This must be hard. Your very existence, ironically, has just been threatened by a story you posted on your site. This one is to be exact (it’s SFW now): http://gawker.com/5948770/even-for-a-minute-watching-hulk-hogan-have-sex-in-a-canopy-bed-is-not-safe-for-work-but-watch-it-anyway. Usually, you post these audacious things and enjoy a lot of click traffic and some tweets from the inner circle of the Internet (you know, the one that seems to get to decide what is cool and what is not cool in the blogosphere). But not this time.
This time, you went too far. Regardless of Hulk Hogan knowing or not knowing if he was being filmed, or the reason for him suing you not being this tape but another, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that any reasonable human being can agree that you crossed a line here in your pursuit of viral content and constant relevance.
Now, we do agree on one thing, and that is the enormity of the $140 million settlement awarded to Hogan by the jury. Seemingly on the heels of Erin Andrews’s $55 million victory in another privacy invasion case, we have learned that white people’s privacy is worth more than black lives, but I digress.
So, you’re going to appeal, and you are confident that this large amount will be reduced drastically, or perhaps entirely, if the appeals court buys the arguments made in Nick Denton’s response here. Even so, a verdict any larger than $50 million would certainly not be ideal, to put it in the lightest of terms. For example, in 2014, you guys made $6.7 million in profit against $45 million in revenue. At least Denton sold a minority stake to semi-prepare for this outcome, but it doesn’t seem like it would come anywhere close to putting a dent in that 140mil, evidenced when he said, “We don’t keep $100 million in the bank, no.”
Regardless of the final verdict, right now you have to pay a bond of $50 million under Florida state law when appealing the case. That’s a good amount of money, and it might clean out your rainy day fund. (Are we wrong? Tweet us if so!) Perhaps you even already paid this $50 million, but in any case, the team at PortaBloggy has a solution for you. It might take some pride swallowing, but please just hear us out.
You guys should totally just crowd fund this. Like, as in, make a Kickstarter right this second, and just see what the hell happens. You have nothing to lose and only money to save if this works out. Will it be embarrassing that you have no other options? Probably. But you know what is more embarrassing? Shutting down because you published (parts of) a sex tape.
Maybe you’re a tad skeptical, but this idea works for a few reasons. 1. Some people are actually taking your side, and would you believe it, they actually like having you guys around! Give them a chance to show you how much they care by giving them this contributing opportunity (Maybe hire them after as freelancers also?) 2. This (sort of!) follows Kickstarter’s rules for a project, that a. projects create something to share will others (you continue to exist and share content), b. projects must be honest and clearly presented (never been a problem for you guys), and c. projects can’t fund-raise for charity, offer financial incentives or involve prohibited items (depending on how you view yourselves at this point, the charity thing could be a slight issue, but I think you can argue your way through that one). And finally, 3. You can’t pay this money and still exist in your current state. Just be honest with us.
So please guys, save money and save yourselves, and crowdfund the Hogan verdict.
The PortaBloggy Staff