Times Web Team Has Soft Spot for Gawker

Last night, nytimes.com played live video of the Biden-Palin debate on its home page, and Jon Landman is quite impressed that the Times pulled this off—he’s also quite pleased that Gawker liked it, too. From his weekly memo:

Live, streaming video at the top of the homepage! If you doubt this is a significant achievement, we invite you to survey the Web sites of broadcast news organizations like CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, the BBC (and we could go on). They had live debate video, yes, via links. But not on their homepages.

What’s going on here? A quiet, step-by-step revolution that’s slowly but surely loosening the technological shackles that restrict the design flexibility of Web pages. Think of the homepage surprises during the Olympics, on political primary nights, at the moment of big breaking
stories. We’re real leaders here, and people are noticing. Even Gawker is impressed.

And that’s not all. While writing about The Times‘ two environmental blogs—Dot Earth and Green Inc.—Mr. Landman boasts that the Web site has taken a page from the Gawker Media handbook:

Green and Dot also report that they’ve been doing a good bit of Gawker-style post sharing, in which they excerpt the first few grafs from another Times blog. Headline, byline and a neighborly "From our friends at …" top the posts. Done mutually, this helps to both flesh out daily content and drive traffic to and fro.

And! When digital news editor Jim Roberts wrote a farewell memo to Times‘ blogger Mike Nizza (who’s going to The Atlantic), he concluded his memo by quoting a Gawker commenter:

Gawker even took approving note of Mike when he made it clear that he was a HUGE (his word) fan of the Wu-Tang Clan. That prompted one Gawker reader to comment:

Wouldn’t it be great if they started to credit him as "Fo Shizza Mike Nizza"?

We will miss him.
Jim Roberts

Times Web Team Has Soft Spot for Gawker