Peter Rojas is the cofounder and editor-in-chief of Engadget, which is a daily weblog covering gadgets, consumer electronics and personal technology. He is also the cofounder of Joystiq, a weblog which covers video games. Rojas has worked as a contributing editor at Cargo, an editor-at-large at Sync, a technology editor of VMan, and a columnist for The Guardian, writing on emerging technology. He is a frequent contributor to a variety of publications both on- and off-line and appears on radio and television regularly as a technology commenter. Rojas was educated at Harvard University and the University of Sussex. He lives in New York City.
Peter Rojas: You know that’s a . . . that’s a good question. I’m not sure how much of an impact my work really has on the world. I mean I create blogs . . . I’ve created blogs that are read by a lot of people. You know Engadget alone, like I said, gets about nine million readers a month. You know if you count Joystick, Gizmodo, a handful of others, I mean it’s . . . You know it’s definitely above 10 million and probably, you know, getting closer to 20 million which is great. It’s not something that like feels real to me in any way because I still work from home. And I still just sit in my apartment and . . . and you know answer e-mail and stuff like that. It’s not like a . . . It doesn’t feel real at all in the way that like, you know, if I was doing it in a stadium or something like that, you know? Like giving a concert in front of people. It’s the thought like when you’re a musician and you go from, like, playing in a bar to like, you know, Madison Square Garden. You can sort of really feel the transition. It feels the same. I meaning doing Engadget for nine million people feels the same as, you know, doing it for 90,000 was. So you know in that respect, like I don’t necessarily . . . I don’t necessarily feel or have a good sense necessarily of the impact. I mean I think that I was someone that was able to . . . to figure out a lot of stuff in blogging first. And I think, you know, I definitely hope I’ve made a positive contribution to the world of blogging. And you know I hope maybe on some level inspired people on Gizmodo and Engadget to start their own blogs. I think it’s great. I mean I think it’s a good thing for people to be starting blogs, and a good thing for people to be expressing themselves. Even if you’re just expressing yourself to like, you know, 10 of your friends, I think that’s a . . . that alone is like a great thing. But I don’t know beyond that. I mean you know occasionally we’ll see . . . You know people in the industry will talk to me and tell me about, you know, that . . . that the people that work at the company, the manufacturer, that they’re reading Engadget and paying attention. And you sort of want to be able to feel like well, maybe they do listen and . . . You know, ‘cause we consider ourselves at Engadget to be kind of advocates for, you know, the consumer . . . people who are . . . to be the kind of . . . like there’s no difference . . . Like the reason why Engadget works, I think, is because we’re writing it for ourselves ‘cause we’re the audience. And . . . and we don’t have any reason to . . . to kind of like to bullshit ourselves, you know? So you kind of hope on some level that people do listen; but I don’t wanna . . . I don’t wanna overstate, like, the impact by any means. I’m not . . . You know I’m not someone that built a, you know, a Microsoft. Or I’m not like Steve Jobs or anything like that. I mean I think there’s a tendency for people who work in the media to sort of confuse themselves with the people that they’re covering. And I definitely do not do that. I mean I definitely recognize that at the end of the day it’s a gadget blog. I’m not saving lives, and I’m not curing cancer. And you know it’s . . . it’s . . . The most I can hope for is that people who read the site find some value in going to it. And that maybe I’ve made a few people laugh with, you know, some of the irreverent wit that I like to pretend that I have.
Recorded on: 10/2/07