Nick Denton has made a business out of blogging.
It's a cold day in early April and the heat isn't working in the loft Nick Denton moved into a week ago. He's turned the oven of his huge Viking range to 320 and propped open the door. The blue flames of all four burners on the stainless steel hearth are flicked to high. And now, jiggling his Sony Vaio at the window, Denton is trying to get a Web connection to download some files before meeting with Choire Sicha, the tattooed art gallery director who is his flagship writer and informal editorial director. The meeting could have been held a few blocks south at Denton's (wired-up) office, but that chunk of real estate – a small parcel of loft space shared with an interior decorating company – is already packed with three workers.
Clearly, this is not Rupert Murdoch's world. In Nick Denton's nanopublishing empire, that last word is usually accompanied by eye rolling and air quotes. The meat of his Gawker Media enterprise, after all, is not newspapers or satellites or movies but weblogs, until recently viewed as non-revenue-generating megaphones for online bloviators. Denton, a part-Hungarian, part-Jewish, matter-of-factly gay and cheerfully iconoclastic 37-year-old British expat, has recruited a squad of talented workaholic misfits who use Movable Type, sexual prurience, and relentless snarkiness to draw enough of a crowd to lure advertisers. While he isn't making a bundle yet – and doesn't claim that he ever will – Denton is making a splash that's seriously rattling the media hierarchy.
And the future looks very promising.