As you may have heard, this week marks the end of gawker.com’s operations. If you didn’t read it here, you may have read about it in the bushel of eulogies that our colleagues at other publications have produced over the last few days.
Since it’s not totally clear to me what will happen to the site’s archives or how long I will have access to data about the site, today seems like a good time to jot down some of the numbers we have about our writers, our community, and posts.
By my count*, 202,370 posts have been published on gawker.com between its founding and yesterday. 3,311 of these posts were automated Public Pool postings.
Posting at gawker.com peaked in 2008, when our writers put up 33,047, over 70 per day**.
This ludicrous posting rate came at the tail end of the housing boom. By the end of that year, with the market starting to tank, Gawker laid off about 15% of its editorial staff. The decrease in headcount, plus a change in traffic patterns away from direct, homepage traffic, decreased the ability and incentive to post as frequently. The fact that Gawker stopped paying writers per post sometime around this time might have had an impact as well. By 2012 the site posted just under 10,000 times, or less than half the rate of 3 years earlier.
There have been exactly 420 (!!) different people, groups, and bots that have published a post on gawker.com and its sub-blogs, from Hamilton Nolan to Tara Jacoby (Note: I am actually not making that up, against all odds).
Here are the 20 humans who have posted the most. Some are here now, some are long gone.
In case you are wondering, one ‘Nick Denton’ comes in at #22 on this list.
Gawker.com is so old, it pre-dates all modern web tracking software, including Google Analytics. So tracking historical, all-time traffic is a challenge. As best I can tell, from founding until now, the site has received about 7 billion pageviews across a bit more than 3 billion visits. Most of the data is available on Quantcast, so feel free to play with it there if you’re interested in more detail.
Taking these calculations a little further the average gawker post got about 30,000 pageviews over its lifetime.
Gawker.com (and its sub-blogs) has had the broadest coverage of any of our publications: media, politics, television, and Lindsay Lohan all fell within its beat. Here are the top-20 tags Gawker.com used and the number of posts tagged with each.
These are rough numbers: misspellings and other errors in the tagging of posts means these are all probably underestimates.
And before you ask, Donald Trump just misses this list, with 1,782 posts about him. Sad!
One of the big draws, for me, of coming to Gawker Media was the chance to work on our CMS and commenting system, Kinja. And while the platform can be infuriating sometimes, the comments were a big part of the reason many of us enjoyed the sites so much. The over 16 million comments we’ve had on gawker.com have run the gamut from indefensible to inspired, and have been the source of much concern and much pride.
Here are the most prolific and recommended commenters in the history of gawker.com. Thank you and the thousands of others for making the community what it has been over the years.
Finally, while there have been a number of roundups of our best posts, comments typically don’t get the same level of attention. To rectify that, these are the 10 most recommended posts in the history of gawker.com.
- stacyinbean on Man Who Would Rather Go Blind Than Get Obamacare Now Going Blind
- Greasy Dick on Family Values Activist Josh Duggar Had a Paid Ashley Madison Account
- Medieval Knievel on Gawker Is Removing Story About Condé Nast CFO
- MK12 on Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s Time to Panic
- America’s Wang on Viral Christian Pregnancy YouTuber Sam Rader Had a Paid Ashley Madison Account
- GregSamsa on School to Dreaded White Girl on “Spiritual Journey”: Hell No
That’s all I have for you. Goodbye gawker.com, I hope you enjoy running free on that big content farm in the sky.
*Counting historical posts on gawker.com involve some technical challenges and decisions. For these counts, I’m including all posts on gawker.com and its subblogs (at one point there were over 30 of them) but excluding shares (or splices, as we call them internally) from other blogs. I’m also including all the posts from cityfile.com, which Gawker acquired in 2010: its content was merged into gawker.com’s
**If you divide 33,000 posts by 365 days, you actually get 90 posts per day. However, some of these posts were retroactively added to the Gawker archives in the cityfile.com acquisition. I’m including those posts in the overall numbers, but not the rate-numbers or the author numbers (since the authors weren’t Gawker authors when they wrote them).