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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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.