First thoughts: I’ll probably reserve judgment in full for now, to early to make a call on them properly, but naturally a couple of things:
1. They didn’t take lessons from Nick Denton when it comes to launching.
Defamer has 4 posts in total, 2 are welcome, send us tips posts, and the other two cover Big Brother and Mary. I’ve watched just about every single launch Nick Denton has done over the years, from rumour to actual launch, and he always stuffs his blogs with lots of reading goodies prior to launch, which obviously also makes sense: you want to capture first time readers when they visit by presenting them with a pile of interesting content that scopes across the broader range of interests: Defamer Australia looks and feels empty, because it is.
2. Where’s the Australian content on Gizmodo?
There’s a post on Gizmodo Australia that includes the words “we covered the xyz gadget last year”, which is interesting given the Australian version just launched. I’m not party to the syndication deal, but wouldn’t it make sense to at least try and localise some of the content, simple things like changing the words “we covered it last year” to something like “the US version of Gizmodo covered it last year here”, not only putting it in context, but also helping new readers? which of course begs the question: if most (all?) is just republished from the US site without change, why wouldn’t people just read Gizmodo.com as opposed to Gizmodo.com.au?
As I said, early days, I’ll give it a week then revist them after they’ve settled in, given it looks like they haven’t even gone close to settling in…I would have waited 2 more weeks then launched, once everyone was comfortable and the bugs in the writing styles had been sorted….but maybe that’s just me 🙂