This morning Gawker, Jezebel, Lifehacker, Deadspin and other Gawker Media sites unveiled their new site designs.
The overhaul, months in the making, was described by Gawker Media founder Nick Denton as an opportunity to transition from standard blog layout to a format that looks and feels more programmed. While the old Gawker layout displayed a long column of posts in reverse-chronological order, the new design centers on a main feature with a sidebar of secondary stories.
It's a bold new model for Gawker Media's blogging empire, and it will surely suit Denton's goals of promoting visually driven content. But many media observers and Gawker readers are less enthused about the new layout, which also caused some site slowness today as bugs were eliminated.
The Inquisitr thinks locating old content will be frustrating:
At the risk of sounding like the people who get spasticated when Facebook changes their layout at all, I'm not very sure this redesign is going to catch on very well. For one thing, it makes catching up to a large backlog of posts difficult, and pages seem far slower to load. Ads at least seem to take up more space -- an understandable change, if that observation is correct, but I found the placement to interrupt my reading of the content. Even now, as I flip back to the Gawker tab I have open, the sidebar still hasn't loaded and is spinning despite the several minutes the tab has "working."Mediaite predicts page views will fall with the new design:
Another difference? A drop in pageviews. Gawker's former editor in chief, Gabriel Snyder, who was replaced by CityFile founder Remy Stern despite having brought in record numbers, Tweeted after the unveiling of Gawker Media car-focused site Jalopnik's redesign that "pageviews look like they're down 25-33% in Gawker Media's new format." Of course, it would appear that Denton's new focus is not on raking in pageviews, but, rather, building a broadcast/video advertising model.The Nieman Journalism Lab thinks Denton is purposefully sacrificing page views in order to increase the amount of time users spend on his sites:
With the design's increased emphasis on engagement/the lean-back experience/etc., Gawker properties will ostensibly beef up their time-on-site stats while -- for the short term, at least -- taking a cut on pageviews as readers engage with and lean back into their content. It's an app-like approach being realized, intriguingly, on the open web. And, in it, Gawker's taking a TV-like attitude toward ad sales: one that's more about nebulous mass consumption -- zeitgeist, if you will -- than about simple CPMs.Denton, meanwhile, is betting $1,000 that his page views will go up this year.
On Twitter, the criticism has been blunt.
Oh my goodness. Hey Gawker? Everything you're doing today doesn't work for me.
The new Gawker template is Satanic. If I pulled up the source code, and I'm not going to, but if I did, it would be the devil's face.
New #Gawker doesn't work for how I consume media-I'm a grazer not a miner; I want quick gestalt. Also-not EVERYTHING needs to be an app
What do you think of the new Gawker site design? Let us know in the comments.
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