Has Gawker jumped the snark? Discuss! Background reading: Leading Gossip Web Site May Have Jumped the Shark (October 2004) Gawker jumped the shark today, by Felix Salmon (February 2005). Incidentally, Salmon, a blogger for Portfolio's website, is quoted in the latest New York Times article, three years after his first pronouncement. One day he might actually be right! (Chart shows shark-jumping against pageviews per month, from January 2003 to January 2008, a projected figure.)
Conde Nast Portfolio's December issue will have 111.3 ad pages, says the Post's Keith Kelly: "That comes after a 185 ad-page debut in April, followed by 121.2 in September, 117.9 in October and 108.2 in November." (That's a bit more than 1/3rd of Vanity Fair's ad pages, right?) Meanwhile, we hear that on their website, media blogger Jeff Bercovici and finance blogger Felix Salmon have recently been trading off months as top traffic-getters. We also hear that the online ad folks are totally over the top! They don't have much inventory to sell, as site traffic is still low—and yet veritable hordes of them fly across the country to meet with agencies and pitch. The sales team sounds crazily over-built for the current size of the website.
As you might have heard, Conde Nast's Portfolio launches today. The most important business magazine of its generation, Portfolio starts life with 185 ad pages in a 332-page issue. Cond chair Si Newhouse says the book was "inspired by a positive response to business articles in Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, although he could not recall precisely which ones." (We have the same problem!) Conde 's willing to dump around $125 million into making the mag a success, but some see the publication as a shot across Time Inc.'s bow. In any event, it's the little things that make the difference. Like the pillows in the "idea lab."
As previously reported, Dave Eggers of McSweeney's is distributing a new magazine called The Believer (the brainchild of Heidi Julavits). The "indie" publication features pieces by up-and-coming "indie" writers like Salman Rushdie, Robert Olmstead, and Anne Carson. (Oh wait, it's "Be Nice to Celebrities Day." Sorry. This is very painful for me.) Actually a friend of mine subscribed and says it's very good and it even "smells nice"always the mark of high-quality literature. I haven't seen it yet, so it's probably quite lovely. I'd probably even like itand hate myself for liking it. (See? That was nice...ish.)
New magazine has an abiding faith in the good book review [LA Times]
UPDATE: Felix Salmon reviews The Believer, a magazine about reviews.
The Believer [FelixSalmon.com]
Felix Salmon speculates that Daniel Libeskind's plan won because Libeskind knew how to navigate the bureaucracy: "Given the very high standard of many of the shortlisted plans, I think that the ultimate reason that Libeskind won was that he was most attuned to the process, and most willing to present his ideas as a work in progress, something which could and should reflect the views of all the stakeholders in the site, and not just his own ego."
Libeskind wins [FelixSalmon.com]
Felix Salmon points out that Herbert Muschamp's vitriol for the Libeskind plan was noticeably absent in December. From Muschamp's December 19 article: "If you are looking for the marvelous, here's where you will find it. Daniel Libeskind's project attains a perfect balance between aggression and desire... Mr. Libeskind has fashioned a new set of crystals, brilliantly faceted skyscrapers, forms that recreate the aspiration many architects felt when plate glass was new."
Muschamp on Libeskind [MemeFirst]