The Daily Dot
Type of site
|Created by||Nicholas White|
|Launched||August 23, 2011|
The site, conceived as the Internet's "hometown newspaper", focuses on topics such as streaming entertainment, geek culture, memes, gadgets and social issues, such as LGBT, gender and race. In addition, an e-commerce arm produces branded video for advertisers and sells items from an online marketplace.
The Daily Dot was established in 2011 by Nicholas White, whose goal was to cover Internet communities such as Reddit and Tumblr in the same manner as hometown newspapers cover their own communities. White's family has been in the newspaper business since buying the Sandusky Register in Ohio in 1869, and White was a reporter and executive with the family's media company before establishing the site.
White launched The Daily Dot with $600,000 and a handful of full-time reporters. Many of the site's early stories were filed to a Google Doc and reported on Facebook and Twitter. After establishing a headquarters in Austin, Texas, the company added other offices but many staff worked remotely from other locations. It raised a $10 million private investment to add staff, produce digital content and develop its internal creative agency in 2015, ramping up its output to 50-70 stories a day. Its coverage has focused on "under-reported" areas while emphasizing progressive issues such as body-positivity and feminism. White has also highlighted the need to diversify his staff. "Journalism has been dominated by a few select types of voices. We have an opportunity to break from that cycle," he has said.
The Daily Dot has pursued several content strategies while building its online presence. In 2012, it was one of the first major sites to launch dedicated esports coverage. In 2016, the company sold that section, Dot Esports, to Gamurs, an Australian esports multimedia operation.
In 2014, it purchased The Kernel, a competing website, and turned it into a weekly Sunday edition featuring long-form editorial built around a single theme. The Kernel founder and editor-in-chief Milo Yiannopoulos stepped down following the acquisition. The Kernel ceased regular publication in 2016.
It also has collaborated on video projects with partners including HLN, on a co-branded series called Next Sex; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for which it produced a public service announcement encouraging vaccination featuring Sesame Street character Elmo and former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy; and television cooking personality Alton Brown, whose review of kitchen gadgets garnered many millions of views on YouTube.
In January 2016, the site launched VIP Voices, a collection of op-eds from high-profile contributors on Internet issues in public discourse. Contributors include Mayor Bill de Blasio, Representative Ted Lieu, and Senator Mike Lee.
In 2018, The Daily Dot sued the New York Police Department to access handgun license applications filed by Donald Trump and two of his sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. The suit alleges that the NYPD declined a request made by The Daily Dot under New York's Freedom of Information Law to release the information, citing privacy and safety concerns; the site argues the information should be public.
The company had a full-time staff of 76, in addition to 222 freelance contributors, in early 2016 before laying off 40% of its total staff in September 2016. White, who called the layoff a "restructuring", said the move was necessary to refocus resources on growing areas such as video, e-commerce and sales. The site's e-commerce videos, produced in conjunction with advertisers, are shared on Facebook and generate revenue by sharing a portion of sales. In addition, the site has built two online storefronts, the Bazaar and The Daily Dot Store, on which it sells items.
Coverage and awards
The Daily Dot's coverage is split into several sections:
- Debug - covers gadgets, platforms and software;
- IRL - covers topics including gender, LGBT issues and sex;
- Layer 8 - covers topics such as Internet rights, cybercrime, information security and other issues;
- Parsec - focuses on gaming, science, comics, fashion and nostalgia;
- Unclick - devoted to memes and other Internet topics;
- Upstream - devoted to streaming entertainment.
The site's coverage has been recognized by the following outlets:
2016, finalist, The Webby Awards, Best Individual Performance in Online Film and Video (for Alton Brown collaboration).
2015, honoree, The Webby Awards, Websites-News.
- CEO Nicholas White's three part series for PBS's MediaShift about starting The Daily Dot:
- "Why I Gave Up the Newspaper to Save Newspapering". Media Shift. PBS. April 25, 2011.
- "The Necessity of Data Journalism in the New Digital Community". Media Shift. PBS. June 22, 2011.
- "5 Lessons Learned Building The Daily Dot, a Media Startup". Media Shift. PBS. Aug 23, 2011.
- Gallaga, Omar (January 25, 2016). "Austin-based Daily Dot takes new approach to covering the Web". Austin American-Statesman. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
- Ha, Anthony (August 23, 2011). "Can The Daily Dot Become Web's 'Hometown Newspaper'?". AdWeek. Archived from the original on 17 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
- Willens, Max (April 29, 2017). "How the Daily Dot uses Facebook video to sell aquariums and flux capacitors". Digiday. Archived from the original on 28 June 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- Smith IV, Jack (April 28, 2015). "The Daily Dot's Island of Misfit Reporters Raises over $10 Million". Observer. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
- Calnan, Christopher (September 19, 2016). "Daily Dot restructures, lays off 40% of staff". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
- Bräutigam, Theo (October 31, 2016). "Daily Dot Esports section sold to media network Gamurs". Esports Observer. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
- Wauters, Robin (Jan 29, 2014). "The Kernel acquired by The Daily Dot publisher; founder and editor Milo Yiannopoulos to move on". Tech.eu. Archived from the original on February 3, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014.
- "About the Kernel". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
- "HLN and the Daily Dot partner to provide co-branded content across all screens". November 18, 2014. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
- "The Daily Dot clarifies: Elmo not an anti-vaxxer". April 20, 2015. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
- "Alton Brown reviews Amazon's dumbest kitchen gadgets". December 10, 2015. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
- "Alton Brown reviews Amazon's dumbest kitchen gadgets". The Webby Awards. Archived from the original on 2018-06-16. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
- Klasfeld, Adam (2018-06-21). "NYPD sued for Trump family handgun records". Courthouse News. Archived from the original on 2018-06-29. Retrieved 2018-06-29.
- Marsh, Julia (2018-06-22). "NYPD sued for not disclosing info on Trump family gun permits". New York Post. Archived from the original on 2018-06-29. Retrieved 2018-06-29.
- Sterne, Peter (September 16, 2016). "Daily Dot lays off 30 employees across company". Politico. Archived from the original on 17 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
- Gallaga, Omar (September 16, 2016). "Layoffs at Austin-based newspaper of the Web, The Daily Dot". Austin American Statesman. Archived from the original on June 27, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
- "CJ Affiliate Announces CJU17 "CJ You Awards" Finalists". CJ Affiliate. Archived from the original on 28 June 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- "Vox Media and The Enthusiast Network are top nominees in the Digiday Publishing Awards". Digiday. Archived from the original on 27 June 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- Friedersdorf, conor (August 11, 2016). "Slightly more than 100 exceptional works of journalism". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 27 June 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- "The Atlantic leads Digiday Publisher of the Year finalists". Digiday. Archived from the original on 27 June 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- Cameron, Dell (June 5, 2014). "How an FBI informant orchestrated the Stratfor hack". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 28 June 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
- "The Webby Awards". The Webby Awards. Archived from the original on 27 June 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018.