Arianna Huffington kills Download Squad

AOL’s Arianna Huffington has shut down the popular Download Squad blog as part of its content cull.

Download Squad, which had a faithful following, was told by email on Monday evening that it was to be killed. As soon as the email was sent the bloggers were out of a job and no more posts would be made.

As soon as the HuffPo editor took on her role at AOL, casualties were expected and they’ve been happening.

The question is whether a gigantic content-farm headed up by HuffPo can replace, or if it even seeks to replace, a technically niche blog which offered posts to a select market of genuine interest. 

ZDNet paints Download Squad editor Sebastian Anthony as surprised, confused and irritated. He tweeted: “In a world where software is moving towards ubiquity, AOL-HuffPo has seen fit to shut down the best software blog on the Web. Insane.”

While the claims are lofty it is puzzling. We can only imagine Huffington thought the blog wasn’t fit for purpose with the new direction she plans to take AOL’s content strategy, as with other recently murdered projects. Download Squad is generally thought to have enjoyed good traffic, and sat nestled next to other popular websites such as TechCrunch and Joystiq

There are stirrings in AOL’s ranks, with a high profile walk-out from popular consumer blog Engadget just last month.