When reading the news one should always seek objective viewpoints, even if they contrast with your own. Often we prefer bias in our personal lives. But when it comes to our businesses objectivity is often crucial to success and survival.
Recently Nielsen did a Study with Facebook to look at the impact of paid and earned marketing on Facebook. Remember it is in Facebook's best interest for this report to come out positive. Not sure what Nielsen got out of it, other than codling up with Facebook in case there is a need to measure Social Media sites like they measure TV.
As for Mashable, if Social Media is over hyped, their business falters. They specifically cover Social Media, their CEO Pete Cashmore shamelessly promotes social media in ways that have me think he is being paid too, or has equity stakes in some Social Networks. But Tech Crunch covers a wide swath of Technology. If Social Media falters their business will not take a hit. And if they consistently show they are objective they will earn readers. Think of it as Mashable preaches to their choir, Tech Crunch doesn't have such a choir to preach too. Remember two articles about the same subject. You be the judge.
Tech Crunch Article
This blog has shown skepticism over the effects of Paid Advertising on Social Media Sites since the click through rates for paid ads on Social Media run between 3 and 10 per 10,000 page views. But if you can truly get people talking and sharing about something that is very powerful. In 2009 when Quiznos offered a free sub to the first 250,000 people who signed up on their website by giving an email address I immediately posted that on my Facebook feed which gave a chance for my 260 friends to see.