Friday, November 03, 2006

engadget politely tells me to eff off.

I read engadget when it first came on the scene. That's back when Peter Rojas had left Gizmodo and was working his ass off running the site . It was before he was a millionaire, it was before it was stocked by a team of writers, before he brought his buddy Ryan on to help him, it was even before there were even comments on the page.

Then the comments page came, and they gave you the option to link in your website/blog/what-have-you. So if if you put in an URL, if anyone clicked on your name, they could visit whatever URL you had provided in the text entry field. It wasn't the best comment system, but it gave the everyday user (like me) to have a voice and to also show some link love to their supporters.

The new comment system has ripped out linking your back to your site and you're just a voice among millions that should contribute your 2 cents and no more. I didn't like that, so I started posting my URL after I made a comment. I'm guessing that given the choice, users would rather click on a related link that wasn't an ad. Which is why I just got sent a "nice/polite" curt one line email from Ryan telling me to stop leaving my links on my comments.

I know the engadget team has gotta eat, and I hate it when I see spam, but was I really linking to my lame myspace band's page? Or something to do with penis enlargement or stock tips? No, I was linking back to something that is related to today's tech news. Great work man, alienate the very guys that have supported you all this time.

Alright Ryan, I'll play by your rules, I don't have to like them though. Sometimes I do believe engadget has jumped the shark though. 80% of the things they post aren't "wow!" but more just filler.


Ben said...

I actually found your site through one of your comments...seems like you've had a lot of trouble with engadget, netflix, gizmodo...

phi said...

yeah, like technology, tech blogs can be a big pain the ass as much as they are a blessing

Ryan said...

Wow, I hardly would have expected such a long time fan to be so brash as to post my email, but since you did so before responding off-blog there are some things you should know:

1) your comments were being reported as spam, which is why I sent the email!
2) the comment linkback is being redeveloped, we have an entirely new comment system (as you've noticed) and some of our old things no longer work. For now direct links to pages were removed from this version because of the overwhelming amount of real spam URLs in there.
3) we love our readers, and we absolutely don't seek to alienate them. Trust me, it's never in anyone's best interest to piss off a long time customer (especially one with a blog!).

I think you're overreacting and if you'd have bothered to email before venting on your blog, you might have gotten the whole story.

Brian said...

Um, then why didn't you (Ryan) say all of this from the very beginning? I can't imagine Phi is the only one complaining about having the linking mechanism in your comments section removed.

You sort of came off like an asshat in your initial email. Why not post an update on Engadget saying "Hey guys, we know the comments section needs a little tweaking still so here's what's in the pipeline."

Or, if you didn't want to be so public about it, you could have a tidy form letter that includes your comments posted above.

Imagine this... A long time fan comments and tries to link back to his site. It gets picked up as spam (automatically I'm assuming?). You notice that said fan has been unnecessarily waylaid by your commenting rules so you email him to give him a heads up. BUT, instead of being a dick about it, you actually give a reasonable explanation (by listing out some of your reasons from above).

By definition Engadget readers are geeks who need more information than the average bear. Surely you recognise this... Simply saying "... it comes off as spam" leaves the reader saying WTF!? Then they post to their blog.

That is all.