I just got around to reading the Fortune piece done on Giz vs. Engadget and although I'm glad the story is being told, I'm a little dismayed at how good it makes me look when I purposely hedged every positive story with at least two embarrassing ones. Here's a good one that I left out.
Two weeks after I started at Gizmodo, I had my first Apple event. No one really told me what to expect, since Joel Johnson resigned one day before my first day. I think I had a pretty sad list of equipment compared with what I shoulder to Apple events now. EVDO via Bluetooth hack to a Moto Q (bleh), and a 12-inch PowerBook. Canon SD300 Powershot point and shoot. I see Ryan Block there, who I know through a friend, Paul Boutin. He's slinging a huge Nikon SLR. That was the first hint I got that I was in trouble.
The show started and I got my gear out. My laptop was powered down, and when I brought it up, it made the Apple gong noise. People looked around, trying to focus on Steve. My EVDO, held together by a little Q and it's terrible antenna design, crashed. I restarted, tried to reestablish EVDO and Bluetooth link while Jobs' precious words floated out of mind. I took a photo, blurry, with the stage a thumbnail framed by the velvet curtains of Moscone's stage. And when I reached into my bag, I realize I'd forgotten my camera cable. On AIM, I relayed the bad news to the rest of the gang.
"What should we do?" I said? Travis replied, probably jokingly, "Grab some of Engadget's and give them a link."
"Do it, I'm going to get back to typing."
An hour later, I was setting down in Starbucks, calming down after what I didn't realize then was the equivalent to the Superbowl of gadget blogging. I get an IM from Ryan, and email from Denton at the same time. The email, fwded on from Jason Calacanis, said something to the effect of what the hell are you doing with our photos? I got a few butterflies in my stomach, and then answered Ryan's IM. "Heyyyyy....images?"
"Yea, you can't use our images."
"Sorry man, I don't really know the rules for this sort of thing."
It was one thing of many I'd have to learn in the year to come. Since then, we've had a few blowout arguments here and there, but it's not as one-sided as the Fortune piece made it seem in the limited word count they had to paint the story. There are dozens of good examples of us getting along for every time we butt heads. And at times, we've both been assholes and we've both been pretty decent human beings about messups. That's how it goes with opponents. And this story, well, hopefully gives a less polar take on the rivalry.