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How Do You Twitter: Mashable?

interview mashable twitter

Amongst all the madness of moving to Belgium over the past few days, I got to chat with Pete Cashmore of Mashable fame about how he uses Twitter. is the world’s largest blog focused exclusively on Web 2.0 and Social Networking news, and is a goldmine for anybody interested in what’s happening on the web.

When I first joined Twitter I didn’t really understand its full power and abandoned it for months.  It was only until I started using it regularly again that I realised its potential and got the most out of it, connecting with people like yourself, Gary Vaynerchuk and Guy Kawasaki.  Did you have a similar sort of experience?

mashable twitter
It took me awhile to get into a rhythm, yes.  For a long time, we simply posted links to Mashable articles.  Now, I see it as more of a social media news feed – sharing articles, tidbits, pictures and videos on social media from around the web.  Essentially, I see our feed as an aggregator for everything relating to social media.

Will we still be tweeting in 5 years time?

mashable twitter
5 years is a long time on the web.  If Twitter reaches its fullest potential – becoming a messaging platform akin to IM and email – then we could indeed be tweeting in 5 years.  But there are so many unknowns in that equation that I’d be hesitant to give a definitive “yes”.

Can a big name brand really be trusted when using Twitter and social media in general?

mashable twitter
That depends entirely on the brand.  There are trustworthy brands and untrustworthy ones; brands that seek to serve their customers and those that seek to exploit them.  Social media brings a new level of transparency to our conversations with brands – that, I think, will help the sincere, authentic and genuine brands rise to the top.

What are your thoughts on the power of the ‘Retweet’?

mashable twitter
I like retweeting…the tweets you choose to share say as much about you as the tweets you create yourself.  Retweeting helps good ideas spread.

Did you find out about US Airways Flight 1549 crashing into the Hudson on Twitter or on the regular news?

mashable twitter

Who is the most interesting person you’ve found through Twitter?

mashable twitter
Actually, we discovered Jennifer Van Grove (@jbruin) through her Twitter account.  She’s now one of Mashable’s lead writers.

What prompted the move from ‘@petecashmore’ to ‘@mashable’?

mashable twitter
I’m not a big fan of talking about myself.  I’d rather talk about issues, and get behind a cause – like social media.  A “Mashable” branded account lets me focus on that and keep the personal stuff to a minimum.

Do you feel that the majority of your 40,000 followers came via Mashable’s reputation or has Twitter allowed you to reach a new audience also?

mashable twitter
No doubt our reputation helped a great deal, but I also feel that Twitter has brought the Mashable brand to new readers who wouldn’t necessarily call themselves tech geeks: people interested in media, marketing, communication and branding.

Have you ever had an accidental DM go public?

mashable twitter
Yup.  I seem to recall it was something fairly mundane, like confirming a meeting.  Even so, you get a moment of panic when you realize that your supposedly private message just got blasted to tens of thousands of people…you can’t take it back again.

How has Twitter helped/changed Mashable?

mashable twitter
Twitter is both a blessing and a curse to bloggers.  It has dramatically increased the speed with which news travels, but it also makes our job – filtering through that information – a greater challenge.  It creates more signal, but also more noise.  It spurns conversations around blogs, but makes those conversations more widely dispersed.  Most of all, it provides immediate feedback on our content in a way that wasn’t possible before.

Do you feel we are losing our ‘real life’ social skills with the rise in social media?

mashable twitter
No: it’s a medium that’s inherently about communication.

Has Twitter made it easier to engage with your audience rather than replying to hundreds of emails a day?

mashable twitter
I think it has made it easier to relate to our readers and get to know them as people, yes.

Who would you recommend following on Twitter?

mashable twitter
So many!   From the Mashable team, of course @adamostrow, @sharonfeder, @adamhirsch, @seanpaune, @khartline, @brett, @tamar and @franticnews.

Beyond those, I find myself constantly reading tweets from @prsarahevans (PR and social media tweets), @jowyang (social strategy) and @breakingnewson (breaking news).


Pete, that was brilliant.  I owe you a pint or two.  It’s fantastic to get an insight into Mashable’s use of Twitter. Thanks!

Further Interviews

I’ve interviewed a whole host of other Internet gurus over the past few weeks including Guy Kawasaki, Tim O’Reilly, ProBlogger, Smashing Magazine and Chris Coyier so don’t forget to check them out.

Be sure and follow me at @paddydonnelly if you want to find out first about more exciting Twitter interviews :)

Comments (5)

  1. CBelieu

    28 Jan

    great Blog site I love the layout. I like the Q&A format. And permission to stalk ingenious. See you on twitter!

  2. great interview- i would have to agree the same thing happen to me. i started out not using twitter much now i am ranked 96/100 just for being active and my passion for business/ technical writing is finally getting noticed :) glad i can help other fellow twitterholics-
    justinrfrench sunny San Diego

  3. rosie

    2 Feb

    Thanks so much for sharing your expertise. I feel that Twitter affords many of us an opportunity to learn from some of the giants with peeks into their genius.

  4. Jennifer Bongar

    6 Mar

    How do you twitter: IamPaddy?

    I’m looking forward to the interview.


  1. I Am Paddy » How Did They Twitter?