For some reason Mashable, the blog about social networking and digital trends, fired it’s Editor-At-Large Ben Parr. So ends a rather long run for a young man who’s star was rising in the tech news community, and who worked hard in his assent from reporter – he was at the YouTube Partner Meetup in 2009 – to editor.
Parr was also at the VidBlogger Nation dinner in San Francisco, where he claimed he was married to Hermoine Way…
But something happened for Mashable to allow the firing of Parr to be public news. The information started as an email, and spread from there. A vlogging friend told this vlogger what happened to Ben, but didn’t know why. Whatever happened, Ben got $250,000 before his ouster, so he’s not really bad off at all. Still, it does beg the question of what happened to have him get booted by Mashable Founder and CEO Pete Cashmore?
A number of blogs, notably Oobly.com, report that Parr and Cashmore had some kind of falling out over a compensation package, and that Parr wanted cash, and not stock, and that led to his firing – news that seems a bit fishy. It reads like extortion: ‘pay me or else,’ or something like that.
Oobly.com also points to Mashable’s concern for getting more pageviews as some reason for the release of not just Ben, but the departure of other writers like Brenna Ehrlich, Jolie O’Dell, Radhika Marya, Jennifer Van Grove, and Erica Swallow.
But, hey folks, getting more pageviews and unique visitors (the measure of website value) is part of the Internet game – it leads to more revenue and value for the site. And at a time when there are more sites and platforms completing for attention, more of both is more important than ever. For sites like Oobly.com to make an issue of that is really weird.
But I digress.
Ben Parr leaving Mashable is the latest in a string of defections from San Francisco Bay Area tech blogs. Michael Arrington famously left TechCrunch, then forgot he knew black entrepreneurs. Paul Carr departed the same TechCrunch and got into an online row about the blog’s direction with Editor Erick Schonfeld.
OK. Why Care?
But the question is why care? Well, Ok, Ben may not have blogged the blockbuster work that downed or launched a company, but he knows a ton of tech people and keeps good relations with all of them – well most of them. Plus, Ben created a brand of himself within Mashable.
Hopefully he did get $250,000, as widely reported, but as to what happened, that’s not clear – yet.