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Gawker Media's Nick Denton Goes It Alone: The Code/Media Interview (Video)

How do you build a Web business without raising big venture rounds or tethering yourself to Facebook?

Asa Mathat
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Gawker Media’s Nick Denton is a Web publishing pioneer, but the Web publishing business isn’t very sentimental. It doesn’t care that you figured out how to turn blogging into a business before most people had heard of a blog. It’s unmoved by the influence* you had on a generation of digital writers and readers.

So what does Denton do now, at a time when many Web publishers have either raised big sums of venture capital, and/or created a model based mostly on feeding Facebook — two choices Denton says** he rejects?

That’s the bulk of the conversation we had at Code/Media last week. It moved along at a fairly good clip, I think, but you can judge for yourself in the video below.

It’s worth noting that Denton came onstage immediately following Facebook product head Chris Cox, and so his initial comments are a response to Cox’s argument that Facebook doesn’t want to swallow the Web. Denton has a different take:

* Note the value-neutral phrasing there, which is the way you’re probably supposed to write about people who take great pride in publishing Hulk Hogan’s sex tape. But screw it: I think Denton’s network of sites are overwhelmingly a force for good. So consider that a disclosure.

** Let’s also be clear: Denton has been a longtime advocate of using Facebook’s massive reach, and his sites get plenty of Facebook traffic. But he is trying to distinguish himself from publishers that seem to be primarily dependent on Facebook.

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