Jul 9, 2009 | Mobile & Web




gdgt (prounced “gadget”) is a site just launched last week by Ryan Block, an editor-at-large at Engadget, the popular consumer electronics gadget blog that’s perennially one of the top five most trafficked blogs. It aims to solve the exact problem I described last issue, in which I removed one of Engadget’s peer from my daily feed, as well as very smartly aim at one of the most profitable segment of the web: selling gadgets.

One of my beef with the gadget blogs is that they are largely spewing stuff at me in which I don’t care about. I have an iPhone. In the foreseeable future, I have no interest in the HTC ‘Flipper’ or the LG ‘Origami’ phones. Nor the BlackBerry, the Android, Sony-Ericsson, Nokia, etc. etc. But those posts, and there are alot of them on any given day, are things I have to skip past everyday I browse Gizmodo.

On the other hand, for the gadgets that I do have, I frequently have to troll the esoteric forums like, find the right forum for the Apple iPhone (or the AT&T Carrier forum, depending on the type of issue I’m investigating), use the rather lame search functionality of forum software, just to find out the latest way to jail break my iPhone, or resolve a problem with push notification.

In an obvious-but-previously-undone move, gdgt allows you to add *your* gadget to a list and prioritize the news about these devices up on top. And because half of the fun of gadgets is the yearning for new toys, you can designate a gadget as “I want” as well as “I own” so you can keep track of developments for a future “My Precious”. This feature helps the reader for sure, cutting out all kinds of uninteresting news for those that are truly relevant. Gone are the news of the update for Playstation software, but bumped to top is the instruction on installing Boxee on your Apple TV.

For gdgt though, they are aggregating alot of useful data from the users, which they can easily monetize: since they know what gdgts you own, or want to own, advertising on the site can be highly targeted and personalized to the reader. Imagine being able to recommend the exact iPhone case or accessories because gdgt knows you have the 3Gs version of the iPhone rather than the plain old 3G. Advertisers or merchants wanting to move merchandise can potentially buy access to gdgt user base who matches a profile. The possibility are very enticing.

However, gdgt needs to grow up first. My first foray with it has been very lackluster. While supposedly it has ways to add friends, say to see what latest toys they’ve acquired, I failed to find the Invite or Add button. I also couldn’t find a way to edit my profile photos, so I’m just the anonymous silhouette on the site.

The idea is so good, in fact, that I hope they get their feature set together real soon. Wouldn’t take long for someone to take the idea to run with it.

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  1. Jul 14, 2009 at 1:45 am

    Trevin Chow says:

    At first, I thought the idea was genius, but then noticed a few things:

    1. Oddly enough, I found similarity in "Yahoo! Tech" where you can save gadgets and share your profile. Gdgt definitely is as example of how great PR and better UX make a difference.

    2. I found myself not visitng the site after the first few days. For me, it just didn’t have the stickiness. Perhaps I’m not their target user, but I consider myself a total gadget-head. I think it simply has to do with the fact they are essentially creating another social network that I don’t find enough value in to repeatedly visit.

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