Nick Denton

Three reasons to bet on commenting for marketing ROI

“Don’t you think dreams and the internet are similar? They are both areas where the repressed conscious mind vents.” Paprika — 2006

I recently watched a 2006 Japanese anime called Paprika where the quote above comes from. After it was recommended to me, I learned that Christopher Nolan has cited Paprika as an influence on his 2010 feature film, Inception…so to say it was a bit ahead of its time is probably an understatement.

When the character Paprika (who is a sort of repressed personality herself, but I won’t say too much to keep from spoiling the plot) offers this viewpoint it reminded me to revisit a very important area for today’s web marketers to pay attention; that of social commenting.

While online commenting has to date been a very frustrating for all of us, not to mention brand agnostic, for the very reason offered in this quote, times are changing and marketers need to take note.

Gawker sides with a different vision of internet publishing

With two posts this morning, Gawker, the bête noir of American online reporting, articulated a new direction for their popular comment section.

The first post described how the new commenting section would work. After starting a discussion, commenters are empowered to approve or deny replies to their original comment and each comment can be isolated to an individual branch.

Users can navigate through comments by the categories of Featured, Latest, and Inbox (which contains personal comment notifications). 

The second post, by founder Nick Denton, described the reasons behind Gawker’s new anonymous login system, Burner.

Eight lessons from Gawker’s redesign atrocity

Gawker’s recent launch of a new design may prove to be one of the worst redesign launches in the history of the internet. It not only sparked an outcry from users, but let to a massive drop in traffic for one of the internet’s most popular publishers.

In the face of what can only be described as an online publisher’s worst nightmare, Nick Denton, the outspoken head of Gawker, has been unusually silent. Until now.

In an email he sent to staff, he admits that “the transition was definitely more bruising for readers and our own staff than
it needed to be
” and discusses what is being done to rectify the situation.