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Engadget to cut off head to spite face

Engadget to cut off head to spite face

Blogebrity reports that Engadget editor Peter Rojas has announced to writers of the Weblogs Inc., uber-gadget site that he is turning off comments on the site.

According to Rojas:

We’re closing comments on the main Engadget. The amount of spam, combined with a serious decline in the level of discourse on the site, has left me no choice but to close comments until further notice.

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It really is a case of cutting off ones head to spite the face. One of the key growth factors in Weblogs Inc., sites has been the community participation, particularly in terms of commenting, to the point that they even started to reward frequent commenters with links in the side bar via a ratings system. Whether this is a sign of things to come for the now AOL owned Weblogs Inc., is to be seen, but my advice to Jason Calacanis: readers are fickle, and if you cut off participation Engadget will become the next Gizmodo. Great blog, high readership, but no longer top of the pops.

View Comments (10)
  • Hmmm… I made the same choice for my blog a while ago, and I liked the positive effect it had. Traffic certainty continued to increase. Less than 1% of people ever left comments anyway, and most visitors never even looked at them.

    So it’s more like plucking a hair to spite a freckle and thereby save the head and the body.

  • i actually think this is a good idea. pete should close the comments for a couple of weeks, and then relaunch them with an invite-only system, as on gawker. definitely reduces the level of spam and raises the level of discourse– also makes removing trolls much, much easier. we’ve considered doing the same thing.

  • i think this elitist crapola that win is pulling is horrible. just get a better comment moderator thats what aol’s money is for. not making it yet more difficult to enjoy there sites.

    its reallly starting to get hard. that was one of the only sites on there network i could read anymore. now this.

  • Rumor is Engadget was caught stealing stories again. Ryan Block is the worst offender the comment system was filled with angry bloggers with proof. Had to shut it down. Editorial compromises with AOL and Best Buy left little choice. Not a surprise Rojas isn’t blogging. Questions raised about Calacanis’s ethics with bloggers deleted for months.

  • we got hit with massive spam and non-stop flame wars… really, not a big deal. We’ll be putting in some new software updates (next version of Blogsmith) to solve the problems.

    I wouldn’t read into it too much.

  • We didn’t eliminate comments from the site — we shut them down for a day so we could implement some better anti-spam software. Amazing how people jump to conclusions — not a single person spreading this “storyâ€? bothered to contact me or anyone else at Engadget or Weblogs Inc. for confirmation or even to confirm that supposed email that was going around. Sad, really.

    I won’t even respond to gadgetfan’s slander.

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