Gdgt Site Raises $3M For Crowdsourced Reviews

As if there aren’t enough “gadget” blogs out there, Peter Rojas and Ryan Block have started another one, Gdgt, but this one with a difference. Not only are they not planning to hire paid writers, they’re planning to crowdsource review ideas and reviews from you, the reader. In other words, they’re going to use UGC, User-Generated Content, and already have over $3M in funding based on this premise.

Peter Rojas has a fair bit of experience in the gadget blog arena, having been co-founder of Engadget, and before that editor and co-founder of Gizmodo. He also has experience writing for Red Herring, Wired and other sites. Ryan Block also has tech site chops, including editorial positions at Engadget, Joystiq and others. Together they’ve already launched Gdgt, a site where you, the reader, participate in the content process. Once you list your gadget haves/ wants, then you’ll see reviews and tips written by other readers.

Funds totalling over $3.1M have come in from Spark Capital, True Ventures, Betaworks, AOL Ventures, Lerer Media Ventures and some private individuals. This follows $550K in seed capital from Betaworks and True Ventures last year, for a grand total of over $3.7M. A consumer products site, Quirky, apparently just received $6M in VC funds. However, they allow people to collaborate and create actual products that can then be sold on the site. Gdgt, on the other hand, is only offering crowdsourced reviews of gadgets.

Question: What exactly would you need $3M for, when you have no paid writers? Looks like VCs are opening their wallets again and can’t give it away fast enough. (I have a few ideas and know several entrepreneurs with some; call me.) Can you smell “stock market bubble coming soon”? Despite the fact that there’s no indication the user-sourced content gets any compensation, Compete and Quantcast data shows growing traffic to the Gdgt site. According to the WSJ, Gdgt already has hundreds of thousands of users (note: you have to register) and close to 17,000 products in their database.

What do you think of the Gdgt concept? Does this seem like a blatant cash grab, given how lucrative a popular tech website can be? Should reviewers be compensated, and how so? If you’ve heard anything about plans for that on Gdgt, let us know. If you had a crowdsourced startup with no paid employees but yourself, how would you spend $3.7M in financing money?