TMZ

Getting traffic online: Sometimes you have to pay for it

While other media sites are struggling to increase page views, Gawker’s Nick Denton is willing to get traffic the old fashioned way: by paying for it.

Major newspapers are contemplating putting their content behind a pay wall and testing the waters with micropayments, but Denton is committed to making money from free ad-supported content. And to do that, his sites will live and die by their page views.

So far, that’s working well for the company. While online ad revenues have fallen on average by 5% this year, revenues at Gawker have increased 35%. To keep that trend going, Denton will return to giving his writers traffic bonuses. He’s also reiterated his interest in paying tipsters for traffic earning scoops.

Michael Jackson’s memorial service will test the limits of online video

News of Michael Jackson’s death last month nearly shut down the Internets with interest and confusion as people went online to check and discuss the news. Today is the pop singer’s memorial service in Los Angeles and online news channels and video hubs are preparing for similar levels of traffic. 

Everyone  – from the BBC to USA Today and MySpace – is planning to live stream the service, which is today at 10:00 PST at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. If viewer interest comes anywhere near the level expected by these sites, the whole Internet might shut down. Alternately, it could illustrate the potential of online video left untouched by profit motives.

MSN gets into celebrity news with Wonderwall

Microsoft’s track record online isn’t so great. Despite spending billions on its MSN unit over the years, Microsoft is still struggling to become a true ‘destination‘ for internet surfers. That’s not entirely surprising given the fact that, at its core, Microsoft has always been better ‘technology‘ company than anything else.

So Microsoft turned to Hollywood’s BermanBraun Interactive to build a new content site in one of the most popular, and competitive, content verticals: celebrity news.