What's Up With The Download Squad

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 29, 2008
Updated • May 9, 2012

The Download Squad is one of my favorite technology blogs along with Lifehacker, Cybernet News and a few others. Recently though activities came almost to a halt. Brad Linder (also Liliputting a mobile computing blog), one of the major writers for the Download Squad and the rest of the team seemed to have stopped writing for the Download Squad blog which only saw one new article yesterday and none the days before that.

While weekends were a bit slow they usually saw a few posts from the dedicated staff. I was a bit worried about the website and emailed Brad who said that the could not speak about it. I did some research on my own and it seems that AOL has told some bloggers, among them the bloggers of the Download Squad, to hold off for the month in what seems an effort to cut costs.

I'm not sure why AOL would make them hold off in first place because I know that the bloggers were paid on a per article base which should not be a problem for a multi-billion Dollar company like AOL.

Apparently though I'm wrong. AOL is cutting costs and trying to sell some properties like XDrive or Bluestring.

While all news articles speak of holding off until the end of the month none know for sure what is going to happen on August, 1st. Will they start blogging again or will this be the end of the Download Squad?

Meanwhile AOL is also telling some bloggers who contribute to its Weblogs group to cut back or to halt writing for the rest of the month. Contributors to the DownloadSquad have been told to hold off, while The Unofficial Apple Weblog will cut back to a couple per day. DIY Life will go on hiatus.

I would like to analyze the blog for a bit. I do not know the real traffic statistics for the download squad but they surely are above my own here at Ghacks. A few indicators are Alexa, Comcast and others and although they are not accurate they seem to suggest roughly twice the amount of traffic that my site gets.

That would be between 1.5 and 2 million unique visitors per month for the Download Squad. If proper advertisement would be added to that website they could probably rake in between $15K-20K per month from that website alone which would obviously be more than enough to pay Brad and his team. Those $15K-20K are based on free advertising opportunities and no special deals like high paying CPM campaigns that are running on the whole blog network. Could very well be much more if those were included.

Heck I would buy that website if I would have the money to do so if Brad and his team would continue writing for it..

Let's hope for the best and pray that the Download Squad will be back in full strength in August.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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