Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Gawker Media’s Nick Denton Wants Out of the Porn Business

Pssst. Hey. You. Want to buy a porn site?

Nick Denton has something for you: The Gawker Media owner is pawning off Fleshbot, the porn site he has operated for eight years in addition to sites like Gawker, Gizmodo and Deadspin.

In addition to, but not really “along with” — Fleshbot, which is most definitely not safe for many workplaces, has always been kept at a distance from Denton’s other properties, at least when it came to advertising and PR.

It’s not that other Denton sites are prudish — ask Brett Favre — but they’re still in the business of attracting mainstream advertisers. And Fleshbot could never do that.

“As GM has grown, its sales strategy and technology platform have ceased to effectively support Fleshbot’s needs. We think someone else could be a much better partner to grow the site with us,” editor Lux Alptraum wrote in a “for sale” post yesterday.

As with all things Denton, the move will touch off a little wave of speculation about What It All Means, etc. I figured I’d kick things off this morning by asking him myself, via IM.

Denton: “Just hadn’t fit for a long long time.”

Kafka: “y i know. so why not anytime in the last tk years?”

Denton: “Oh, I don’t know. Because I’m slow to realize the inevitable?”

Thanks to AVN for spotting, and Jim Romenesko for aggregating.

Meanwhile! In other Nick Denton news: Denton held a party in his Soho loft last night, to toast the new editors of the Guardian, the U.K. paper that’s trying to establish a footprint in the U.S. (join the club). Had you been there (I wasn’t), you would have seen bold-faced names like the New York Times’ Bill Keller, New York magazine’s Adam Moss, (rhetorical) bomb-thrower Naomi Wolf, and some of the folks who spend time figuring out how to Occupy Wall Street. “Best party ever,” Denton types.

Here’s the host (sitting on the back of the sofa), along with fellow online heavyweights Jacob Weisberg (Slate), Arianna Huffington (duh), Janine Gibson (guardiannews.com) and Henry Blodget (Business Insider). “152 million global uniques,” Denton boasts.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work