Mashable and TechCrunch are, no doubt, the most famous (and widely read) blogs covering everything about web, tech, mobile and social media. They have been funded almost in the same period (year 2005, more or less) despite one (Mashable) has been created by a young european guy, Pete Cashmore, while the other is born and grew up in Silicon Valley through his local founder Michael Arrington.
For years TechCrunch has been the #1 in terms of “numbers”, although something important happened during the past couple of months, starting a trend that can be easily found in the graph below:
What happened? It looks like Mashable’s growth has been impressive in the past months while TechCrunch is struggling to keep the same average unique visitors they had in the past.
All that said, I started asking people on Twitter what was their preferred tech blog between Mashable and TechCrunch and I received lots of interesting and sometimes curious responses that helped me to get a better idea on what the main reasons behind the graph above were.
According to most people, Mashable’s blog engages their readers more than TechCrunch’s one. Here is an example: I took a look at both websites a few minutes ago. In the homepage, TechCrunch’s most retweeted article was 261 times and most commented one got 60 comments. By chance, Mashable’s article covering the same subject shows 838 retweets according to Tweetmeme, while the most commented one has 113 comments.
In my experience, this is not just a case. When my company releases a new service, we usually contact Mashable first and, if we are lucky/interesting enough, they cover it. When they cover it usually they get lots of reactions on Twitter (impressive!), much more than those anyone could expect. My personal experience with TechCrunch is unfortunately very limited since they never covered any of my company’s services, but others told me they were very happy about the results (I don’t have numbers, though).
On the contrary, others like TechCrunch better since they are “less noisy”. The comments below is from a Twitter user who asked to remain anonymous:
“I’ve never dealt with Mashable. Part of my issue with Mashable is how they use Twitter – they promote all their posts all the time”
I have to say that I always come accross new stories by Mashable on Twitter and Facebook first, way before opening my feed reader. No doubt they are doing a great job by leveraging social media in a very effective way.
People at Mashable are usually perceived as “more friendly” than those working for TechCrunch. I say “perceived” meaning that this is the impression people got regardless of they meet them in person or not.
I personally never had the opportunity to talk to Mike Arrington (despite I met him at the first edition of The Crunchies) but I still remember that when I first met Pete Cashmore (you know where? He was in “incognito” mode at The Crunchies too he said:”Oh, you are the guy at LucaFiligheddu.com”… Can you believe this? Don’t know if Pete remembers this but I do.
Others report more interactivity in social media tools like Twitter. I can agree on this. While I exchanged many tweets with many Mashable bloggers, those with TechCrunch ones are (in my case) rare. Even worse, I had the opportunity to read a realtime argument between my friend Florian Seroussi and TechCrunch columnist Paul Carr who (reading all the tweets) I can’t say was that friendly with Florian… (just my personal opinion, of course)
This is quite interesting. Some people told me via Twitter that they don’t rely on TechCrunch too much since they are tightly linked with all the most important VCs in Silicon Valley. They mean that sometimes you can’t really know if a positive review about a certain product/service is written because that service is “really” good or just because there are strong personal interests behind it (and its success).
Personally speaking, I don’t agree with this point, I remember I always read explicit disclosures in their posts. Moreover, this can always happen for any blog, everyone has interests in something and this is a very old and well known problem that affects journalism in general. Last but not least, everyone who pointed out this did it by a DM/email to me and asked not to being quoted. Matter of “personal interests”?
I have to say it is pretty clear that my little poll conducted among a little user base (my 2200+ Twitter followers) led to results that reflect the trend in the graph above. It looks like people prefer Mashable better for many, different but interesting reasons.
Now it is your turn: what do you like better? What is your favorite tech blog? Please leave your comments here or tweet it!
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