Good afternoon from the couch of news. I'm home today, as are most of the 210 Editorial staff, as we add a few more desks to the 4th floor in our final renovation before we move to 17th Street next year. Hopefully the additional 6 seats will tide us over until then, although I suspect we'll still be full to bursting.
Over the coming weeks, I'll be working with each of the 8 core titles' teams to hone the individual editorial mission, challenges, and opportunities—it's fun how that corp-speak just flows out of me now—as we work with the Sales and Tech department to do three things in 2015: grow our audience (our job); grow our revenue (Sales' job); and continue to tweak and polish our layout (Tech's job) to best serve the reader. (Of course, all of these things are everyone's job, really, and the attempt to work more collaboratively across departments is never-ending.)
I'll be herding the Gawker.com staff into a Brainstorming Corral next week as the first test subjects; Max's Gawker is now the largest editorial staff, usually the largest traffic driver, and the one that has the most freedom to reinvent itself as both a story breaker and home of sharp analysis. Some of that will involve restructuring how the team approaches daily blogging—or at least, making sure the current structure gets the job done—but we're also going to be exploring some pan-Gawker Media needs that can be addressed: better utilization of social platforms, improvements to our tips solicitation process (which is already underway), really locking down a simple, understandable workflow for what to do when news is breaking, whether we break it or simply are helping our readership digest it.
Gawker.com has the broadest editorial purview of any of the sites (save, perhaps, Jezebel), so it seems like a logical place to start, and I expect many of the ideas we generate by forcing recalcitrant writers into a room for a couple of hours will apply to the other 7 titles. (I also want to explore what we can do to make our stats reporting, both per site and per author, more useful both as a post-posting monitoring metric, and as a pre-posting motivator, while still attempting not to make anyone go insane or feel the need to put garbage content on the page.)
On the whole, my plan for the rest of 2014 is to "tighten up." From our missions, to our teams, to our process—we've got eight strong editors-in-chief, excellent editorial management throughout the organization, and 150-or-so hungry, talented writers already in the mix. Our job now is to make sure we don't grow complacent in our success, despite higher-than-ever traffic and revenue, especially since our eight titles remain and will remain for the foreseeable future the spine of our entire business.
Also, we're going to have more plants in the office. I really like plants.
Now, a selection of the greatest hits from Blogtown, U.S.A. this past week.