our good friend doc searls who created the genius marketing concept of

markets are a conversation” from the groundbreaking book the cluetrain manifesto, is currently under doctor’s care. he says that hes ok, but you should still probably keep him in your prayers for a week or so.

here’s an email he sent to me and a few others this weekend that id like to share with you.

subject: A little pulmonary embolism


Ya’ll are on a loose list of folks I am guessing hasn’t read my blog, or heard through the grapevine that last week I went to the hospital with what felt to me like muscle cramps in my rib cage, but turned out to be a pulmonary embolism, better known as a blood clot, in my right lung. I’m on blood thinners now, and will go in for more examinations this next week. The Wife was in Paris on a vacation that was to continue in Munich this next weekend when The Kid and I were scheduled to meet her (in time for me to do a bunch of work-related stuff at conferences), has returned home to hold down the fort and keep things sane as we get my ass stabilized (that is, with blood sufficiently and consistently thinned), so if I croak it will have to be from something that doesn’t involve clotting. This is a Good Thing.

I may still go to Munich, by the way. That’s the plan, although it’s a bit of a long shot. It depends on whether my clotting resistance is consistently low.

Mysteries at this point are 1) whether I have the same clotting disease my cousins have, called Factor V Leiden (which is treated with the anti-clotting medicine I am already taking); and 2) where the clot came from. We await tests on the first item and may never know the answer to the second. Sonograms of my neck and legs show clear veins. An echo-cardiogram of my heart looks excellent, as does my EKG. My heart, in fact, appears to be very healthy (consistent with tests done several months ago in Santa Barbara after a similar scare that turned out to be a false alarm.) So does pulse (62) and blood pressure (120/70).

The “PE,” as they call it, appears clearly on a CAT scan, as do a few tiny “nodules” that are probably nothing, but require that I get re-CATted in 3 months. Since I have never been a smoker, the doctors are not concerned, but they still want to monitor things, which is good.

Since the most likely source of the clot was my legs, excessive sitting (at my desk and in airplanes) is the leading suspect, in terms of lifestyle. So I have already taken to walking and riding the new bike I bought today. The Wife bought one too. We plan to become a more physically active family.

Other good news is that we are being treated by the greater Harvard medical system, which means things like getting this guy for my hematologist.

This is also the first time I’ve encountered a health care system that pushes me much harder than I push it. I get concerned calls several times a day from truly interested and caring professionals at University Health Services, from the Law School Clinic (where I showed up with my chest pains), and elsewhere.

We just got on that plan a few weeks ago. Much better than having to deal with California minimum self-employed Blue Cross, here in MA.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll be fine, even if I now fear sitting down, which in the long run (say, more than a week) is a career-limiting attitude.

So I’ll soon be getting a stand-up desk and a much better chair for my sit-down desk.

Anyway, that’s the news. Love to all,


here are some posts that Doc wrote over the last week regarding the deal at hand

you might remember doc searls from such busblog posts as

Live From the Blogosphere, Ev Williams announces Blogger being Sold to Google
Doc at SXSW 2006 with Dooce, her husband, and Henry Copeland of BlogAds
Doc calls me “the best blogger ever”

you know i love my man ken layne

so i really appreciate him doing an interview with me for the LA Times blog Web Scout

here was one of my favorite back-and-forths that we had during our 50 minute google chat:

Web Scout: Why on earth do you think Denton would sell Wonkette in the middle of a presidential race?

Ken: It’s a good time for the site to make a move, when everything’s about politics. But Gawker’s ad people just aren’t going to move to D.C. and sell political ads for one site when they’re selling 200-plus million impressions for gadgets and consumer things. So if we’re going to do well, we need ad people who understand political blogs and an agency that sells a ton of political advertising.

Web Scout: Denton says that he has a hard time selling ads for the three blogs it is selling off, not just yours, so wouldn’t an intelligent man then fire his sales team instead of the blogs?

Ken: Well, if any of those blogs were doing the kind of traffic Gizmodo does, then yes. I mean, in a way it’s going back to the whole ideal of the news blog: One or two people do the editorial, BlogAds sells the inventory, and you kind of omit the whole “publisher” part of the model. It’s the Matt Drudge/Perez Hilton/Fark way of doing the Internet, which of course is the way I like to work, at home, with my cocktails and e-mail. And necktie and jacket — I always put on my tie before I go to my office. Must have workplace dignity.

Web Scout: What is your drink of choice nowadays?

Ken: For live-blogging, it’s Jameson on the rocks. Otherwise, bordeaux and pinot noir.

Web Scout: Nothing American? Now I see your ways. OK, now according to Technorati, Wonkette is ranked #63, meaning there are only 62 blogs more popular than your site in the whole world. How is it that Denton seems to think that Wonkette, Idolator and Gridskipper combined only account for 3% of Gawker Media’s traffic? Could that be true?

Ken: There is a Coppola claret that we like a lot, and buy by the case. It’s from California.

Web Scout: Good save. And Sofia can really stomp a grape, I hear.

Ken: It is true, the traffic figures. Now, Wonkette is one of the very top politics blogs. We did 6 million pages last month — another record — and 1.2 million unique visitors. We’re a very big politics site, no doubt. But it’s also true that Gawker sites did 200-plus million views last month. And there’s your 3%.

Obviously, I like political news to be subsidized by fluff. This is why whatever half-naked tart of the month is on the cover of Vanity Fair, but inside you get these great news features and investigations and political rants. I don’t mind that situation. But the truth is that fewer publishers/broadcasters in any medium are willing to subsidize news and politics. Tribune Co. doesn’t want to do it, the TV networks don’t want to do it.

read the whole thing here and dont miss the part where i asked if Nick Denton sold Wonkette because he was afraid of dissing a black or a woman if one of them became president

ken layne convinces nick denton that the sky is falling

monkey glockand wrestles Wonkette away to be all his.

denton also seemed like it was time to sell off the curiously average Gridskipper to Curbed and music blog Idolator to Buzznet,

“There’s a cold wind coming,” Denton told Silicon Insider via IM. “We need to focus on our core titles.”

what world does he live in where Wonkette isn’t core? maybe i can get an interview with Layne later today. in the meantime heres the email Denton sent his troops this morning:

From: nick@gawker.com
Subject: Gawker spinning off three sites — Idolator, Gridskipper and Wonkette —
Date: April 14, 2008 10:26:06 AM EDT
To: all@gawker.com, edit@gawker.com

I’m amazed we’ve managed to keep a lid on this news; that, given your naturally gossipy natures, must be a first! We’re spinning off three sites: Idolator, Gridskipper and—this one may be a surprise—Wonkette. There were indeed some rumors about Maura Johnston’s music blog late last year; they were true of course. For reasons that I’ll explain below, both it and our travel and politics sites have better commercial futures outside Gawker than within. (Excuse the corporate lingo: some of it is unavoidable.) But, first, the facts, which will be hitting the wires later this morning, or as soon as you leak this email. Go ahead!

* IDOLATOR is going to Buzznet, a music-focused web and social network. Buzznet recently acquired Idolator’s chief rival, Stereogum, and received a big investment from Universal Music Group.

* GRIDSKIPPER isn’t going far: it’s being taken over by Curbed, the network founded by Lockhart Steele, in which Gawker Media is a shareholder.

* WONKETTE is being spun off to the managing editor, Ken Layne, former founder of one of the web’s very first news sites, Tabloid.net. The title will become part of the Blogads network of political sites, which includes Daily Kos, among others.

Why these three sites? To be blunt: they each had their editorial successes; but someone else will have better luck selling the advertising than we did.

Music audiences are fragmented across genres; Maura’s Idolator gave Stereogum a good run, but a group with a whole array of music sites will command more attention from record labels than we could. In the case of Gridskipper, our urban travel guide, we could never match Curbed in attention to city-specific content and advertising. As for Wonkette: political advertisers are a strange breed; they don’t come through the same agencies our sales people deal with.

I’m relieved we’ve found pretty decent homes for the three sites, and most of their writers, but we’re gutted to lose them. Idolator’s Pop Critic’s Poll was a tremendous coup—and Patric’s bleeding-heart logo for the site was one of my favorites. Gridskipper is so far the most sophisticated travel blog: it entirely deserved its inclusion in Time’s list of the 50 coolest websites.

And Wonkette is one of the brands with which the company is most associated; people will be shocked that we would ever part with it. The political site has won an array of Bloggies and other awards; it introduced the word ass-fucking into the dictionary of political abuse; the founding editor’s slippers are even on display in the new media museum in Washington, DC. And Ken and his team have brought a new liveliness to the site this election season—validated by the record traffic of the last three months.

So why not wait, at least till the election? Well, since the end of last year, we’ve been expecting a downturn. Scratch that: since the middle of 2006, when we sold off Screenhead, shuttered Sploid and declared we were “hunkering down”, we’ve been waiting for the internet bubble to burst. No, really, this time. And, even if not, better safe than sorry; and better too early than too late.

Everybody says that the internet is special; that advertising is still moving away from print and TV; and Gawker sites are still growing in traffic by about 90% a year, way faster than the web as a whole. But it would be naive to think that we can merely power through an advertising recession. We need to concentrate our energies, and the time of Chris Batty’s sales group, on the sites with the greatest potential for audience and advertising.

The dozen sites that remain represent some 97% or our 228m pageviews per month, and an even higher proportion of our growth and advertising revenue. (Key facts are below, in case anyone asks.) We’ll be able to devote more attention to breakouts such as Jezebel and io9, as well as established titles such as Gizmodo and Kotaku, which are becoming utterly dominant in their domains. And, then, once this recession is done with, and we come up from the bunker to survey the internet wasteland around us, we can decide on what new territories we want to colonize.

Both Noah and I are around to answer any questions. On email, IM, or phone. I’m xxx-xxx-xxx and Noah is on xxx-xxx-xxxx.



congrats to ken, sara, and the readers of Wonkette. it will be fascinating to see what that site can do with Ken Layne running the whole thing.

and special thanks to basart for the early morning email tipping me off.

when did lollapalooza get great again?

prince, roger waters, the breeders, and gogol bordello out in indio for coachella are pretty much all i need from a music festival,

but perry farrell seems to have done some crazy ass overachieving, cuz look at this nonsense that he put together for lolla this year – a sample:

Rage Against the Machine
Nine Inch Nails
Kanye West
The Raconteurs
Louis XIV
Love and Rockets
Gnarls Barkley
Bloc Party
The Black Keys
Broken Social Scene
Lupe Fiasco
Flogging Molly
Mark Ronson
Cat Power
The National
G. Love & Special Sauce
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Brand New
Gogol Bordello
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
Dierks Bentley
Blues Traveler
Butch Walker
Mates of State
Brazilian Girls
The Kills
The Postelles
Rogue Wave
The Go! Team
Grizzly Bear
We Go To 11
Black Kids
Black Lips
Dr. Dog
The Ting Tings
Kid Sister
The Cool Kids
What Made Milwaukee Famous
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
The Whigs
The Octopus Project

never have i wanted to return to chicago in august so badly but i think bro just talked me into it. if only to see kanye, kid sister, and the cool kids in grant park. and i could crash at my mommas house. and maybe see a cubs game? and drink old style? oh the possibilities.

complete lineup on the lollapalooza site