It’s recently been announced that Kotaku UK will be launching soon, part of the Gawker network’s ever growing reach setting up branches of sites in specific locations in order to target content towards territories. Not unusual so far sure, you can get IGN in the UK flavour too for example. But there were a few odd things in the press briefing.
Firstly, content is going to be geo-targeted to the point of blocking out the primary .com content?? That can’t be right, but no, we have a reply in the message thread from Stephen Totilo:
OK. I got you an answer, one I think you’ll like. You’ll be able to access the U.S. site via us.kotaku.com. Kotaku U.K. will also tag their original pieces, so all Kotaku readers will be able to bookmark that tag page and read those stories in conjunction with our U.S.-based Kotaku.com if they’d like.
But that doesn’t mean it’ll work the other way around. In fact this is a rather poor use of redirects. Now geo-targeting will look for an item on the uk subdomain if you’re in the UK, and if it can’t find one will redirect all traffic to us subdomain. Why is this mind numbingly stupid? Because it implies that I am an English citizen sat in England wanting to read content targeted at the English market. But this is the internet and we are transient people and so all geo-targeting of content in this way never works.
As a few people have stated in the comments, this move makes little to no sense. The entire point of the internet is that it sits on the WORLD WIDE WEB. To drive generic traffic like this in such a way only serves 1 purpose, to generate advertising revenue and this is where I think the next big clanger comes in. Gawker Media have partnered with Future Publishing (Edge, Games Master, Gizmodo, Games Radar) to run the UK site.
Why oh why oh why.