Reporting on Arianna Huffington and her Huffpo team taking over all the AOL media properties--even the ones that were doing very well before Arianna was bought out and brought aboard--the New York Time's David Carr uses the "b" word--Borg. You know, as in the "Star Trek" Borg, which "assimilates"--that is, devours--everything in its path. "Resistance is futile," is the famous Borg tagline.
The Borg is generally seen as an allegory for mind control and cooptation. And so now Arianna has "Borged" AOL. (That's her above, in her new Borg outfit), the process of Huffington Post-izing AOL has begun, to the detriment of AOL shareholders. Poor Tim Armstrong will never know what hit him, even though the AOL CEO asked for it, by buying her out--she will quickly go about destroying one of the few good media properties AOL had, Engadget. Engadget, of course, was one of the best geektech sites on the web. And so, of course, the lefty greenies Arianna brought with her know nothing about what to do with it, now that the top talent from Engadget has feld.
Here's how Carr describes the sad fate of Engadget:
If that story has a familiar ring, perhaps it’s because AOL just spent $315 million to buy The Huffington Post, the very successful news and aggregation site put together by Arianna Huffington.
There’s a lot of sudden cachet (and traffic) in buying what you cannot build, but as the Engadget example shows, there’s a problem with the strategy: Those nimble, adaptive businesses are sexy when bought, but they often end up as one more cog in the Borg. [emphasis added]
Engadget’s relationship with AOL was always tense. A high-velocity site that competed for technology news with the likes of Gizmodo and CNET, Engadget never fit in with other AOL properties, largely middle-of-the-road, just-good-enough sites that didn’t bring a lot to the table.
Like many of its peers covering Silicon Valley, Engadget worked as a kind of permanent start-up, with 16-hour days to compete in the always-on news cycle, but AOL treated it as one more niche site. “We have been working on blogging technology that was developed in 2003, we haven’t made a hire since I started running the site, and I thought we could be more successful elsewhere,” said Joshua Topolsky, who was the editor of Engadget until the middle of last month.
In other words, say goodbye to Engadget as geeks (including we girl geeks) knew it and loved it. Engadget has been assimilated into the Arianna Borg, and that's the end of it.