Gawker Media is changing the way it presents their stories in 2011. Essentially, if this Lifehacker rundown is to be believed, the blogging conglomerate is moving beyond the “blog.” Gone is the reverse chronological presentation with stories moving down the page as new stories are posted. Instead, the big traffic-driving story of the day will be the splash page.
I actually like this change, and not just for a site like Gawker but for all of blogging. Headlines on the right, click on one and the story pops up on the left. It’s way less page-grabby that I thought their changes would be.
One analogy might be the programming mix of some of the new networks. A channel such as AMC needs one or two hits (Mad Men, Breaking Bad) to make it a must-have for a cable system. But it would be way too expensive to fill the entire schedule with material of such quality. So it is with the Gawker sites. Each site needs a gigantic breakout every few months; a few more modest hits every week; but the daily news diet can be satisfied quite happily with short posts, blockquotes (linked to the original, of course) and republished material.
Makes sense, given that their web traffic puts them in the same league as the biggest web publishers. Good strategy to focus on. I am a bit surprised, however, that they haven’t created a Gawker Media landing page that aggregates all of their sites best stories into one place. It would be nice to have one place to keep tabs on the various happenings at Gawker, Gizmodo, IO9, etc.
Anyways, you check out the 2011 Gawker Beta to get a feel for the new layout. It would be nice to see them place a better premium on design, from a typogrpahy angle, etc. but the changes are still pretty good.