Gawker Media owner Nick Denton (pictured) is changing how he pays the editors of his 12 tabloid-like blogs including Silicon Valley’s Valleywag.com. Gawker will now use Internet traffic or “page views” to determine the size of an editor’s bonus.
According to an internal memo appearing on Valleywag, Denton wants to discourage his editors from posting “self indulgent” items in favor of “link worthy” material like secret memos, spy photos, “well-argued rants” and, of course, exclusives. The memo, co-authored by Denton and Noah Robischon, says: “It’s only on the Internet that a writer’s contributions can be measured.”
Already other bloggers not associated with Denton have analyzed the new payment system. For instance Sean P. Aune of tech.blorge.com determined that even a prolific editor who posts 93 items a month will be taking a pay cut under the plan — from $3,116 to $2,545 per month under one scenario.
“Unless writers can come up with social bookmarking worthy posts, they could be facing a severe pay cut in 2008,” Aune writes.