Gizmodo Pivots From Gadgets to Design

Because Kinja.

Geoff Manaugh. (Photo credit: Patrick McMullan).

Geoff Manaugh. (Photo credit: Patrick McMullan).

Gizmodo, Gawker media’s tech blog, is getting a new editor and a new focus. Geoff Manaugh, a former senior editor at Dwell Magazine and contributing editor at Wired UK, will take over at Gizmodo. Mr. Manaugh will bring BLDGBLOG, his architecture and design website, along with him.

“We’ve hired Geoff Manaugh, one of the very coolest writers on design and technology, as EIC,” Gawker owner Nick Denton told us. “He’s a big deal in his field. The only non-architect to lecture at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture.”

In what seems like a significant shift in focus from gadgets to design and ideas, Paleofuture, a blog about the history of the future, will also be brought in under the Gizmodo umbrella. Matt Novak, the editor of the website, which has been hosted by the Smithsonian, is also coming over.

But according to Mr. Denton, the shift is not really that dramatic.

“Gizmodo has always had more interest in design than specifications,” Mr. Denton said. “But it’s increasingly clear that design — of software and hardware — makes the difference in consumer technology. And that technology is infusing systems from urban infrastructure to the thermostat.”

The tech blog, which lost editor in chief Joe Brown to Wired back in February, recently hired Motherboard’s Adam Clark Estes and Fast Company’s Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan, and is staffing up further. According to Mr. Denton, the site will hire six new staffers in the next few months—positions include writers covering architecture/urbanism, art/new aesthetic and design/branding. More expectedly, they are also looking for a San Francisco-based tech reporter and consumer electronics editor.

And like most of Mr. Denton’s projects right now, it’s really all about Kinja, Gawker media’s new publishing platform.

“The publishing system is optimized for discussion — not just around text posts but images,” Mr. Denton said. “So that’s another reason for this drive: design journalism is all about discussion of imagery. We have a publishing and discussion platform designed for that.”