Digital Transformation

Gawker says goodbye to the writer behind much of its traffic

By Cameron Clarke |

January 5, 2014 | 3 min read

US gossip blog Gawker is losing one of its prized assets. Neetzan Zimmerman, a writer credited with bringing in much of the site’s traffic, is leaving to become editor-in-chief of the social start-up Whisper.

According to Business Insider, Zimmerman’s role at Gawker was to “generate lots of traffic so the rest of the staff could work on more meaty material”. By that measure, this chart from Gawker shows he was doing his job incredibly well.

In an internal memo, Gawker.com’s editor-in-chief John Cook said: “Anyway, we're f**ed, start traffic-whoring. BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS: Neetzan will be a loss, but one of the reasons, beyond his talent, that he's been the guy pulling in the big numbers here is that he has been the guy tasked with pulling in the big numbers here. That strategy--traffic scapegoating--won't change. We'll find others to harness the power of Facebook algorithms and make sure we're hitting the traffic sweetspots that we need to."

Zimmerman’s success promoted the Wall Street Journal to profile him in December, the paper declaring that he “may be the most popular blogger working on the web today”.

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His new role at Whisper, a mobile app that allows users to share secrets anonymously, will be to promote and boost the visibility of its content, according to Capital New York.

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