In my 20 Digital Media Projections for 2009, I stated that there would be a handful of other major sites racing into that space that Huffington Post and The DailyBeast have successfully created. Today comes news that Gawker is rolling up another of the big Gawker Media properties: Defamer. Just a couple months ago, Valleywag was rolled into Gawker.com (it now resides at valleywag.gawker.com)
At first I thought this was because Nick Denton had significantly cut staff and resourcing across the network. And while that may well have been the case at Valleywag, that doesn't seem to be the case with Defamer.
Defamer serves 6m page views a month (Gawker does 24m). That is substantial - albeit not enormous.
The roll-up to me looks more like a page out of Huffington's book: build a brand and verticalize within it. Gawker's take has always been to create unique, stand alone properties and hope that people navigate between the brands.
I would personally be more inclined to visit Gawker if it housed all of the brands (as disparate as they are)... assuming that Gawker could figure out a way to surface content that may be interesting to me via my tastes, history, and popularity across the site. I'll read more and I'll stay longer. I promise.
I am lazy. So too is the web (after all, the #1, #2 and #3 search queries are Google, Yahoo and eBay). Take advantage of it by making it easier for us.