Nick Denton issues high stakes wager to Rex Sorgatz

Nick Denton wants Rex Sorgatz's money.
Nick Denton has made a high stakes wager with Rex Sorgatz over the future success of Gawker Media sites in the wake of a redesign launched today.

For every 1 million pageviews that the sites go over 510 million, Sorgatz owes Denton $10. For every 1 million pageviews under 510 million, Denton owes Sorgatz $10.

A ten spot for every million hardly sounds like much at first, but if Gawker's current growth explosion continues unfettered, the tab could add up quick.

"I'm going to clean him out," Denton vows of Sorgatz.

Rex Sorgatz, the man Nick Denton wants to "clean out"
It all started with a post by Sorgatz on his blog Fimoculous, in which he issued an open bet that Denton would eventually retreat from the redesign when pageviews collapse.

I'm on the record that I think the redesigns will fail. And I'm now officially opening the betting pool. I think Denton is going to be forced to pull back on this. If anyone wants to wager that the redesign don't get yanked back (or greatly modified) by, let's say, June 1... I'll take your bet.

Of course, it takes two to make a wager, and Sorgatz might have been wise to decline Denton's invitation. Every 100 million pageviews equals $1,000, which could get spendy considering the site's recent record growth spike.

But Sorgatz took Denton up and the bet is on:

Official terms of the bet with Denton: We will check Quantcast on October 1, 2011. The goal is 510M pageviews/month. It's $10 for every million over/under. [So $600 to me if it's 450M.] If the design reverts to the old format, he forfeits and pays out $1000. (Lockhart is the arbiter of what constitutes "design change.") New or acquired sites do not count in the numbers. And finally, the money handover is to be done in public and photographed. So bring pies.

Sorgatz created MnSpeak, the local message board, and sold it to City Pages founder Tom Bartel, who rebranded it Secrets of the City. Sorgatz moved to New York, where he became something of a man about town. He has a long history with Gawker.

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If anyone just wants the discussion without the Gawker content, there's a bunch of tag boards over at to serve that very purpose.

It's in beta, and -- full disclosure -- I wrote it. But I'd love some more people to try it out and give me feedback.


Oh, so THIS is where the backchannel is. Because it's not on MNspeak!


Careful Rex, A building theory over in the Gawker comments is that the new format (sidebar additional window, etc.) could falsely indicate more page views.


Can I get in on this wager?

Mark Gisleson
Mark Gisleson

I hope the destruction of the HuffPost by AOL doesn't end up costing Rex beaucoup bucks.

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