Mashable and CNN. When money talks

The rumor gets stronger and stronger. Will CNN buy Mashable. The whispers in the Samsung Blogger Lounge take epic proportions: Will Mashable sell? Should Mashable sell? Will Pete Cashmore sell his soul, furniture and freedom to the devil?

Time will tell if the rumor is true. But the fact that people are eying the roll-out of this story with a weary, slightly worried mindset says a lot. The big ones buy the small ones. The small ones succumb to the money. Money buys what once was fresh, daring and a little out of mainstream.

TechCrunch and the Huffington Post were bought by AOL, Yahoo bought Each time, huge controversy started right away: can a small independent social news station keep its soul, spirit and autonomy once it gets acquired by a big player? History shows us that most often the answer is “no, they cannot”.  TechCrunch is not TechCrunch any more:  regardless of the many promises and statements, clearly the focus shifted. It’s still quality, but cooked in a different pot.  Michael Arrington left his TechCrunch baby after quarrels with Arianna Huffington, AOL’s chef of media.  When a big player buys, sooner or later… different rules apply.

The fact that the big players eye the independent news blogs is significant. Most often, the blogs are quicker, better connected, more critical and they have a better way of putting information into context. Their blogger/reporters are passionate, opinioned , smart and tough as nails. They are people on a mission.

CNN wanting Mashable shows that a traditional network sees the value of a well-connected knot of bloggers. The whole traditional media versus online media is death. Really, there is just media, and it reflects perfectly how people consume their news: on multi-screen. One eye on the television, another one on the iPad, following posts and tweets.

My soul wants to scream: “Pete, don’t do it!”, but my ratio tells me I would sell if I were him. Big buys small. Small gets rich. That is the wheel of time. There will be another independent Mashable somewhere. For a while.


Dear @CNN: Where is Cannes? Where??

Ah… the old continent. You know, where I, and 731 million other tweeps are living. Basically, people dwelled over the European tundra’s as early as 1,9 million BC. Our first cities appeared thousands of years ago. We have been bashing each other’s skulls in for eons, before settling comfortably within our borders.

France for instance, is a pretty big country. It’s a major power with cultural, economic, military and political influence in Europe and around the world. It owns the third strongest army in the world, with nuclear power.  During the 17th and 18th centuries, France colonized great parts of North America and Southeast Asia; during the 19th and early 20th centuries, France built the second largest colonial empire of the time, including large portions of North, West and Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and many Caribbean and Pacific Islands. It’s the most visited country in the world. It has Paris, the Eifel tower, the Loire Castles; it has the Tour de France.

It also has Cannes, a nice town on the French Riviera established in the 2nd century BC by the Ligurians (I bet you did not know that). Since 1939, Cannes hosts the Cannes Film Festival (le Festival international du film de Cannes). Every year, film stars from all around the world have been strolling down the Promenade de la Croisette. It is on this beach that the young Brigitte Bardot showed off her voluptuous curves for the first time. It hosts the G20 now.

See, a lot to learn in three paragraphs of text. All of it freely available on the net.  Dear @CNN: CANNES is in FRANCE. Not in SPAIN. Sarkozy is the President of FRANCE, married with an ITALIAN woman, having a meeting in a FRENCH southern city. We’re already happy you correctly located the G2O in southern Europe. But you’re 1200 kilometers off…  I sincerely hope you’ll send your camera crews to the right city…. eventually.

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