Engadget to Close Comments - Leaked Email Reveals


Nick Douglas appears to have snaffled a private email from Peter Rojas to Engadget's writers detailing plans to close comments on the site due to "declining level of discourse" and "spam" -- nothing to do with AOL and legal issues then eh?

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.




That is so Web1.0 of them. heheheh

hell, most of the really

hell, most of the really good product recommendations are buried in the comments.

They earn enough money -

They earn enough money - surely it wouldn't cost them too much to hire someone to moderate the comments?

Closing comments seems to be

Closing comments seems to be the new hip thing. Glad I'm a lurker.

they don't think that way...

nutsandbolts: luckily, for some of us, the big companies don't think that way. they think bottom line. hiring a moderator would decrease profit. they don't realize that the easier and cheaper option (dropping comments) will hurt them in the long run.

oh well, it's up to some of us new media publishers then, i guess. ;)

>new hip thing some will say

>new hip thing

some will say that it's to reduce maintenance, and i'm sure that's at least partially true. but i have a feeling that this trend is equally concerned with coming up with ways to add bricks to their garden walls.

If they cant man comments,

If they cant man comments, they shouldn't be running a damn blog imo...

Quite bloody right Nick

If they cant man comments, they shouldn't be running a damn blog imo...

Whoops. Maybe not.. I don't allow comments on mine. My bloody site, I'll say and do what the hell I want. But then I only want to abuse and piss off politicans - I seem to be doing quite well according to my email and what I hear in supermarkets - and interestingly the huge majority of the councillor's wives never sent back the EdSucks thongs that were sent to them.

There are some blogs set up by loonies who want to rant, i.e. me and mine and I don't want the hassle of looking after comments.

However, for a blog like Engadget surely they are really the meat of the site and what actually makes a site like that worth visiting and reading. Making such a huge change like this without asking your 'community' is not really giving that warm fuzzy feeling.

Wrong wrong wrong

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 based on false information — not a single person spreading this “story” bothered to contact me or anyone else at Engadget or Weblogs Inc. for confirmation about what was going on. You guys got duped and didn't even do any basic fact checking, you just seized an opportunity to player hate. Really sad.

P.S. - Nice of you to cover the "news" that comments are back on now. Guess that's not much of a story, huh?

hey look

the comments are back on !!

Wrong answer Doofus, what

Wrong answer Doofus, what you should have said publicly is.

"We aren't eliminating comments from the site — we are shutting them down for a day so we can implement some better anti-spam software."

It is important to announce that to your community *before* taking the action.

Next step would be to fire off a few internal emails.

1. Why did we have to close down comments before we implemented the new anti-spam software, why couldn't we have been ready to go with the new software and cause less down time.

2. Serious issues have been raised regarding our editorial, highlighted by many people pointing out that our editorial is at best light and only the comments redeem that. It appears our user submitted content is what gives us the edge on our competitors, I would suggest we look at ways to improve and enhance this. Oh and BTW, we need to up our editorial game.


hehe! How funny, coming in


How funny, coming in from you Peter that's just amazing. You know all about headlines, and you *should* know how to communicate with your writers and readers.

You blundered, dont come in there blaming people for linking to it!

That said, im glad comments are back on, good news and thanks.

The fact of the matter is

The fact of the matter is that you guys decided that we had done something based on a fake email that was going around and then jumped to an erroneous conclusion. Whether or not we did a poor job of communicating that is another matter (we can always do a better job at this), but it still stands that Nick W got the story wrong and didn't bother to email me or anyone at Engadget or WIN for confirmation or comment. Whatever happened to basic accuracy?

If you have constructive feedback about Engadget's editorial I'd be happy to hear it, but I'm already disinclined to take any advice from someone who feels they have to resort to cheap shots or namecalling in order to get their point across. There's no reason for it, we're all adults, right?


First NickW technically was not reporting on the story that you had closed comments he was reporting on the story that Nick Douglas had reported that he had the email with the contents.

Secondly, as was twice mentioned in this thread, it would have been nice to tell your community of such a dramatic change was going to occur on Engadget and this thread and the post on blogebrity wouldn't have occurred.

You are really blaming the messenger and the attack is just not fair.

But there wasn't a "dramatic

But there wasn't a "dramatic change" on Engadget, we shut down comments for what amounted to a few hours )it was maybe 18 hours total) in order to upgrade some stuff.

Blogebrity got the story wrong, but that doesn't absolve Nick W of any responsiblity to get the story right, does it? I'm not attacking Nick W, just trying to make it clear that this is a non-story that got blown way out of proportion.

>There's no reason for it,

>There's no reason for it, we're all adults, right?



Actually it was only a non-story to the members of your community that didn't comment during that time. It was a bit more to the members who wanted to comment - surely the most valuable members - free content and all that nice stuff?

With regards to NickW's post, it wasn't a huge indepth post by any stretch of the imagination - I am sure he did as I did, go over, notice that comments were disabled and that there was no mention on the site to give the information you have supplied in this thread - I would say that NickW's post was and is fair - would certainly get past any print editor I know.

Would you care to enlighten us as to why you never informed your community in advance?


You need to pay more attention old chap

Nick Douglas appears to have snaffled a private email from Peter Rojas to Engadget's writers detailing plans to close comments on the site

Bearing in mind that i saw no announcement from you to members saying otherwise, in my book, this is a fair call to post. Particularly with the wording I used to indicate that it could indeed be a load of old bollocks.

I dont mind being pulled up for stuff, and god knows i deserve it from time to time, but this my friend, is not one of them.

We've actually shut down

We've actually shut down comments several times before for similiar maintenance issues, in this case I didn't think that such a minor interruption merited a a big announcement on the site. The outage was longer than we'd intended, but by the time we realized we should probably say something we were able to get everything up and running again. No nefariousness here, just simple bad luck. Keep in mind that we're only talking about an outage of a few HOURS here, not a week or a month.

Again, Nick W, regardless of the mistakes we made, you couldn't be bothered to check the accuracy of this "story" before you ran with it, and then you insinuated that it had something to with AOL and "legal issues" (which is totally ridiculous). A simple email to me inquiring about what was going on would have sufficed, but I suppose that would be too much to ask.

If i had to email everyone i

If i had to email everyone i write about, i'd never get anything published - this is a blog, not the sunday fucking times.

Get with the program peter, you're boring me now.


Nick has given his view. Nobody mentioned you being nefarious and the 'few' hours were by your own admission above, eighteen hours. You lectured us above with a high and mighty statement about Nick checking accuracy.

To be accurate, you mentioned nefarious,nobody here. It wasn't a few hours it was 18. Your posting community at large were of the same opinion as Nick during that 18 hours.

Your opinion of your posting community is obviously not high if you would cut them off for 18 hours without mentioning it.

Is it really too hard to come in here and say, or indeed send an email to nick saying:

Nick you got fooled by the email on Nick's site. It is a fake. We had some maintenance to do and we had to close comments for a few hours. Unfortunately, as technicals things are, it took longer than we expected. On reflection we should have informed our users before we did it, especially as it lasted so long. This is something we will take into consideration for the future

That is of course assuming that the email was fake and the rants above are not just a cover up for a change of heart.

Engadget who?

Am I the only one who never even heard of Engadget until I saw this thread? Do we really care one way or the other about this comment thing?

fairly well known that

Engadget = poor mans Gizmodo...which is fairly impressive to be compared to, IMHO.

"this is a blog, not the sunday fucking times."

We write up to the minute news at TW (well by and large)

Don't know if Peter "guarantees" to reply to all blogs/emails/assorted nutters within say 2 hours. I would suspect that if Nick had sent an email, then he would still be awaiting an answer.

Don't know if any of you have ever tried getting a response from Google, say, about anything. Are you really suggesting that we email them every time we have a story?

Engadget = poor mans

Engadget = poor mans Gizmodo

Now if I only knew what Gizmodo was...

Gizmodo =

Gizmodo = #1 Gadget blog (they respect their audience too).


I thought it was the alien guy that lives on Fred Flinstone's shoulder. Silly me.

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