Mashable.com is an outstanding source of news about social media, and I read it daily. The Mashable Awards, on the other hand, are considerably less useful. They used to be more so, but perhaps the pace of major new developments in social media and mobile computing has slowed quite a bit and competition is less stiff, but the winners this year, for the most part, inspire a big yawn. I’d argue they’ve become the People’s Choice Awards of Social Media, awards that go to predictable recipients. They’ve even got their own MashBash gala in Vegas. (It’s sure to be a blast and I wish I could go, but it’s hard not to poke fun at it, since I’m using this metaphor.)
At the risk of sounding like an elitist, the People’s Choice Awards are really nothing more than a reiteration of what we already know from other sources. They tell us that the public really liked certain artists, movies, records, tv shows, etc., last year and that they spent money because of it. They are a popularity contest. Someone receives an award for “Best” Whatever, but it is really an award for Best Selling or Most Popular Whatever.
Has it become the same with the Mashable Awards? Is Facebook really the “Best Social Network” or is it merely far too many times larger than it’s nearest competitors for any other network to gather nearly enough votes? When voting for a winner is open to the general public, how can anything but the the most popular apps and sites win? Check out the winners in all the categories and decide for yourself. Let me know what you think. Do you agree with them? Where do you go for the most reliable evaluations of Social Media or mobile apps?