I’ve long since unsubscribed from following Mashable on Twitter, simply because so many people retweet Pete Cashmore and his crew, I needn’t bother. I also don’t really visit the site regularly anymore because I find the ‘journalism’ these days around technology to be a lot of fluff, insider-gossip and an echo chamber of circle jerks. Mashable, included.
I also can’t stand TechCrunch for much the same reason though it’s been much discussed how biased their reporting is to the startups they help fund.
So, low and behold, I find a tweet or other post bringing me to the Mashable site on my laptop today. I must have went directly to the article and then clicked to see the front page. I can’t recall anymore, beyond the disgust I felt at the enormous size and non-close-able ad.
Ironically, I like Samsung. My family is even considering the purchase of the Galaxy S III. But, seriously? This advert consumes an absurd amount of space. All it leaves one to consider is that Mashable only cares for the ad revenue over the user experience. Take a closer look at the screen and the only actual content available is a title about ‘No Cellphones at Summer Camp…’. Wow. How unbelievably irrelevant to my life, and most of the people I know.
The sad state of tech journalism leaves so much to be desired. Long gone are any consistent, reliable sources save a few which I still frequent, notably Ars Technica, Technology Review, ReadWriteWeb, and TheNextWeb and even these can show signs of sporadic inconsistency. Other than that, it’s like all the other media: a very fragmented experience of piecing together bits and pieces surreptitiously.
Though our tech and global media is fragmented, it doesn’t absolve blogs or publications like Mashable and TechCrunch from their sellout factors. What they gain in ‘revenue’, earned or not, we lose in thoughtful, reflective and real tech journalism.
To the list of reliable sources, I’d add Leo Laporte’s TWiT network of netcasts. He/it covers a lot of ground via the various different podcasts, which tend to feature a variety of subjective positions rather than a consensus objective position. They don’t have written journalism, so you have to take the step into podcasts to experience them, but they are worth the effort. And Laporte’s nationwide weekend “Tech Guy” radio broadcasts do a good job of bringing technology discussion to a broader audience.
Thanks, Steven! Always great to learn about new resources like these.
Tech journalism has always been beholden to ads. I don’t quite get the complaint. This blog has ads on it. Some body has to pay the bills.
@kcghowell, of course tech journalism is supported by ads. Most journalism is! That wasn’t my point. Perhaps I should have belabored the fact that this particular ad consumed more than 3/4 of my viewable screen and I could not close the ad.
It’s one thing to have expando ads, based on rollovers, which may be timed to close or the user may close themself and another to force-feed the user the ad. As someone who often speaks for the user, I find the latter type unacceptable.
I feel like the guy always retweeting mashable links looks a bit like myself 🙂 amongst others