Yes, ladies and gentlemen — the Jason Calacanis era at AOL appears to be over. Although the only response from the great man himself has been a terse “no comment,” the writing is on the wall. The rumours first started to fly after the news that AOL exec Jon Miller, whom Calacanis has described as a “mentor,” departed the Time Warner
soul-sucking vortex unit.
Personal prickliness aside, I think Jason has been doing his best to remake Netscape into something substantial, although I still don’t know whether
bribing paying the top posters at Digg and Reddit to work for him was really the best strategy. But hey — it got lots of press, both real and blogospheric, and that’s something.
That said, it was essentially a copycat approach, and my sense is that it hasn’t really been going all that well traffic-wise. Muhammad Saleem, a top Digger and Netscape poster, has some thoughts, and so does my friend Tony Hung. Nick Denton, who only recently seized the helm at the listing Valleywag, tastefully posts his thoughts about his old blogging nemesis under the category “obituary.” Nice.
I for one will be interested to see what Jason comes up with next. I think he should get some VC money together and convince Mike Arrington and Om Malik to set up shop together as a blog/advertising network, and maybe roll some other sites in there too — like Techdirt for example. Slam dunk, Jason. Call me.