2004_5_artofspeed.jpgOnce, again, Nick Denton has innovated around blogs in a way that is both clever and unspeakably devilish! Following the lead of Conde Nasty magazines like the New Yorker, he's devised a partnership arrangement where an advertiser pays Gawker to set up a blog devoted to the subject of their choosing. In his understated British fashion, he is calling this endeavor "Gawker Media Contract Publications", and labeling the individual sites as "Special Advertising Sections" (really! it's in very small font in the upper right hand corner of the blog). The cost of setting up a little Gawker microsite of your own has not been revealed, but we're betting that it's a pretty penny. The first site is a partnership with Nike, which has been advertising on Gawker of late. It's a month-long blog called the "Art of Speed" weblog, and Remy from New Yorkish is writing it. Subject matter seems to be largely devoted to exploring the work of artists participating in the Art of Speed project. [Shoutout to our friends at Honest Media, who contributed a hilarious short.]

Some of the service Gawker is promising to its clients (emphasis ours):
· conceive a weblog campaign
· provide editorial talent and oversight
· create a co-branded page within one of the Gawker sites
· design and build a standalone blog
· promote the campaign weblog on Gawker sites
· promote the campaign weblog on other weblogs
· syndicate out the campaign blog content to news reader applications
· distill and spotlight weblog buzz on the campaign

So many questions swirl around this kind of thing. How much will this kind of relationship with advertisers contaminate Gawker's real blogs? What kind of clients will Nick do this thing for, and which advertisers would be deemed off-limits? Would he do a blog for pornography company on Fleshbot? Are the writers being paid more than the average Gawker scribe? Surely they should be- because this sort of thing isn't too different from writing a corporate brochure, or the text on the back of a cereal box. And how will Gawker readers feel about the whole thing? We want answers!

Gothamist has no plans for contract publishing, but if we did, here are some titles that we think would be a "good fit" (add your own in the comments!):
- Fairway produce and cheese blog
- Washington Zoo panda mating blog
- Law and Order Blog (natch)