Gawker Values Uniques For 2010

After cutting back in 2008, Gawker Media rebounded in 2009. And as revenues climbed, Nick Denton reinstated pageview bonuses and even decided to offer his writers a full-time employment option.

But it seems that wasn’t enough for Denton. Today, in a memo sent to Gawker’s staff, obtained by The Awl, Denton explained the company’s move to tracking unique pageviews in the U.S., and using that as the benchmark for bloggers moving forward. Uniques are an important metric, as Denton explained, and now any bonuses will be based on each of Gawker’s blog’s ability to surpass a unique hits target that is an average of all uniques from 2009.

As Denton told his staff:

“So we’re shifting to a new number that more accurately reflects the growth of our audience. This target will encourage original reporting and original thought. The system will reward sites which recruit new readers rather than pandering to a well-established clique. Our editorial will be better as a result.”

Whether this change will affect how Gawker’s writers are paid or how much bonuses they receive remains to be seen, since Denton adds that “distribution of the bonus pool will be at the discretion of the site’s editor-in-chief.” But will it actually help foster original content and thought on the blogs?

Read more of the memo here.

Previously: Gawker Offers Writers Full-Time Employment, Denton: Gawker Revenues Actually Up 45 Percent This Year, With A 35 Percent Increase In Ad Revenues, Gawker Reinstates Pageview Bonuses