Pete Cashmore’s Mashable–“Social Media News and Web Tips”–dominates the tech blogosphere. The site has 2.2 million followers on Twitter (where the brand still leverages Mr. Cashmore’s sculpted face as its avatar), 439,000 fans on Facebook, and more than 60,000 followers on Foursquare. A positive review on Mashable can crush a young app’s website with traffic.
Mashable is based in San Francisco New York but has a New York San Francisco office. The site says its readership consists of “early adopters, social media enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, influencers, brands and corporations, marketing, PR and advertising agencies, Web 2.0 aficionados and technology journalists. Mashable is also popular with bloggers, Twitter and Facebook users.” We can’t speak to its popularity among entrepreneurs or “early adopters,” but it’s a must-read for internet marketers and public relations professionals who share Mashable content all day long on Twitter, Facebook and email.
TechCrunch, by contrast, has 1.5 million fans on Twitter, 157,000 fans on Facebook, and appears not to have a Foursquare account. Founder Mike Arrington is not as photogenic as Mr. Cashmore. But TechCruch is by far the internet’s top source for tech news according to aggregator TechMeme, sourcing twice as many stories as the runner-up, Engadget (whose editor Josh Topolsky is based in Brooklyn). TechCrunch has a few writers based in New York, including seasoned blogger Erick Schonfeld. TechCrunch covers a broader range of tech issues; its network includes MobileCrunch, GreenTech and CrunchGear, occupying the space in the tech blogosphere somewhere between the mass audience Mashable and the insidery Hacker News.
TechCrunch and Mashable were both founded in 2005, but Mashable has had a solid traffic lead. But as the buzz and novelty of “social media” wears off, Aol may find an opportunity to overtake its rival. San Francisco analyst Jeremiah Owyang was apparently thinking about the two blogs today and decided to check their relative traffic. According to Compete, the two sites were closer in popularity in December than at any time in the last year. “Looks like the streams could cross,” he said on Twitter.
ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries