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Peter Rojas – the a:c IMterview 

November 4, 2004

Peter Rojas pioneered the wildly popular gadgets and gizmos blog genre. He is Editorial Director at Weblogs Inc. for Engadget and other tech sites. He was founding blogger at Gizmodo, but left last year in a high profile break with Gizmodo management. Pete got his start writing for the Red Herring and even contributed to an early incarnation of The Alarm Clock, back when we published a print magazine.
The a:c: Hi Peter
projas: hey there
projas: had to get a few posts up
The a:c: No problem. Do you work
exclusively on Engadget are do you post
to others sites?
projas: I also am the editorial director
of our sibling sites, Joystiq.com, which
covers video games, and HackADay.com,
which covers hacks for gadgets and
electronics.


The a:c: Well, congrats on the success
of Engadget. We’ll spend some time on
your others sites too. Other than the notoriety,
we imagine that the best part of your job
is the freebies. Do you get many demos
in the mail in each week?
projas: Yeah, a fair amount, but we do
also return most things, don’t want
anyone to think that we’d compromise our
editorial just to get a review unit.
projas: But yeah, I’m on a first name
basis with my UPS and FedEx guys
The a:c: What do you personally want that
you haven’t picked up?
projas: Well, I’d spent many months
lusting after the new Treo 650, but now
that it’s about come out, I’m thinking
about holding out for BenQ’s P50 Pocket
PC Phone
instead, which is clone of the
Treo but has a better camera and built-in
WiFi.
projas: I’d love one of those
superslim Fujitsu or NEC Tablet PCs
projas: and I’ve also been trying to get
someone to go to South Korea to buy me the
M40, Samsung’s ultralight 17-inch laptop
which they don’t sell over here.
The a:c: Do you ever suffer from constant
upgrade fatigue?
projas: no, I don’t suffer from upgrade
fatigue.
projas: usually I hear about stuff so far
in the future
projas: that when it finally comes out I’m
pretty excited
projas: The one thing that does happen
projas: is that when you know about
everything that’s out and all the new stuff
that is just around the corner
projas: it can be hard to buy something
projas: I haven’t bought a new digital
camera
projas: because a better one is always
just about to come out
The a:c: Understand
The a:c: What do you get the most email
about from your readers?
projas: specifically or in general?
The a:c: in general
projas: Besides the massive number of
tips we get each day, we get a lot of
email asking for help with something or
advice on what to buy. I used to answer
all of those, but I get so many now that
it’s impossible.
projas: To help out we started a new
section called Ask Engadget
where readers can send in questions and
other readers will try and help or give
advice
projas: It’s been hugely popular
The a:c: Can you think of which technology
that you cover has most lived up to its
potential and which remains a
disappointment?
projas: Good question
projas: I think that home networking and
digital convergence and all that crap is
still a long way from where it’s going to
be in a few years. It’s pretty easy for
me to network everything in my apartment
together and beam music and video around
the house, but it’s still way too
complicated for the average person.
projas: But that said, I think that WiFi
has outperformed everyone’s expectations.
projas: The equipment is cheap
projas: More and more people are setting
up wireless networks in their homes.
projas: And you’re seeing entire cities
setting up wireless networks so that
everyone can get online.
projas: And remember that three years
ago, 99% of the population didn’t even
knew what WiFi was
The a:c: Given the a:c’s audience –
VC types – Let’s say you were a VC, are
there any companies that you would want
to invest in within the spaces that you
cover?
projas: It’s been a little while since I
was at Red Herring and thought about
things in those terms, but I think mobile
content is going to be big sooner or later.
It’s just more a matter of thinking
creatively about how people use media when
they’re on the move.
The a:c: Do you have grander aspirations
for Engadget? Multilingual Engadget? Print?
Broadcast? Engadget store?
projas: We have a few things in the works
that I can’t talk about, but I actually
really love what I’m doing right now and
so don’t feel the need to rush into
anything else.
The a:c: Great Pete. Thanks a lot.
Appreciate your time.

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