The big rumor this week is that CNN is in talks to buy Mashable. I had to chuckle when I read some of the comments:
“Nooooooooooooooo! Keep Mashable independent!”
“IMO, this would make Mashable much less awesome instantly. I would probably begin to question it’s objectivity much more; one of the things that makes it great. No thanks.”
“Cashmore, what a fitting name.”
“Mashable will be mashed. CNN is fine, but they will certainly take the excitement and independence out of Mashable and just make it another site to find info you can get a thousand other places. A waste of money for CNN, but the Mashable owners can go straight to the bank.”
The Social Media space, for whatever reason, gets extremely jealous and snippy whenever there’s ANY talk of someone making money off their efforts.
For example, I’m thinking of two ‘thought leaders’ in this space. Their identities really don’t matter. What’s interesting to me is that these two people have a lot of similarities:
- They are both avid content creators, covering similar topics, Social Media for business, Social Business, etc.
- They both speak multiple times a month, all over the world.
- They both work with similar clients (from what I can tell)
- They make comparable incomes (from what I can tell)
Any yet, one of these people is routinely criticized in this space, and the other almost never is. Even though they both create the same type of content, and do the same type of work for the same type of clients while speaking on the same type of topics at the same type of events.
The difference is: One person is an independent consultant and the other is employed by a large company. So while the consultant is frequently selling their services and publicizing products and services they are offering for sale, the other person doesn’t do that because they get a salary from their employer.
It seems that when we publicly talk about making money, even if it’s just to offer something for sale, that people go crazy. No one seemed to mind the millions that Mashable has likely been making all along in ad sales, sponsorships, etc, but as soon as there’s a public rumor that CNN might buy them, the haters come out of the woodwork.
Why does this happen? I suppose it’s human nature but it still aggravates me every time I see someone complaining about the money someone is making or that they think someone is making.