"I don't think we're going to get to where we want to be as a company if we are in a constant dick-measuring contest with our peers, frankly," he said, still managing to strike that edgy house style while preaching a kinder, gentler ethos.
"I don't like feuding or sniping at Buzzfeed. I think that The Guardian is an independent newspaper that does great work and are also technologically building lots of really cool products that we should team up with them on and do it," he said. "Reddit fucks up all the time and their user community is very fedora-heavy and weird, but they also are really trying to do collaborative journalism."
Remember this? Good times.
The turning point, Johnson said, came in the aftermath of Gawker's disastrous site redesign three years ago, which caused traffic to plummet.
So I wonder when he'll learn something about Kinja.
"It took him about a year, but Nick really did learn something from that," Johnson said. "I think he denied that the problems were too bad for a while, at least until the traffic recovered, but he learned that if we're going to have a bigger mission, if we are going to try to be a platform company as well as a publication…he's going to have to change his management style, he's going to have to change the way he deals with everybody else."