Vox Media, the parent company of The Verge, is at it again.
Having successfully poached dozens of top journalists from various technology weblogs in 2011 (most notably from Aol's Engadget), Vox Media is now scooping up talent from prominent gaming weblogs like Aol's Joystiq and Gawker's Kotaku.
Business Insider is reporting that Joystiq's editor, Chris Grant, has been hired and tasked with poaching a "killer staff" for a future gaming website, akin to The Verge's unique approach to the weblog model.
Brian Crecente, the former editor-in-chief of Kotaku, is one of the most recognizable hires in the early days.
The model upon which The Verge has been built is intriguing to me, and I see it as a positive force in the modern Internet journalism arena. Although their content might lack any particular opinion, stance, or recognizable viewpoint, their technology news reporting is second to none.
I once frequented Engadget for the majority of my technology news, but since the Aol-induced exodus, it has recently been deleted from my Google Reader account and is slowly slipping from my consciousness. I take great exception to their app, Engadget Distro. Simply put, it is the embodiment of the much maligned "Aol Way." It presents news in an attractive way, but it lacks any semblance of substance. Moreover, Distro appears to be little more than an attractive ad-delivery system, and that does not sit well with me. Everything about Engadget has become unremarkable, and I expect they are (or will be) hemorrhaging readers. Without significant turnaround (or being sold by Aol), I can't see them faring well in the face of sites like The Verge.
Say what you'd like about The Verge, but it is unquestionably in much better shape than its competitors.
As such, Vox Media's approach is credible.
Poaching top talent and providing a new approach to the weblog medium is proving popular. If done correctly, Vox Media is quickly set to become a media powerhouse in the coming years.
In pursuing this model, Vox has done all that Aol has attempted to do in a comparatively painless and small period of time. I had once felt hopeful for Aol's revival, but the juxtaposition of the success of Vox and the rise of Arianna Huffington is difficult to overlook.