Lloyd Grove: I ran into Nick Denton [the owner of Gawker Media, parent company of the Silicon Valley blog ValleyWag.com] last night. What do you think of him?
Michael Arrington: I think he’-s a total dick.
Lloyd Grove: Would you care to elaborate?
Michael Arrington: I think he’-s amoral. I don’-t think he has any sense of right and wrong, and he’-ll do anything he can to make money and have a successful blog. So I just don’-t associate with him.
Lloyd Grove: I have to say, when he invited me to be his friend on Facebook, I had to think about it a long time. Because here in New York, when I had a gossip column at the New York Daily News, Gawker particularly attempted to make my life less pleasant than it ought to have been.
Michael Arrington: Yeah, I know what that’-s all about. By the way, Valleywag competes with TechCrunch on some stories, and it doesn’-t matter. If they get a tip or think something’-s funny, they’-ll write it about me. And it’-s not just me, they do it to everyone. But I just try to ignore it.
Lloyd Grove: Uh huh. Tell me, obviously the big challenge for traditional print journalism organizations like the Washington Post or Time magazine or New York magazine, and even Conde Nast Portfolio, is to figure out how to monetize the internet and make their businesses viable on the internet. Do people in those businesses ever consult you since you seem to have a very successful journalistic operation?
Michael Arrington: Not so much. I mean, we’-re able to monetize because we have a very high-end audience and it’-s very niche and very specific. We’-re lucky, but it’-s not magic. If you can get an audience like ours, it’-s pretty easy to generate revenue.
Lloyd Grove: How do you describe your audience to advertisers?
Michael Arrington: You know, they’-re early adopters. They’-re people that want to try new products. A significant portion of my audience, for instance, would’-ve bought the Kindle when Amazon released it last year, immediately. And they’-re a lot of entrepreneurs, so a lot of them need service providers, they need designers, they need accountants, and then they need to buy software. So Microsoft, Adobe, and others are always advertising on the site as well. So that’-s it, and sometimes, you have other things as well, but it’-s a high-end high-income sort of audience. We did a survey a while back, and the average was like $100,000 a year.
Lloyd Grove: You’-re only two years old, right?
Michael Arrington: This is going to be our third year.