Now we know where at least some of those Engadget editors who have been quitting in droves lately are off to: As reported by the New York Times and corroborated by former Engadget editor-in-chief Josh Topolsky, "as many as eight of the more prominent editorial and technology staff members at Engadget" will be launching a brand-new tech site under the auspices of sports blogging collective SB Nation. Topolsky, for his part, says that "I’ll be joined by some very good friends at this new venture — people like [former Engadget managing editor] Nilay Patel, for instance."
Though the alliance may seem a random one, the Times' David Carr connects the dots between the new venture and Jim Bankoff, the former AOL VP who convinced the company to buy Engadget and its parent cluster of sites Weblogs Inc. Bankoff is currently the CEO of SB Nation.
Update: Jim Bankoff spells out who will be joining: Topolsky, Patel, Joanna Stern, Paul Miller, Dan Chilton, Justin Glow, Ross Miller, and Chris Ziegler.
Topolsky is blistering towards AOL in his Times interview: "We have been working on blogging technology that was developed in 2003, we haven’t made a hire since I started running the site, and I thought we could be more successful elsewhere." So what's in store at the new site? He breaks it down on his personal blog:
[SB Nation's model] isn’t tabloid page grabbing or content farming — it’s news and insight by and for a passionate and informed group of people. And that’s exactly where I want to be.
In the coming months I’m going to be laser focused on one thing: building the best tech site in the world — and I would love to hear what you guys think the next phase in technology and gadget news should look like. Ping me with ideas, gripes, or even better — come and work here! SB Nation is looking for new developers as we speak, and as we ramp up to launch, we’ll be bringing on lots of talent to work both on the front page and behind the scenes.
You've got to wonder how the head honchos at AOL and their recent mergee The Huffington Post -- not to mention the writers who will be staying behind at Engadget -- feel about so many of the editors at the notoriously rigorous tech site banding together to form a nimble direct competitor.
(NYT, Josh Topolsky via Techmeme)