No, don't worry this has nothing to do with NDAs. I'm not here to preach, but rather to bring to light a recent story in the newest issue of WIRED magazine.
On page 106 of the April issue, there's a story all about the rising popularity and controversy surrounding Blogs and their place as press. The article focuses on rival blogs Gizmodo and Engadget, and goes on to highlight their competitive natures and antics at this year's CES.
Now, while I'm sure most of my readers might be aware of this fact, Engadget is usually regarded as the tamer of the two sites, approaching blogging with a more traditionally press-like demeanor, while Gizmodo tends toward the more irrevrant and some would say less professional approach. However, regardless of any differences they might have, the two sites share one thing in common: a butt-load of readers. By all counts, these two sites are the HBO and Showtime of technology blogs. They're always battling each other, and you can always count on them to bring you the news you want about whatever new piece of tech is out there.
But the article brings to question whether or not Blogs like Gizmodo and Engadget will ever truly be accepted as part of the press... especially when the former often produces an image of immaturity (Gizmodo's CES TV-Be-Gone prank warranted many a harsh e-mail, comment, and even bans from future CES events). However, when reading the article, I couldn't help but feel a hint of pride for the guys at Gizmodo.
I know it was unprofessional, but I think that's why I like Gizmodo. I think that's why they manage to distinguish themselves from Engadget and why both sites are able to flourish. It also happens to be why Kotaku is so popular among gamers. That is to say, Gizmodo knows how to write for their audience because they are their own audience. I'm not saying everyone who reads Gizmodo or Engadget is an 18-20 something male who enjoys the pranks and goofy editorial streak the former is known for, but I am saying that a vast majority of both sites' readers fall under that label... myself included.
These blogs, all media, even the stuff you might find boring is a form of entertainment. There are millions of different kinds of entertainment in this world. My grandmother got her jollies from depressing local nightly news, while my grandfather got his from naps between thw 1st and 18th holes on ESPN. My mom can't get enough country music, and my dad has a weird obsession with anything USMA. To each their own, right?
So then I say, how dare the current members of the press try and exclude sites like Gizmodo or Engadget from their exclusive little club. Hell, even the Inquirer is press... because it fulfills the need of those people out there who prefer to read about Dolly Parton's failed lip implants over what's going on in Saudi territory these days.
I'll end this, as I know by now I've probably lost all my readers in this rant. Gizmodo, Engadget, 1up, Kotaku, Tobold, Keen, Darren... even me. I'm making this claim now, and I'll stand by it... even when I've long been proven wrong by someone who knows infinitely more than I.
We are press. We serve up news. We offer opinions to willing readers. We write for the public even if that public is five people every week. We are the media. We just have the added luxury of not being bought and sold... yet. Gizmodo and Engadget? They're professionals while we may be hobbyists. But that doesn't make me any different than them. Even if no one reads this, it's still an editorial isn't it?
Yep folks... I'm changing sides I think. It's time for me to flip-flop as I so famously do. The bloggers are press, even most of us never see a dime for our work.