AOL Acquires Another Tech Blog, gdgt

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AOL is adding another tech site to the family with the acquisition of review site gdgt (pronounced “gadget”).

Gdgt co-founder Ryan Block broke the news today on the gdgt blog, calling his company “a natural fit for AOL’s world-class lineup of tech sites.”

“At AOL, gdgt will only continue to grow and evolve as the best premium destination for purchase intelligence, recommendations, user reviews, shopping data, and community-driven content about personal technology,” he wrote.

The next few months will be a transition period, as gdgt moves operations under its new parents’ roof; the site will also adopt AOL’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Users who don’t want their profile data making the move have until March 15 to mark account profile data for deletion.

All other profiles will remain intact, “and we’ll just keep doing what we do to make gdgt the best possible gadget reviews and community site around,” Block said. “Also, the next time we see you we’ll totally give you a high five.”

TechCrunch (itself an AOL property) first reported discussions between the two companies earlier this month, saying it was only a matter of days before the deal would be closed. Since the official announcement, financial terms have not been revealed, but TechCrunch reported today that sources tipped a high-seven-figures contract. Additionally, the site said that gdgt received a higher offer from another unnamed company, but co-founders Block and Peter Rojas felt AOL was a better fit.

Both men are familiar with AOL. Rojas co-founded Gizmodo, as well as tech blogs Engadget and Joystiq — both of which are now all AOL properties. Block replaced his friend as Engadget’s editor-in-chief in 2007, two years after the online giant purchased the site. Block and Rojas stepped away from AOL in 2008, before launching gdgt in the summer of 2009.

The site, entirely community-driven, is a collection of lists of gadgets people want and those they already have, as well as a place for people to ask each other questions about their devices. Just a month after hitting the Web, the vowel-less site caught the attention of CBS and Amazon, which were allegedly looking to buy gdgt.

Before anyone was able to snatch it up, though, the founders retooled the site to focus on the “gdgt score” — an aggregate score compiled from different magazines and sites.

By Stephanie Mlot, PCMag


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