Paid by the nipple slip

Not exactly, but Mark Glaser at USC's Online Journalism Review delves into the subject of how commercial blogs like Defamer and Wonkette pay their writers, and finds that the money is directly tied to producing items that lure traffic. The piece suggests that drives some content on the Gawker-owned blogs — sex videos, Lindsay Lohan sightings, Wonkette's ass references? — and describes a "Byzantine" system of bonus banking to reward growth but not daily traffic spikes. Gawker boss Nick Denton wouldn't discuss details, but Jason Calacanis, who runs the rival Weblogs Inc., says he did away with tying pay to traffic-inducing editorial copy. "I'd rather our bloggers focus on creating unfiltered, honest content," Calacanis said. "It's my job to make the money, it's their job to make great content." The piece also goes into the calculations and ethical quandaries faced by journalist-bloggers (such as L.A. Observed, but we're not mentioned) who juggle both content and business decisions.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent Blogosphere stories on LA Observed:
LA Weekly loses film critic Amy Nicholson too
California's secret water blogger is a she
Scientists who help write the movies
RV encampment on Tujunga Avenue in North Hollywood
Michael Higby, LA blogger, was 50
Original Wonkette blogger wants you to know she's a Christian
Andrew Sullivan to shut down The Dish
Andrew Sullivan to give up blogging (and get a life)


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