Gadget wars!

Gadget wars!
: Actually, that’s a sensationalistic and false headline, but I enjoyed it.

You’ve probably noticed some musical chairs (or perhaps, relevant to the topic, I should say MP3 chairs) in the gadget blog world (can we get more inside baseball than this?).

Pete Rojas, late of Gizmodo, has left to create Engadget in the weblog empirette of Jason Calacanis. Rumor has it there were promises of equity and Amazonian maids.

Meanwhile, Gizmodo creator Nick Denton returns from a sun-baked holiday in Brazil (hobnobbing with Bjork — no joke — and probably a few Amazonians as well) and replaces Rojas with game guru Joel Johnson and guest bloggers of note, starting with Brendan Koerner (an unhappy looking chap… but then, Pete’s no Jim Carey himself), a contributing editor to Wired and columnist for the Village Voice and Slate (which is Nick’s way of saying, I’ll see your bet and raise you).

Calacanis is tripping over himself to say that this wasn’t about his erstwhile feud/pissing match with Denton and I think that’s true. If Jason just wanted to start a gadget blog, he could have gone and found a dozen candidates to do it (it’s not as hard as, say, finding just the right voice for a Gawker); I think this was a melding of mutual interests.

In the meantime, Nick is finding and grooming talent and they will sometimes move on; that’s what happens in the editorial world. But he created the format of Gizmodo so it can continue easily; it’s a brand.

And many flowers bloom.

: UPDATE: Sippey says what he’d do if he ran Gizmodo — focusing more on the gadget user than the gadget (or as I’d put it: on the lifestyle). A fascinating discussion ensues, bringing in Denton.

  • Rumor has it there were promises of equity and Amazonian maids. is selling maids now? Well, I never….

  • Wow, Rojas is getting equity!!!
    WTF? I guess I’m stupid. I don’t get why a writer should be excited about getting some equity and working for someone else, when he can own 100% of his own gig and call his own shots.
    Boiled down, the corporate model of media (whether done by Calacanis, NYT or Advance) looks like this:
    owner : 1
    boss : 1
    ad sales : 1
    flunky : 1
    writer : 1
    marketing person : 1
    IT : 1
    The blogging model looks like this:
    writer/owner/boss : 1
    marketing : 100s of peer bloggers (blogosphere)
    ad sales : 100s of peer bloggers (Blogads)+Google
    IT : Typepad or pMachine
    The second model has 10,000 times the fire power with 1/6 the mouths to feed. Would someone please explain how the corporate model can compete… what the heck am I missing?

  • Well, the idea behind having a partner is that each person does something. Peter could spend 100k hiring a COO, a tech person and a sales person and own 100%. I could spend $30-50k hiring editors and not have a partner like Peter.
    However, if two people who are very successful want to work together and own a space the best model is for them to be both heavily invested in teh outcome.
    Nick’s Gizmodo will not compete with because his writers will never stay for more then 6-12 months and because they will not live for the brand the way Peter will. This isn’t to say Nick won’t be successful as the #2 gadget blog… he will be very successful. However it will be constant headache for him to have to replace bloggers (then again, he owns 100% and has the money to pay people right?).

  • Let me put it in words of one syllable: what does Pete need a boss, tech dude and sales guy for?
    “Well, the idea behind having a partner is that each person does something.”
    Like what? What can these mouths-to-feed do that beats what is done now — with true scale — by blogrolling, Google, Blogads, MT & pMachine?