Five of the best technology websites

Who says blogging doesn’t pay? When Scottish college student Pete Cashmore set up Mashable in 2005, he said he did it because it was “something I could do in bed and feel like I was achieving something”.

This week it has been reported that CNN are in talks to buy his technology news site for “upwards of $200million”.

Cashmore, who grew up in Banchory near Aberdeen, is seen as one of the foremost web entrepreneurs in the United States, where he now has offices in San Francisco and New York. Still aged just 26, he has built Mashable into a site that has over 20million monthly readers and he has well over 2million followers on Twitter.

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Mashable

Mashable’s strength lies in its comprehensive and lightning fast coverage of social media trends, which include list-based guides to getting the most out of services like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But it’s by no means the only kid on the block, and when it comes to the best sources of tech news and gossip online, it’s clear that CNN aren’t the only mainstream media company to see the value in the bloggerly upstarts.

Techcrunch

Founded in 2005, Techcrunch is a close rival to Mashable and covers a similar mix of social media buzz, gadget news and reports on the latest new startups. While it has previously attracted controversy over a writer who allegedly received gifts in return for blog posts, the site is now a major player in the tech world, with its ‘Disrupt’ series of conferences a highlight of the industry calendar. It was bought by web giant AOL in 2010 for $25million.

Gizmodo

In the relentless pursuit of Apple gossip, Gizmodo got itself into hot water in 2010 when it purchased a prototype of the iPhone 4 for $5,000 from a man who found it in a Californian bar - two months before its official release. Editor Jason Chen’s home was subsequently turned over by the cops and his website was barred from all Apple events. Nevertheless, Gizmodo, which started life in 2002, is one of the fastest and most informative sources of tech and gadget news on the net, and last year it launched a dedicated UK version.

Engadget

Blog ranking service Technorati places Engadget as the number one technology website in the world, and it’s this signal of authority, together with a vast array of reviews, galleries and videos, which has contributed to the site’s success. Although it retains the classic blog template, the site boasts a vast array of specialist news on the latest apps, product launches and tech movements.

CNET

If you can’t decide which new smartphone or camera to buy, then a site like CNET has the kind of detailed reviews to help you make an informed choice. One of the first tech sites on the web (founded in 1994), it has grown into a major media force, and was snapped up by CBS Interactive in 2008. If slavering over expensive kit is one of your favourite time-wasting hobbies, then you could spend hours browsing the CNET archive.

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