Nick Denton’s fabulous timing

Nick Denton knows how to work the web in a way that evaded hundreds of erstwhile startups. He’s the man behind certified web successes Gawker (a dishy New York blog), Gizmodo (a geeky gadget blog), and now Fleshbot (a naughty blog; beware that last link!). What he’s done right is get the appropriate scale and medium. The medium is a blog, and the scale is one (or very few) paid staff. Pick the topic well, hire some good writers, and you can get yourself quite a readership. As a result, Denton is the focus of the first real post dot-com-apocalypse next-big-thing buzz. Even though he isn’t really making any money yet. When even the New York Times joined in the buzz, Denton got positively nostalgic for his days of obscurity. He says

Honestly, I liked the recession better. No one cared about blogs except for the under-employed lunatics who wrote them, and their under-employed friends. There was all the time in the world, to find under-appreciated writers, and develop an audience.

As he points out a bit later, crash or no crash, Americans are just naturally exuberant. For instance: Federal law and good sense may prohibit me from calling this the start of something Really Big, but just between you, me, and the hard drive, this is the start of something REALLY BIG.

By the way, to give you a taste of the bitchy tone that’s served Gawker so well, read what Gawker has to say about the Times article.