I can’t tell if Jason Calacanis is just trolling for some Techmeme reaction on a weekend (which he has certainly gotten in spades) or in a grump because he’s been sick, but his post about Facebook bankruptcy and closing off comments is a doozy. I’ll leave the Facebook part to Fred Wilson and others to respond to, except to say that it seems pretty simple to me: don’t want as many requests for things? Then don’t friend so many people.
The Facebook thing doesn’t bother me that much — like Fred, the Web and blogs are more important to me than some closed system, however appealing. And that’s why I find the part about Jason closing his blog to comments more troubling, for reasons I have expressed before, including a recent post about Joel Spolsky’s take on comments and one about Marc Andreessen also deciding to close comments.
Like Scott Rafer, I am more than a little disturbed by Jason’s comment that:
“If you donâ€™t have a blog â€“ which takes 10 minutes to setup â€“ then maybe youâ€™re not worthy of commenting, or others reading your comments.”
A comment typed in haste, perhaps — but that sounds pretty elitist to me. Yes, it’s easy to start a blog, but not everyone has the time or the inclination. By preventing those people from commenting, it’s true that you avoid the idiots as Jason says, but you also miss some thoughtful contributions as well, as Fred Wilson has also pointed out.
Jason says that his response to the elitism charge is:
“I’m 100% available to the entire world by SMS, email, AIM, Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, Twitter, and blog post. If someone want to reach me they can — that negates your whole elitist argument.
It is not my job to give people the platform, it’s their job to take it… It’s not elitism, it’s a meritocracy.”
Fair enough. But by building barriers, such as the “invitation-only” comments that Jason seems to admire, I think we are sending the wrong message to those who are still trying to wrap their heads around the whole blogging thing.