I have to say I’m not a huge fan of Mahalo.com, the “people-powered” search engine from Jason Calacanis, but then I’m not really the target market (as Jason has pointed out in comments here before). And I can see how it might be useful to some people, if they’re looking for just one or two results. But as skeptical as I am, I look like Jason’s biggest supporter compared to Andrew Baron of Rocketboom, who wrote a recent post entitled “Why Mahalo is Fundamentally Flawed.”
I’m not sure what happened between Jason and Andrew, although I know that Jason offered Amanda Congdon a job after her acrimonious departure as the host of Rocketboom, and he also made some fun of Rockeboom (in what I thought was a kind-hearted way) in a recent Mahalo video. But still — Andrew doesn’t just criticize Mahalo for a few flaws in his post. He effectively accuses Jason of perpetrating a gigantic con, in which he pretends to set up a site to help people find search results, but in reality just wants to get them to click on his ads.
It’s interesting to read the comments on Andrew’s post as well: Jason shows up and gamely tries to respond to the criticisms, and also disproves Andrew’s claim that there are no positive reviews of Mahalo other than Jason’s (which Andrew wriggles out of by saying they aren’t credible). Then, after a comment from Duncan Riley of TechCrunch, the Rocketboom founder wonders whether Duncan’s comment came after a “nudge for a voucher,” whatever that means. It’s bizarre.
Just for the record, I have nothing against Andrew — he was a panelist at the original mesh conference last year, and we were happy to have him — and I think he was a pioneer with Rocketboom. But his vendetta against Jason seems more than a little over the top.