End of an Era. Engadget, Get well soon!

AOL Tech has recently redesigned the popular Technology blog ‘Engadget‘. People are seriously not happy with this design update, community is seriously pissed about it and no word from the officials yet. [Originally published at AhmedKaludi.com]

What really happened to Engadget

Engadget has always been one of my favorite blogs on the internet. It was the rising star of web 2.0 era, everyone wanted to be like them. Very few web properties have survived with their true essence and Engadget was one of them, until the last night.

It was around 9 pm and I was working, as usual, somehow I stumbled upon the Engadget and noticed something very strange. At first, I thought I had visited a wrong address but soon as I looked at the address bar, it was the correct address and I felt like a having a bad dream for a second! My first impressions were not good and as I started scrolling down, it only got worst. F**k you AOL! This is not the first time you messed up with a well running web property.

Why all the fuss about the Engadget anyway?

Engadget has been an inspiration in the web design community for such a long time. They used to set trends with their designs & people were always excited about their new updates.

I feel like they were always ahead of the curve in terms of content & design. It was not just a blog, Engadget meant much more to me and millions of other people. Yes, my friend, and I speak on the behalf of the community, I am the voice of the people! ahm… Point is that majority of the people are hating the new design.

… I get it, it was a disaster but end of an era, Seriously?

AOL acquired WeBlogs in 2005, It was cofounded by Jason Calacanis & Brian Alvey. I have heard a lot of stories about how they started from Jason himself. Engadget was one of those blogs in WeBlogs network and it grew very quickly.

There was a time when Engadget and Mashable were leading the charge in blogging / online publishing space. There were few others, but these two were like the leaders whom everyone looked up to.

Mashable slowly got into covering viral stories, which is okay since they had to survive with the changing times.

Engadget was doing what they were best at, which is to cover the tech stories & honest reviews, people were loving it and they just kept doing it for a long time. To keep up with the time, Engadget acquired GDGT (founded by Ryan block), it was a successful move between two of the best online technology platforms at that time and they manage to merge them very well. I have always admired GDGT for their design and It was a perfect match in my opinion.

They successfully reinvented themselves, but the times have changed. It is not just Mashable & Engadget anymore. There are many other players in the market who are as User Interference & Design savvy as they were back in the day. Plus, Vox Media is kicking asses with Verge & Polygon, they surely are here to stay.

AOL tech then merged Joystiq with Engadget, Calling it ‘Engadget gaming’, which was so unnecessary. It made no sense and I still don’t understand the logic behind it.

Then came this design update. If AOL tech won’t catch up, Engadget will have to go through some rough times. There is also a possibility of it becoming a zombie like Gigaom. Don’t even bring the Gigaom thing, it is a sad story for another day.

…Like, Seriously?

There have been more than 550+ comments on the announcement post and no one is talking care of that discussion. A lot of people have reported that no officials are responding back to the community.

Keep it simple silly!

Get your shit together AOL tech! Listen to the community and embrace the criticism. Involve those loyal readers who have been a part of the community for a decade. It shouldn’t be that hard to figure out for a giant online player like you.

I personally have nothing against AOL. In fact, I love them, hate to admit it but I do, they are an integral part of our internet memories. But please, when you acquire a website, it’s not just the technology, you also get an active community of people, don’t treat them as machines.

Originally Published at http://ahmedkaludi.com/engadget-redesign/

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