Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
A Swiss publisher is trying to attract a paying audience with an app sampling stories across publications
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Dec. 12, 2008, 9:59 a.m.

Gawker mixes up the visuals

The Gawker Media blogs redesigned yesterday, prompting explanatory posts all around the family of sites. From a cynical point of view, the redesign of each site’s front page to include shorter excerpts of each post seems clearly aimed at generating more pageviews (and thus, more ad impressions). In most cases, the key link the post is about is only accessible by clicking “More »” to another page.

But I want to point out something admirable about the Gawker sites: They’ve been willing to do more formal experimentation with how blog posts are displayed than just about anyone else.

A quick scroll down the Lifehacker front page, for instance, will show some posts that are just a small headline; some with a small headline and a one-sentence tease; some with a large headline and a tease; and some with either a small or large headline and a full-width image. Sports blog Deadspin is also experimenting with using different background colors to highlight certain content.

None of those options is groundbreaking. But one of the bigger design problems most blogs face is their visual sameness — the unbroken line of headline, post, headline, post all the way through the content. So bravo to Gawker for breaking it up.

POSTED     Dec. 12, 2008, 9:59 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
A Swiss publisher is trying to attract a paying audience with an app sampling stories across publications
Tamedia’s 12-App collects the 12 best stories each day from the company’s 20-plus publications.
What does it take to be a “full-service” digital journalism organization? Ask Discourse Media
“We’ve gone down lots of experimental rabbit holes.”
Spain’s Eldiario.es has 18,000 paying members, and its eye on the next several million
“We have a potential of six million readers. You may not convince all six million people to be your socios, but if you learn more about their interests, you can get closer.”
What to read next
0
tweets
The Guardian’s first VR project makes viewers experience the horrors of solitary confinement
“It’s a story which is all about space and the environment you’re in. Even though this is a small space, the story is all about that space.”
0TipOff, an email newsletter, is trying to explain sports to non-fans
Launched last fall by a team of investors and writers, TipOff has attracted 50,000 subscribers.
0Good news, publishers: People will read your long stories on their phones (for two minutes, anyway)
People will read longer content on their smartphones, a new Pew report finds.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Fuego is our heat-seeking Twitter bot, tracking the links the future-of-journalism crowd is talking about most on Twitter.
Here are a few of the top links Fuego’s currently watching.   Get the full Fuego ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Foursquare
Fox News
Grist
PubliCola
CNN
Crosscut
CBS News
SF Appeal
Neighborlogs
Baristanet
NPR
Demand Media