Tuesday Buzz: When a Media Outlet Dies

The recently departed blog and news site Gawker shares a number of eulogies, all elegantly written. Also: Why you shouldn't conflate strategy with management.

Maybe you loved Gawker. Maybe you didn’t.

But you owe it to yourself to read at least a few a of the posts that the site published on Monday, its last day of operation. Most of Gawker Media’s assets were sold to Univision last week. But Gawker.com, the flagship site, was closed, seen as damaged goods after the company lost a hugely expensive lawsuit involving wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Gawker‘s demise was reflected upon by a number of the website’s writers, past and present. The articles discuss a mixture of failings, successes, and lingering grudges that, as a whole, highlight the neuroses of a 14-year-old publication, the way it was led during that period and the way it should be seen, now that it has closed its doors.

Gawker wasn’t a likable institution; it never tried to be. It angered celebrities and executives seemingly for sport. It even had as an enemy a billionaire who admitted to funding the Hogan lawsuit. But it’s still worth reading what was posted yesterday by staffers Hamilton Nolan, Kelly Stout, and Tom Scocca and by notable alumni, such as Vox Media’s Choire Sicha. The pieces are profane at times, but always interesting.

And then read the piece by Nick Denton, the man who founded Gawker and who oversaw its demise.

“Gawker was an experiment in journalism free of commercial pressures and the need for respectability, constrained only by law,” Denton wrote yesterday.

If your association was forced to close its doors tomorrow, how would you reflect on your own organization and its legacy?

They’re Not the Same Things

Strategy and management often get conflated with one another, but consultant Meredith Low argues that that’s a really bad idea.

In fact, it’s important to understand the difference—and how they work in tandem.

“Management is about running the association. Which of course is important and takes a great deal of skill,” Low writes. “And what it means to run an association well, I’d argue, has to include running it to enact the strategy. Management is needed to make the strategic choices become real; but it’s not the same thing as making those choices.”

Check out Low’s recent post for more.

Other Links of Note

How does happiness affect your decision-making? Fast Company ponders the importance of the “happiness gap.”

Use a lot of interstitials on your mobile sites? You should probably stop, because Google says it’s going to penalize such approaches, starting next year.

No budget? Don’t freak out. You can still put on a good show, blogger Christina R. Green writes on the Event Manager Blog.

The image on Gawker's final post, an essay published by Nick Denton. (via Gawker)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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