One of the things I like about The Verge is that it's a tech website that doesn't get swept up in providing free advertisements for tech companies. They write knowledgeably, and they write well, about tech culture. Another thing I respect The Verge for is the fact that they're willing to take stands that Gizmodo, Engadget, and all the other hack tech press sites aren't wiling to take. Case in point: They just published an essay by Nilay Patel titled "Why I'm Voting for Barack Obama."
It starts like this:
Last year, I quit my job at AOL and Engadget to join a small internet publishing startup and build what would become The Verge and Vox Media. After a lot of hard work, I am proud to say The Verge has been a success — we have hired, invested, and grown during what remains a massive recession.
Our ability to succeed is why I believe President Obama should be re-elected. The Verge exists only on the internet, and Romney's position on net neutrality and network access represent a grave threat not only to our future, but to the entire technology industry. Both candidates have insisted that this election is a referendum on the future of the economy; the GOP's platform would hand control of the internet economy to a small handful of entrenched corporations with a long history of crushing innovation in the name of control. Bluntly, a vote for Romney is a vote for the worst of AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.
Given the libertarian leanings of tech aficionados, I think The Verge is going to lose readers over this editorial. And I think the people behind The Verge knew they were going to lose readers over the editorial, but they ran it anyway. I love that Republicans are already in the comments saying things like, "Why is the Verge getting so political? I wish a tech blog could be just that," and "I vote to keep politics off this site." Get a load of this concern trolling:
I just don’t understand why The Verge needs it feels it needs to step into the muck of political discourse. This place has been a relatively a nice place. But I guess everyone needs to get involved publically with their opinions for some reason.
This is the classic Republican complaint, that people with opinions unlike theirs should just shut up—funny how they don't feel that way when they're busy pretending that Kid Rock is a real star—but it makes even less sense than usual in reference to The Verge. Technology is very political. Everything is political. Patel's editorial is smart, considerate, and impassioned. That's the best kind of politics.