gdgt Spreading The Gadget Gospel
Have you ever expressed the guilty pleasure of "I have to have an iPhone," "I've gotta get a netbook," or "I need to buy a Wii." If so, you might be suffering from 'gadgetnitus', the obsessive desire to own the latest and greatest gadgetry in the market. Gadget freaks are a growing breed of man (and woman) who revel in possessing the current technological toys-du-jour while becoming savvy technophiles.
These techi-evangelists are growing in numbers and spreading the gospel. So much so... that a website with the appropriate moniker gdgt (i.e. "gadget") is a social network that enables folks to connect with an evolving ecosystem based around one's gadgets. It's a place for you to engage with your cutting-edge tools and hang out with those who are as passionate about their gear as you are.
gdgt is all about providing you with current up-to-date contextual information both from the site and around the web. It assists members in acquiring more out of the products they already own, as well as allowing them to discover that next shiny thing to add to their collection. Its a melting pot bubbling over with one dash Intranet, a sprinkling of wikis, some handfuls of forums and reviews, while also being a repository for your ever-growing list of cool and geeky devices.
And if you think this gadgetry fetish is a new-found cult movement of the new millennium, I beg to differ. What's old is new again! In the days before cell phones, the idea that one could wirelessly transmit and receive messages with a small portable "wrist radio" was the stuff of comic books and 1950's science-fiction pulp mags.
Well today's gadget owners can not only purchase and own the updated version of the Dick Tracy wrist phone, they can also add it to their gadget laundry list on gdgt. LG Electronics unveiled a new wristwatch 3G phone at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this past January.
The gdgt site was launched in July by Ryan Block and Peter Rojas. While Block was the former editor in chief at Engadget, Rojas was the co-founder of both Engadget and Gizmodo. Both of these guys have tons of experience with gadget-related sites. A tutorial video by Veronica Belmont gives you the broad-wash overview of what to expect and what the site has to offer.
Instead of retreading old territory where they've already blazed a path, Ryan and Peter set their sites on a new platform where folks can grow their passion with other like-minded individuals. Like wikis and other user-generated-content sites, anyone can edit new and old information. But once laid down, everything is structured which allows for lots of slicing and dicing of the data.
Here is a sample profile posted by Aaron Dracynski, a user interface designer and web developer in San Francisco. Aaron's gadgets include Apple's MacPro and the Apple iPhone 3GS
The specs of each product is highly detailed where you can also group gear into logical groupings. There are several dozen categories and thousands of products in gdgt at this point in time, and users are permitted to add as much as they like. Each user is not only adding gadgets to their own personal profiles, they are also providing new inventory for other gadgeteers to choose from.
Though gdgt has not disclosed much about the requisite funding for the site, it is believed that nearly half a million dollars has been raised by the founders in an investment round led by True Ventures and Betaworks, with participation from some additional angel investors.
Perhaps the one downside to gdgt is its lack of Twitter interface where you can tweet about your gadgets directly from the site. Since the launch just occurred this might be on the boards for the future. After all... geeks-who-tweet (or tweeks) need to be able to brag a little about all the gear they have amassed in their techie largess!