Gawker boss: We got overtaken by BuzzFeed and smarmy Upworthy is nipping at our heels

Gawker Media employees got this memo from the boss this morning:

From: Nick Denton
Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Subject: November’s race
To: All Staff

The bad news… We got overtaken by Buzzfeed in November. They surged to 133m global uniques. Damn. That’s impressive. And Upworthy — even smarmier than Buzzfeed — is nipping at our heels.
They’ll likely stay ahead until Kinja comes into its own next year. The race is on.

The good news: even with Kinja still under construction, Gawker & Co surpassed previous levels, with 106m global uniques in November.

That’s a great foundation for expansion, one that most media companies would kill for, even if they’re more likely to die for it.

The Gawker Media network ranks at 21 in the US as measured by Quantcast, the highest rank we’ve seen. And this is cool: among mobile users, Gawker, Gizmodo, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Jezebel and Jalopnik were all among Quantcast’s top 100 sites.

Buzzfeed and Upworthy may be the most shameless, but we’re ourselves not completely averse to crowd-pleasing.

Neetzan’s media technique — ethical viral engineering, I call it — received some deserved recognition in the Wall Street Journal today. And Jesus and Casey at Sploid already added more than 4m US uniques to Gizmodo in November.
Kinja — which enlists readers as contributors to listicles as well as other collaborative editorial projects — will take us the next level up.

And ultimately — as Deadspin demonstrated with the story of Manti Teo’s girlfriend — the crowd will eventually choose the juicy truth over a heartwarming hoax.

See you at next week’s all-hands and the holiday party if not before!