Former Engadget Editor Joshua Topolsky Slams AOL

Former Engadget editor Joshua Topolsky and many of his old staff have left their positions at the AOL-housed Engadget and turned to a new blogging company, and now, Topolsky has some choice words to say about AOL and the way they ran the tech blog.

Discussing his reason for defecting from AOL, Topolsky explains on his personal blog, “Beyond technology…there’s another factor here that’s driving my decision. It’s that [my new employer] SB Nation believes in real, independent journalism, and the potential for new media to serve as an answer to big publishing houses and SEO spam.” Ouch!

Topolsky edited Engadget for four years and announced his departure just last month, and although at the time, his announcement was cordial, it seems now, considering his new blog post, that those kind words were nothing more than a formality. Interestingly enough, though, Topolsky did mention in his announcement that he’d be sticking around Engadget as editor-at-large, to “advise and direct when necessary.”

It seems strange that someone who still worked for a company would slam their business methods and proclaim their new venture as the “answer” to the old job – the old job being, according to Topolsky, an “SEO spam” organization. While it’s easy to see why a giant publishing house like AOL, which recently merged with Huffington Post, would focus on things like page views and SEO rankings, it’s confusing that the former editor would basically backtrack over everything he said about working there being a “blessing.”

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