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…no, seriously, there’s no competition at all because they’re totally different types of blogs.

Yes, when Pete Cashmore’s ‘little’ start-up blog Mashable first overtook the might of Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch back in May 2009 (according to Compete.com figures above) many people saw it as a major change in the world of tech news. As Mashable’s lead grew and then remained relatively constant, much of the blog world saw it as a sure sign that TechCrunch was ‘doing something wrong’ while Mashable was ‘slaying’ the competition.

However, if you look at how Mashable grew and maintained its lead you discover a different story.

Mashable is no longer a pure tech news blog. Just look at some of its post titles recently: 
The Shiba Inu Puppies Are Back [Live Video] 
YouTube Celebrates Martin Luther King Day With Reenactments of Speeches [VIDEO]
Brett Favre Sings Pants on the Ground [VIDEO] 

Yes, Mashable is more about internet culture than pure tech news these days. Sure – there’s lots of tech news (and some great analysis) in there as well but if there’s a hot celebrity story trending on Twitter they’ll find a way of covering it to reap the search engine traffic, if there’s a viral video doing well they’ll embed it to get the retweets.

Meanwhile, TechCrunch has continued in the same ‘tech news and VC business chatter’ vein the whole time. There’s nothing  wrong with that – it’s still immensely popular and (outside of The Next Web, who I’m an Editor for), many of my favourite tech blog posts come from writers at TechCrunch. Meanwhile, by harvesting internet culture Mashable has gained a lead but at same time made the ‘race’ between the two totally irrelevant.

Of course, Mashable risks alienating its core audience by diversifying into celebrity stories and the like. When Duncan Riley’s The Inquisitr launched with a mix of tech and celebrity news it provided a separate tech-only feed for the purists. Mashable should really consider that.

Oh, and while you’re at it Pete, please revive your personal Twitter feed – we want to hear what you have to say, not just hear ‘the voice of the blog’! 🙂

8 Comments

  • Yep, like comparing steak equally to peanut butter because they both contain protein. And, you are so right about Cashmore’s Twitter stream–practice that “social” part of social media already! I think I managed to follow for a week before I unfollowed.

  • Hey Martin, nice article. When I read the title I thought this post was going to be comparing the Techcrunch/Mashable referral traffic figures from TheNextWeb’s recent @BillGates scoop. How did those numbers compare?

  • Hi Hobbsy – it’s impossible to say how individual posts do comparatively without hacking individual blogs’ stats packages 🙂 However, yes, the Bill Gates story (and the Twitter ‘old usernames’ story on the same day) did very well for us 🙂 If you go to compete.com you can compare stats for any sites but they’re not 100% accurate and are only updated on a monthly basis.

  • I definitely agree. Mashable has changed over the last year…and they should offer a different feed because people like me only want the business/tech side of things…not the latest viral youtube video.TechCrunch continues to do well with their articles. Very informative.

  • Very well said. Mashable’s main focus is more traffic and it publish any topic if it has a huge trend no matter it’s a within their context or not. Still TechCrunch is being as it was though it slips off-topic a little in order to keep on running steadily in the current market.

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