12 April 2011

On Download Squad And Switched Closing Down

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I was  really shocked with the sudden news today of AOL’s Download Squad and Switched closing down.   Also really surprised about it.  But after the shock passed and giving it some thought I have come to realize that in the case of switched it was not much of a shock or surprise at all. Just that it makes me sad that the fall of Switched had to drag down the drain a blog of the seniority and stature of Download Squad. 

Why do I say this? Well, for me it felt shoe-horned the whole pairing of the two blogs a while ago. I just could not make sense of it at all. Worse of all was making Switched the LEAD brand of Download Squad! The man who thought and suggested that one idea out should had been fired on the spot.

Switched was less relevant, less important and with considerably less cache than Download Squad. So again, Why you would pair it with Download Squad and why you would offend DS readership by doing such a nonsensical change?  Looks like I was not the only pissed off by the move just by looking at Compete stats for the last few months. And lets be honest, with the way the DS blog went since Sebastian Anthony and Lee Matthews got to be the lead bloggers in Download Squad, such a stupid change was the worst thing to do on a already irked readership questioning if they should stop reading the blog. Even if Compete is not exactly the most exact in order to measure the traffic of big sites and web apps. There is just no way that their figures do not represent the reality of the free fall of Switched  and how the pairing of Switched with Download Squad plus the making of Switched the lead brand of Download Squad lethally wounded DS. A blog that was perfectly healthy and safe as it was over 1 million uniques a month on the USA alone before that change.

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According to Compete stats, AOL’s brilliant idea of pairing Switched and Download Squad only lead to a race to the sunset. Shredding half of Download Squad readership in just 2 months. End of a streak of growth for the blog. The rest of course is another sad chapter in the history of AOL mistakes.

While I don’t cover news and minor software updates (yet).  Opening Appatic was partly inspired by Download Squad, since I missed the original one, back when it was a more straight forward and leveled blog.  I just was tired of the direction most big blogs were going and leaning to. New Media becoming like Old Media. Blogs going from trying to be as factual and straight forward as possible to just churning out blog posts full of bias, snark and poor research. Add to that kind of blogging The New AOL Way of doing things and you sure got a recipe for disaster.  Sad and sadder trying to make a party.

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