Joel Johnson Running BoingBoing's Gadget Blog

Joel Johnson, the editor of Gizmodo originally responsible for injecting this blog with humor, launched a gadget blog today over at BoingBoing. Recent converts to Giz will remember his rant about gadgets and gadget coverage a few months ago, but in case you weren't sure about how BB's gadget blog will be different from Giz, we just got a chance to ask the man.


BL: What is the difference between the BoingBoing gadget blog and Gizmodo when you wrote it solo? How has your experience changed the way you think about this stuff?
JJ: Man, hard to say. I think it'll be pretty similar to my solo Gizmodo days, minus any external impetus to blog about products I really don't give a crap about. I'm trying to write about either the really good stuff or the really bad stuff, because all the junk in the middle is just, you know, junk. Unless you mean how I feel about gadgets. In that case, I still hate almost everything about them, except when I am completely enamored by them. It's almost like my relationship has changed with games as I've gotten older: I almost enjoy reading and writing about them as much as I do actually using them.
BL: So you're basically freeing yourself up from the churn, and focusing on stuff that has an impact on your life?
JJ: That's the plan. There's a place for comprehensive, kitchen-sink blogging, but I think Gizmodo and company probably have that covered. I'm prolific when I'm in the pocket, but I don't want to try to post about every single new widget that falls off the assembly line.
BL: That makes sense. Because of the Gizmodo churn, I actually play with the gadgets I own less now, and frankly, I'd like to spend more time holing up with the ones I have and love, and hack them, install ware on them, and use them in new ways. Will new uses for old stuff be part of the focus, as opposed to the newsy stuff?
JJ: It might be. MAKE usually covers that pretty well for me (as do the rest of the Boingers, actually), but if I see something cool that I don't think is getting enough coverage, I'll definitely write about it. I'm actually less interested in writing about hacking gadgets—as cool as I think that is—than I am in writing about ways to make commercially available gadgets better off the line. It's stupid that we should have to hack so many gadgets to make them do what we want in the first place.
BL: What about your Dethroner project?
JJ: (Just a second. Posting something.)
[1 minute later] JJ: Dethroner is still happening, for what it's worth.
BL: How are you doing both?
JJ: Well, I've only been doing both for about a week, so all bets are off. But for now I'm using a technique I learned in my early twenties, called "drugs."
BL: I know that you use a MacBook and an iPhone like I do. So if you're focusing on the stuff you like and would use, does that mean you're skewing toward Apple coverage?
JJ: I've actually never been identified as an Apple fanboy, so thanks for blowing my cover, you prick.
BL: Oops!




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