Q&A: The Coolest Bloggers

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Brian Lam

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The New Chief of Gizmodo

Gizmodo, a Gawker Media blog for the gadget obsessed, recently got a new editor — Brian Lam, a former assistant editor for Wired magazine. Lam, 29, has big plans for Gizmodo — to utilize his magazine publishing skills to enhance the already popular and prolific blog. With an average of 40 to 50 posts a day, Gizmodo is an advertiser's dream, attracting 25-to-35-year-old males with annual salaries of $50,000 to $100,000 and more. Gizmodo is one of the few blogs to take on the role of a viable media source with Lam's recent coverage of the Sony Mylo, the result of an official deal with Sony's corporate communications department. TIME talked with Lam about the blogging craze and the future of Gizmodo.

What do you think it is about gadgets, these "shiny new" toys, that have captured people's attention?
There's a Batman utility belt or "Data" from Goonies concept to it. You can reach out to people and you can do things — not like being a superhero, but it can make you move through your day in a more powerful way. You've got an easier way to organize things and a lot of information at your fingertips. For people who feel naked without having gadgets around, like their cellphone, it becomes a fetish. So, when you upgrade your piece of electronics, you are upgrading an extension of yourself.

What kind of experience do you hope people walk away with after visiting Gizmodo?
I hope that they walk away with an amazement of how fast gadgets are becoming more and more powerful. It's like hotrodders in the '60s — gearheads getting hot and bothered over things that other people wouldn't care about, like engines. It's the same thing with gadgets — they are the hotrod of our generation.

Why do you think blogs have become an important part of the way people now access information?
It's the promise of constant conversational updates. I think the best blogs cover the kinds of things that traditional media don't think are important enough to cover, or don't want to tie their names to. The point of Gawker Media is to write about what journalists would talk about during lunch.

In this age of terrorism, do you think that technology and gadgets are being produced at a rate that makes regulation difficult?
Information is always going to want to be as free as possible — people want it that way. There's an article in Wired this month by Bruce Sterling, who says that the greatest threat to America are airplanes (affordable airfare) and net access. But in terms of regulations with gadgets like cellphones, fundamentally a lot hasn't changed. There are all of these little upgrades, but in the big picture the basic functionality of cellphones hasn't changed.

What social or technical features would you like to see enter the world of blogging?
I'd really like to see it become as easy as talking to a group of people... I would like it to be more fluid. There is this Web comic called Shooting War; it got picked up in the Village Voice and it's this really cool web comic about blogging in 2011 in Iraq. The war is still going on and the blogger does everything by video because it's easier than typing. The fact of it is that the Web comic shows the future of blogging as being more flowing, more conversational.

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