Why I Stopped Reading TechCrunch and Mashable

April 7th, 2008 | Categories: blogs, marketing, networks, off topic, social media, trends, web issues

A little while back, I stopped reading TechCrunch and Mashable. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise. I’m sure others have done the same. Degradation in the quality of content is my main reasoning. A combination of thoughtless articles and copycat posts just isn’t compelling to me. The same can be said for numerous other top tech blogs. I may peek in from time to time, but overall, they just aren’t worth my time and attention.

Give me original, interesting content - that’s all I ask. Regurgitated material is lame. Techmeme bandwagon jumping is growing old.

A loss of focus on the content can be attributed to shiny objects, otherwise known as complementary business opportunities. These include conferences, job boards, classified ads, and award shows to name a few. Concentration on these efforts ensures less than stellar results on the content side of the equation. Other business chores, including ad sales management and HR issues, don’t help the situation either.

To be honest, I used to enjoy reading many of these blogs “back in the day”. Back then, a single author posted quality content. Those days are long gone and priorities have shifted. Breaking the news ahead of everyone else is the main objective at the expense of value and insight.

For the time being, I’ve removed several of these blogs from my blogroll and I challenge you to do the same. The evolution of a blogroll should correlate to the quality of the content being presented. In other words, blogs should be added and deleted on a continual basis.


  1. anna tyler Says:

    you need more than a pundit. blogs have become sub-literary, that’s the big problem.

    i know that print magazines are on the “outs” but it was news to me that short story writers can’t find homes for their work anymore, nothing pays.

    as in: http://literaryrejectionsondisplay.blogspot.com/2008/02/one-rejected-writers-manifesto-listen.html

    if the blogosphere won’t support literature, well what do you expect?

  2. Adam Hirsch Says:

    Great article and I completely understand your point of view. However, I must make several points.

    1. In the past several months Mashable (under the wing of Adam Ostrow as our Editor-in-Chief) has made drastic improvements into the quality of our editorial

    2. While you might consider Job Postings, Conference Posts, Awards shows “Shiny Objects”, they are a way for Mashable to give back to our community of readers. Jobs for those who need them, Conference posts always contain a discount code and Awards to reward people for their hard word in a public venue. In addition, our MashMeets/events have been a smashing success in bringing our reader community together in real life, for networking purposes and more.

    3. All the above mentioned in #2 are handled ENTIRELY separately from our editorial staff. As you will notice, we have specific writers just for the Conferences/Events. Therefore, they are not taking any time away from their writing of new related content.

    Re: Anna Tyler’s comment above: I tend to disagree with her, the blogosphere is FULL of wonderful literature, great content and yes, in cases of Mashable, thew news as well. For example, the post above is a great example of a wonderful opinion piece.

    Adam Hirsch
    VP Business Development

  3. Pete Cashmore Says:

    I second Adam’s comments above - thanks Adam for responding on behalf of Mashable, and thanks Aidan for the insights.

  4. Eric Berlin Says:

    I like and enjoy both TechCrunch and Mashable, but I actually the volume of posts to be overwhelming, particularly when there’s so much else going on at any given time.

    I find I’m starting to have to pull back from chasing the neverending deluge of RSS feeds that I follow to rely on Techmeme for top stories and Twitter and Friendfeed to let “my community” tell me what are the most compelling reads.

  5. Aidan Says:

    Hey Adam/Pete,

    Thanks for commenting and acknowledging my viewpoint. The intent wasn’t to bash or insult, but rather to provide constructive criticism. I hope this is apparent and you’re able to use this feedback to your advantage.


  6. TechCrunch, Mashable, and the onslaught of bloggy volume ¦ Online Media Cultist Says:

    […] piece on Mapping the Web called Why I Stopped Reading TechCrunch and Mashable led me to consider my own take on the top tier, high volume blog publishers and how I’m […]

  7. Cyndy Aleo-Carreira Says:

    Will I be blacklisted if I say Amen?

    When I first started writing tech, those were the first two blogs I read every day without fail. Now, I mainly skim headlines but rarely read even half an article.

    Mashable seems to have lost its “voice” as if it’s afraid to alienate anyone. I can’t remember the last time I saw a negative review of anything. TechCrunch is turning into a combination Valleywag wannabe for the controversy combined with a “pimp my friends” slant depending on who is in Arrington’s good graces that second.

    Instead, I’m reading way more smaller blogs that don’t have as many readers but have more interesting discussion and insight. We all know GAE launched, but I’m more interested in what people think of it.

  8. Refocusing The Blog » Webomatica - Technology and Entertainment Digest Says:

    […] turning off the Internet, Hugh quitting Twitter, Mark Evans declaring RSS feed bankruptcy, ignoring TechMeme and Mashable, and tech bloggers overwhelmed by […]

  9. Charlie Anzman Says:

    The lifestreaming apps (Friendfeed and others) are helping people find blogs they never even knew existed before. This works for and against sites like Mashable and TechCrunch.

    Having followed both closely for a long time (and trying to be objective which in the case is sometimes difficult!), from the outside, it appears Mashable worked very hard to overcome a brief PR nightmare (citing sources etc) and is engaging their readers on occasion.

    TechCrunch is still breaking stories but very lately it just seems like Arrington’s style is running a bit paranoid? They do still command a large audience but anyone planning to make money doing what they do has to, and it must be a TON of work. That should be respected.

    I think both are good to have (and share). Certainly they’re delivering a lot of good stuff, usually before the mainstream media. I’ve also noticed a dramatic increase in breaking news from CNet’s News.com since Dan Farber moved over from sister company ZDNet.

    You can always change the channel but if it was me, I’d at least subscribe to the RSS feeds and ’stay in touch’ ?

  10. David Says:

    I agree with your points on the lack of recent quality in some of the more high-profile blogs, but I’m not sure I agree with the reasons you give (job boards, breaking news etc..)

    I think it’s much more fundamental than that - there’s a rat-race emerging between bloggers, who are being forced to compete for digg votes/stumbles etc.. resulting in posts with no substance or original thought, just for the sake of social bookmarking ‘eyeballs’.

    That said, there’s some real golden nuggets out there that I read regularly, as they’re often more vocal about their opinions due to the lack of any constraints put on them by advertisers or huge readerships.

    Great article.

  11. Aidan Says:

    David - Very good points.


  12. The Concept of Flogging Says:

    […] wrote my thoughts on the topic the other day in “Why I Stopped Reading TechCrunch and Mashable”. I also echoed the same sentiment when I wrote about “Techmeme Bandwagon Jumpers” in […]

  13. jansegers Says:

    I’ve the impression that it’s getting time some people gathered online and filter the news that’s really worthwhile reading…

    I’ve just launched http://netexecutives.ning.com , at the moment there is no one else than me on it [ and due to a stupidity of the latest ning search updated not listing at ning nor findable by its search function ].

    Anyone willing to give it a try ? or at least willing to indicate on a profile some real good ressources ?

    Thanks !

  14. Mark Lise Says:

    Aidan - good advice. I regularly prune my RSS feed when I am finding I’m marking-as-read more often than not. I’d consider it a temporary “unfollow”; the chance they have to win me back is when my contacts start sending me links referring to that site again. Until then, it’s not relevant to me so why bother wasting bandwidth? I might miss the occasional awesome post, but chances are if it was so awesome it’ll figure out a path to me again.

  15. Youssef Says:

    Interesting stuff. I’ve done the same. I am overwhelmed by their posts: more than 12 or 15 per day! All this just for the Tech industry?!

    There is also this dirty little secret that any blogger knows: there is a strong relation between number of post and traffic. You see where I am going: page views, advertising, beeing the #1 blog… I really feel, as a reader, that I am victim of their agenda.

  16. Samuel Darwin Says:


    I see Mashable and Tech Crunch as social media and Technology news website respectively. While I have to accept the fact that they have some most inspiring articles, this is my view point.

    It is like reading daily newspaper. Just come to office, open these two websites and see what is going on in the industry. If something interest me, I do read full article and comment. To me it is just like glancing a newspaper and reading the topic that interests you.

    Copy /paste: Yes, it does happen when you publish news. News circulates virally in the internet. But I am sure I have not seen 100% copy paste article in Mashable / Tech Cruch. There would be some point to take away home and grind in your mind.

    I appreciate Adam / Pete to be around here and commenting. While Aidan’s view are completely acceptable and a critical feedback (Quality) too…!


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