Tim Yang’s Weblog


Lifehacker.com went from Nice! to Sucks!

Filed under: Blogging — Tim Yang @ 3:57 pm

This is probably news of no importance, but I’ve decided to unsubscribe from Lifehacker.com’s RSS feed. It just got too intrusive for me with its “link optimisation”. I can’t stand that:

  1. It has a del.icio.us-type link post every day, not for one topic but for several. There’s “News”, “Ask Metafilter” and now “Ask Slashdot”. Listen, I’m here for lifehacks. Hello, that’s what your site is called. If I wanted that other stuff, I’d subscribe to their feeds. I don’t need it from you too.
  2. On top of those link posts, Lifehacker.com also does a link post on its own posts! What am I, a five year old child? I need to be reminded twice about everything?
  3. It’s even doing a weekly post about its advertisers. Talk about intrusive advertising! I don’t mind if they link to their advertisers within their own posts, especially if the advertisers have relevant products or services. But blatantly making a “Sponsor” post is just too much.
  4. I think it all started with a directive to cross-sell the other blogs in the Gawker Media empire. I can’t stand that either. If I was interested in cars or celebrities, don’t you think I’m smart enough to subscribe to those feeds. I mean, those blogs are popular and prominent enough that they’re all topic leaders in their fields. But the point is: they’re not relevant to lifehacks so why are they on Lifehacker.com?.
  5. I get ten posts from you and only five are actual lifehacks. What happened? I got bait-and-switched, that’s what happened.

It’s gotten to the point where nearly none of the posts on Lifehacker.com interests me. Half of them aren’t real posts — they’re meta-posts. In any case, if it does turn out that any of Lifehacker.com’s posts are of any real value, they end up on popu.li.cious and I still get to see them anyway. So long, Lifehacker.com!


  1. The gawker sites are an ad-business first and a blog second.

    Comment by chris sivori — 9/9/2023 @ 10:02 pm

  2. Sad but true. They all started out good, but that’s what happens with success.

    Comment by Tim — 10/9/2023 @ 4:10 pm

  3. Hey Tim,

    Thanks for your comments about Lifehacker. We’ve added two new editors this past week and obviously we’re still working out the kinks in terms of coordinating content.

    For the record, we’ve done a weekly thanks to sponsors post since launch in January, as does every other Gawker Media site. Also, we’re publishing 21 posts a day (not 10), and I feel that occassional roundups of the past week’s better topic-oriented posts is reasonable given the frequency of publishing. Lastly, when a new Gawker site launches, we announce it, and I think that’s pretty reasonable too - plus that happens very infrequently.

    Anyway, sorry to hear you’re disappointed. We’re always trying to get better, and I hope to find our way back into your subscription list.

    Gina, Lifehacker editor

    Comment by Gina — 11/9/2023 @ 12:21 am

  4. Not to toot my own horn, but I agree here. All these blog networks do weekly recaps and advertising of their other blogs. I got tired of it months ago, that’s one of the reasons I started TipMonkies. Sure, it’s nice to make some money, but if you don’t seem like you love the material, your readers can tell and you’ll lose them. I promise we’ll never do the things you mentioned over at TM :-D

    Comment by Martin — 11/9/2023 @ 2:27 am

  5. Gina, you’ve got a great product for sure. Heck, you invented the genre! But it’s the other stuff that isn’t relevant to your product that’s getting in the way. I don’t think the content has to be strictly lifehacks only (I too veer away off topic every once in a while for variety). But it’s very noticeable when you add things which aren’t lifehacks into the standard content. (Well, at least you don’t do the weekly cross-sell of all the network blogs like Weblogs Inc does.)

    Comment by Tim — 11/9/2023 @ 2:57 pm

  6. To be fair and make sure credit goes where credit’s due, Danny O’Brien coined the term “life hacks,” and Merlin Mann’s 43 Folders was the first weblog on life hackery, which launched in Sept of 2004, 5 months before Lifehacker. So, not quite inventor, but thanks for thinking so. :)

    Comment by Gina — 12/9/2023 @ 7:49 pm

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