There is no denial that Mashable articles are trendy and to the point, but so are articles on Techcrunch, ReadWriteWeb, and the Business Insider. Whenever something newsworthy breaks, all four sites (and others) typically fight each other to be the first to publish that article. The sites also fight for the most amount of comments, retweets, and social shares.
With the launch of Mashable Follow, the site sets itself apart from its competition — and pretty much every other blog out there — by requiring registration. If you want to read an article, go for it. But if you are inspired to add a comment (either to the author or an existing commentator), you must have either a Twitter or Facebook account and be willing to sign-in to Mashable through that third-party channel. The prior Disqus-enabled commenting system (which allowed for commenting by both anonymous people and by those without Twitter/Facebook accounts) is gone.
I’ll write that again: If you don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account, you are not able to add a comment to Mashable.
Comparing the commenting abilities on Disqus vs the new Mashable Follow system, founder Pete Cashmore explains:
The benefits of the new comments system are:
1. Faster loading pages
2. A single user profile (instead of one for Mashable and one for Disqus)
3. Updates in your feed when your friends post comments
4. Ability to build a following on Mashable due to integrated Follow buttons.
We’re never keen to take features away, but ultimately we think this native system provides a better user experience.
How is this a better user experience if the only people using it are 1) savvy enough to know how to create an account, and 2) caring enough to create networks on the website? Danny Brown was on to something when he opined why a vanilla commenting system is better than a third-party system. There is nothing vanilla about Mashable Follow when it requires one to have an account somewhere else first. No?