“For Mr. Cashmore, the cause has been explaining how online social connections are fundamentally changing the way people communicate, a concept that prompted him to start Mashable at age 19. Bored by schoolwork, he skipped college and began writing about how people were using technology and the new world of social networking. Because he was fascinated by the way some sites were mashing together maps and data — in particular a combination of Google maps and data from the Chicago Police Department — he named his new blog Mashable.
Soon the blog was generating $3,000 a month in advertising revenue, allowing him to hire another writer.
Chronicling the rise of social media platforms like MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and Google Plus, Mashable steadily increased its audience. In June 2009, it became the most popular technology blog when its Web traffic surpassed that of TechCrunch, according to Compete and Quantcast, two social media measurement firms.
As portals like Yahoo scramble to hold onto an audience that is becoming less drawn to general-interest news, Mashable, Business Insider and Gawker are among a group of smaller niche sites with devoted audiences that are appealing to advertisers. Analysts credit much of Mashable’s rise to its skillful use of search optimization and a large catalog of articles about how to use social media tools. Then there’s Mashable’s influential online audience, which shares and distributes its links across the Web, further fueling the site’s growth.”