The future of digital advertising:

GigaOM: “Gawker hasn’t really experimented with subscriptions or other models for revenue. Do you have any interest in anything other than advertising?”

Denton: “No.”

GOM: “Is that because you don’t think they will work?”

Denton: “No, it’s because I’m lazy and I like to focus on one thing at a time. I’m actually much more interested in what I would call conversational marketing. That is the advertising that I would buy. The ability to have a conversation with — not necessarily with end customers, but people online who are truly going to influence end customers. And this is probably not the social media elite.”

GOM: “But everyone us saying advertising is dead, media needs to find other revenue models. Do you disagree?”

Denton: “We do fine out of advertising. We have high quality, high income…”

GOM: “Are those ad revenues growing?”

Denton: “Yeah, of course.”

GOM: “Rapidly?”

Denton: “Pretty rapidly, yes. We’ve been profitable for years.”

GOM: “And no interest in other revenue opportunities?”

Denton: “What are we good at? We are great at publishing, and we are great and will be great at creating these special environments [for conversation.] We have the tone of the web. Editorial expertise and technology are the things that marks us out. Clients who are often trying to become publishers themselves, we should be providing them with a publishing platform, publishing services and publishing expertise and publishing consultancy.

The future of news, and of journalism as a whole, isn’t something anyone has a really firm grasp on — as traditional players continue to be disrupted by the web and social tools like Twitter, and new entrants like The Huffington Post. Huge reports on the state of the industry written by journalistic institutions are filled with questions, but very few answers. Now a writer at the Columbia Journalism Review has taken aim at what he sees as the real culprit: “future of news” visionaries like Clay Shirky and Jeff Jarvis, who he says are hurting the industry more than they are helping. But is that really where the problem lies? I don’t think so. (via GigaOm)