AOL and Mashable in Talks? Rumor Says Mashable May Be Bought

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The story broke at Gawker.com with comments on the “Brad Pitt of the blogosphere” (referring to Mashable’s founder, Pete Cashmore).  Beyond that gimmickry, though, is some real meat.  Mashable beat out TechCrunch last year as the most popular tech blog on the Internet, which means they’re apparently the hottest property to be snatched up by content-hungry buyers like AOL.

For their part, AOL just left Time Warner and their plans are to focus on content and SEO.  That, of course, is something Mashable appears very good at – not to mention social networking.

The story was confirmed by Robert Scoble in a tweet saying that the deal is confirmed and Mashable is being sold.  Later, he rescinded that and said that it might be “over ad revenues,” instead.  Which some think is just CYA talk since he probably doesn’t know as much as he’d like people to think.

AOL and Mashable, for their parts, are keeping quiet about the whole thing and aren’t saying more thnan “no comment.”  AOL has been, however, moving towards a next-generation media company kind of image, currently running about 80 independent blogs and growing.  Those blogs, however, are entirely dependent on AOL itself for traffic, which means they aren’t reaching the ‘Net’s largest audiences: Google searchers and social media activists.

For that, they’ll need someone to come into the fold who is doing those things.  Mashable fits that bill perfectly.

To wrap up the saga, Chris Crum at WebProNews states the burning question: if Mashable is purchased by AOL, what will happen to its content, current high standing, and Web reader’s confidence in the blog?


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