods retailers. It adopts the weblog format, and relies on links to external content.

Gizmodo is a weblog for the gadget addict, with at least half a dozen new items each day on the skinniest laptops, tiniest cameras, as well as electronic toys too absurd to buy. Gizmodo launched in August 2002, and is already one of the leading destinations for hardcore gadget fanciers. Gizmodo earns commission on its readers’ purchases from Amazon.com, and will be introducing display advertising.

Blogwire — a working title — will mine the editorial selections and commentary on weblogs to produce an improved personalized news service to consumers. It will identify the stories which have generated the most buzz in the weblog community, and allow readers to track the writings of their favorite weblog authors.

All interesting ideas, but the one which interests me most is Blogwire. It is what we’ve also been looking at as to where we want to take BlogStreet down the line. The blog world has gotten very interesting in 2002 as various bloggers speak their heart and mind out on what’s happening. This “microcontent” is increasingly what drives my thinking and imagination. But it lacks organisation. It would be nice to create a self-organising emergent and personalised blogReader, which collates items of value as being discussed in my blog neighbourhood and beyond.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.