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Mashable: Not bought by CNN yet

14th Annual Webby Awards

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CEO/founder of Mashable Pete Cashmore attends the 14th Annual Webby Awards at Cipriani, Wall Street on June 14, 2010 in New York City.

Just a quick follow up on yesterday's rumor that CNN is buying Mashable for $200 million. Nobody has bought anybody yet. But at Phillymag, Brian Howard provides some useful speculation on what a sale could ultimately mean:

CNN’s interest is, ultimately, a nod to the future—a tacit acknowledgment that social media may finally be the panacea that allows the robots and algorithms that search the Internet for us to give us exactly what we want: the best content available. It could signal a return to the concept of content as king (rather than the content on the first page of search results, regardless of quality, as king).

Mashable is, by most objective standards, one of the best blogs on the Internet for coverage of social media and technology issues. How ironic indeed if this were to lead to its compromised relevance.

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CNN buying Mashable for $200 million? Well, this is awkward...

Republican presidential candidates takes

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

CNN hosted GOP presidential debates. It may now be debating whether to buy social media and tech blog Mashable.

There's a rumor floating around — reported by Reuters and others — that Mashable, the social-media and tech blog, is about to be bought by CNN for $200 million. Mashable denies it

But what difference does that make? According to Quantcast, Mashable pulls in around 16 million page views a month and has a robust audience that accesses the site's content through what it's really good at, social media. To me, that's what Mashable is all about. It's TechCrunch optimized for Facebook and Twitter. In my own experience, that's the only way I ever access Mashable content: by clicking on Twitter links from the Mashable account that features founder Pete Cashmore's handsome, and now quite possibly rich, mug.

Does it make sense? Actually, I think it's a bargain. CNN is SUCH a mature brand that for it to grow into social-media and a more modern type of tech coverage, it needs to either build a Mashable itself — or go shopping. Is $200 million too much to pay for 16 million PVs and 5 million monthly unique visitors? That's forty bucks per user per month. Bringing those readers into the CNN fold at that price is probably far less costly than what it would take CNN to develop a Mashable on its own (Mashable has been around since 2005).

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