Guys, this post is going to be a little lengthy, but I think super important. I’d like to seek your opinion on something really important. The gist of it is that I’m thinking (after 8 years, 13,000+ posts, and around 50 million views) of officially cementing a new editorial direction for the site. And with that, creating a new tagline. I’m thinking of “The Alternative Gadget Blog.” And I want to explain why.
I got the inspiration for the name OhGizmo! back in December of 2004 by looking at a OhHenry! bar. I know, right? Anyway, I knew I wanted to start a gadget blog, and was looking for a name and I thought “Hey, why not OhGizmo! Like, you know, OhHenry?! And let’s make the tagline Deliciously Geeky!! Because, well, chocolate is delicious and stuff…” So that was it. And for those of you who don’t know it yet, that’s been the tagline since then, although you could be forgiven for not having noticed since it’s buried in our heading only (check the browser bar at the top). But when you think about it, what does this tagline mean? What does it say about what this website is about? Come to think of it, what is this site about?
I think it’s a really important question to answer. It’s branding. It’s what people think of when they think of us, and it’s what they remember us by. “Oh yeah, dude, you should check out this site, OhGizmo, it’s about…” For the longest time, I’ve thought of the site as a gadget blog. In a sense, it is. But we’re not Engadget, Gizmodo, or even The Verge, nor could we be, and at this point even really… want to be. In the last few months we’ve been getting more and more interest in our quirkier articles. Some of our old timers would argue that this has been our strongpoint all along, but I’ve always tried to steer things back somewhat along a more mainstream consumer electronics angle out of a feeling that we should stick to “what we’re about.” My original angle, aside from the generic “gadget blog” was to focus on design and innovation… but still within the realm of mainstream consumer electronics. But it’s getting increasingly difficult to justify that position considering that, for one, we can’t compete with Engadget/Gizmodo/The Verge in terms of coverage, and two, there seems to be a thriving demand for just the kind of stuff that we’ve been covering more heavily of late.
So… what do you guys think? What do you think of the tagline “The Alternative Gadget Blog”? Or even “The Alternative Gadget Lifestyle”? And how do you feel about making this website specifically about that: the kind of gadgets that are, you know… off? Stuff that’s either weird, wtf-worthy, or really innovative in a way that isn’t just incremental, marginal. And how do you feel about including geek and Internet culture, and pretty much anything that I feel would interest our core audience? A place where the guys who are already reading everything about every single new fancy gadget can come to and get a taste of the… odder places of the tech universe, while at the same time keeping a finger in the CE pie when the product is really worthy of it. A place a little bit like BoingBoing but with less of the policital/activist stuff.
No decisions have been made, but I’d really like to hear what any of you has to say about this. If your comment doesn’t appear right away, the spam filter is working overtime and your comment will eventually be green flagged by me, so please don’t fret.
And, as always, thanks for reading!