After nearly fourteen years of operation, Gawker.com will be shutting down next week. The decision to close Gawker comes days after Univision successfully bid $135 million for Gawker Media’s six other websites, and three months after the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel revealed his clandestine legal campaign against the company.
I’ve had lots of ideas in my time here at Gawker Media, all of them good. I’ve also had countless constructive and fruitful conversations with various editors about my ideas, and I know I’m better for it. However, these same editors have also made mistakes—egregious ones. Fortunately, the advent of the messaging app Slack has allowed for some of these good ideas (and the conversations surrounding them) to be easily found and preserved for posterity. It has also allowed me to pinpoint exactly where this company went wrong.
Last night at the Democratic National Convention, Bill Clinton delivered a long, winding speech about the lifetime he has spent with Hillary Clinton. The goal was for viewers to see Hillary through Bill’s eyes, to learn more about her on a personal level, from his courtship of her to the work she did before she was one of the most famous women in the world.
Gawker Media has filed for bankruptcy. The specific circumstances leading to that bankruptcy are unique and bizarre. The fact of a media company declaring itself bankrupt, however, is pretty much a commonplace. Under other conditions—even facing down a different, more conventionally motivated lawsuit—Gawker’s bankruptcy process might seem somewhat straightforward.
Slack, a group chat and instant messaging program popular in tech and digital media workplaces, appears to be having a service outage. According to the service’s status website, the Slack website and API are down, due to an unexplained “resource exhaustion.” (We can relate!) This is the worst media news of the day.