Überblog Gawker is running a house
ad between the fourth and fifth entries on its homepage. "SPONSORSHIP"
"Gawker, part of the largest weblog media group, reaches over 600,000 media
junkies each month."
This comes as something of a surprise to those of us who doubt that there are
over 600,000 media junkies in the known universe. But there’s no easy way of
checking: unlike sister sites Wonkette and Defamer, Gawker doesn’t have a Sitemeter
button which makes its site stats public.
Today, however, Gawker publisher Nick Denton put a little
graph up on his personal weblog, charting pageviews per month for all of
the Gawker properties. Here it is:
If you’re an ultranerd, you can download the graph, open it up in Photoshop,
and look at it magnified so that all the juicy bits of data are a bit more obvious.
Once you’ve done that, you can use Photoshop’s measure tool to work out approximate
pageviews per month for the most recent month, June. In order of popularity,
|Site||Pageviews in June|
Caveat: these are rough numbers, although they probably overstate the real
ones: if you look at Wonkette’s official
stats, for instance, they show just under 2m pageviews in June. But they’ll
do as a rough guide, and from them we can certainly learn a fair amount.
1. The flagship Gawker property has actually seen a substantial decrease
in pageviews month-on-month. This isn’t a reversion-to-mean after a big spike,
either: looking at the graph, it certainly seems as though people are getting
a little bored with Gawker, and moving on to other things – maybe, even,
other Gawker Media weblogs. With Gawker editor Choire Sicha being elevated
to a broader Editorial Director role, is it time to juice up Gawker with fresh
blood? After all, the flagship is meant to be the biggest and the best, and
Gawker is now languishing in third place when it comes to size.
2. As suspected, Kinja is nowhere, barely registering on the graph. (It’s
that dark yellow band near the top.) Denton put an enormous amount of time,
energy and money into Kinja, and at this point I think it’s safe to say that
it didn’t work out.
3. Fleshbot is now clearly the single most popular Gawker site. Pace
Jason Calacanis at the Apple Store event,
does that make Nick Denton a pornographer? It’s certainly something which
I’m sure he doesn’t stress overmuch during his media
lunches at Lever House.
4. Gizmodo seems not to have been damaged at all by the defection of Pete
Rojas to Engadget, and in general the brands are much stronger than the writers.
Look at what happened to Gawker pageviews after Elizabeth Spiers left for
New York magazine last year: they almost trebled, from about 0.8m in October
to about 2.3m in November.
But back to the original question: can Gawker reasonably claim that it reaches
600,000 media junkies per month? I originally spent three convoluted paragraphs
here turning pageviews into visits and visits into visitors, ending up with
the conclusion that no, it couldn’t. Then I found this
page, which has all of Gawker’s site stats. And I was right: Gawker had
just 375,000 unique visitors in June.
Even more interesting, that’s the lowest number of the year so far, if you
don’t include Februrary, which seems to be a very weird outlier. The record
was set in May, with 589,000 unique visitors; June saw a nasty 36% plunge from
May’s numbers. But even if the ad copy was written before June’s numbers were
in, Gawker has never had more than 600,000 unique visitors in any given
month. And at present rates, it looks as though it could be a very long time
until it does.