Engadget is one of a few web sites that I check multiple times throughout the day. The AOL owned site is always being updated with fresh content all day and night. The writing, in my humble opinion, seems to have improved, a great deal, over the last few months. I can’t put my finger on any one thing, but, overall, the tone, while still witty, is not as sharp as it used to be and that makes it better. That, or I have just gotten used to it, not sure. At any rate, I find myself drawn to and looking forward to seeing new posts.
The site was recently re-launched with a pretty nice design and layout. It is easier to navigate and the more important postings are always at the top in a dashboard like layout. My only complaint with the new look is the use of Times Roman as the body font. I’ve gotten used to it, but a fresher font would have made an already nice look even better.
They also have a weekly podcast and a monthly video show. The video show, hosted by Joshua Topolsky, is very good. So far, it has featured Jon Rubenstein, Steve Ballmer and Engadget co-founder Peter Rojas. The newest episode of the show features Rojas in a panel discussion of the top 10 gadgets of the decade. They made pretty good choices except for the number 1 gadget: the netbook. While the netbook has seen robust sales, I’d hardly say it was the number one gadget of the decade. I’d give that to the Nintendo DS or Wii since both devices have: sold in huge numbers, changed gaming and brought gaming to a much wider audience than ever.
Mr. Topolsky’s style as host of the podcast and the video show is spot on for the site. He is witty and rather laid back. His look is that of a better dressed nerd with a slight Jimmy Fallon flair. Speaking of Fallon, Topolsky was a recent guest on Fallon’s late night show.
I like what’s going over at Engadget and hope it continues. It was fine under Rojas and Ryan Block, but, after they left, the site sort of took a nose dive in quality. The postings got really snarky and down right mean once in a while. There is still a bit of snarkiness, but not nearly as much. I think it is the right amount now. Gadgets in and of themselves can be quite boring, so adding some snarky attitude does make for better reading. I think it has rubbed off on me as I find myself being sarcastic at times when I’m writing. I’ve had to re-write several posts more than once because there was too much snarkiness. Is that a real word, snarkiness? It is now.
If you haven’t been to Engadget in a while, take another look. If you’ve never visited, now is a good time. It is kind of like the New York Times and the National Enquirer rolled into one. That’s a good thing.