It was four weeks ago to the day, I’d just read a post on Mashable title something like ’5 Reasons Why We Usually Always Have a Number at the Start of our Posts’ and I decided that enough was enough. I unsubscribed from the RSS feed. I unfollowed them on Twitter. They never followed me back anyway, the bastards. I stepped bravely in to a world with no Mashable…
Nothing has Changed
I always thought that I may miss out on some amazing piece of social media or tech news if I removed Mashable from my cluttered digital world. I thought my peers would point at me and laugh. I was wrong. You see, cutting out Mashable has reduced the amount of content I am exposed to so much, that I actually notice more relevant news and content from other sources than ever before. The Mashable road-block has gone.
Mashable used to be a worthwhile and trusted read. Pete Cashmore has done so well to grow it and I can’t take that away from him. Not that he would care anyway. He never followed me back. The bastard. He’s not a bastard really. Don’t sue me. Where was I? Ah yes, desperation for coverage. This really hit home around a year ago when Amy Winehouse sadly passed away. Mashable jumped on it so quickly and published an article announcing her death, dressing it up as example of how digital can amplify a fanbase etc etc etc. This wasn’t about her death, hell, why would anyone be using Mashable as a source for such news? It was blatant link bait dressed up as a tech story to try and deflect that fact. Cheap? Yeah. Relevancy is key to quality content.
Did Mashable get too big, causing its quality to suffer in the quest for high quantity? It certainly covers a massive amount of topics. The reliance on lists (and yes we have some lists on this blog…) harks back to the need for massive hits and shares. Everyone knows that lists fly around the social web at a huge rate of knots, but making them around 80% (that’s a guess) of your total output is just bonkers.
If you’re a business looking at creating regular content, perhaps in the shape of a blog, it would pay to learn from Mashable. It is a huge site and worth a lot of money, a true success story and remains valuable to a lot of people. However, its approach in the last two years has led to many of the people who got behind it back in the day and saw true value from the content deserting it. Those early advocates are key to any business and valuable content can go a long way to creating those. Bear that in mind when you are setting out your content plans – you need to maintain quality and not let that suffer by getting over excited and publishing for the sake of publishing. You need to avoid a point in the future when your principles around quality have been blown due to overkill – you can lose people very quickly and bringing them back can be very tough.
I’m off to revel in a Mashable free life. I feel free. Like wearing chinos with no underwear.
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