I know that the goodbye post written by Mahalo supremo Jason Calacanis for his blog is supposedly heartfelt, and full of what he no doubt believes (or hopes we will believe) is authentic human emotion, but it still feels all wrong. Is it the fact that it reads like a bad script? Perhaps. And the fact that the photo Jason uses is from Michael Jordan’s retirement press conference (his second, I have to note) probably doesn’t help. Or maybe it’s the fact that in the script, Jason’s PR rep says that the great man is “fighting back his emotions” and asks the (theoretically) attended throng to “respect the privacy” of his bulldogs.

Or maybe it’s the idea that Jason — a man who uses Twitter, and his blog, and every other social-media tool he can think of, to relentlessly pump Mahalo — is giving up blogging because he craves something more “acoustic and authentic.” That part stretches believability to the breaking point. If anything, an email newsletter is a step backwards into megaphone and pulpit land; which makes sense, I suppose, since I have a hunch Jason much prefers the one-way pulpit to the two-way blogosphere. And when Jason promoted his new email list on FriendFeed, he said it was an “insider” list and was for: “insiders only, please — no casual folks.” Seriously, who talks like that? Not even Jason could be so totally without even a stitch of self-awareness.

But the real giveaway is comments like this one, made on FriendFeed about his departure, in which he says that “Your dignified questions and responses are appreciated during this very emotional time for me.” That’s just too much — even for someone like Jason. That hasn’t stopped some people from taking his comments about blogging very seriously, including some who usually know better, but I am calling BS on this one. I refuse to believe it — and if it is true, I refuse to care :-)

About the author

Mathew 2430 posts

I'm a Toronto-based senior writer with Fortune magazine, and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

41 Responses to “Jason’s long goodbye: Give me a break”
  1. I'm with you on this one Mathew. My gut reaction is that this a silly staged actions.

  2. Matthew you said it — that's exactly how it felt to me, like a bad script.

  3. Seems just a wee bit publicity oriented but then again I have been accused of being jaded. I have to agree with you not that it really matters as I don't personally know him or anything.

  4. Everyone's a cynic. Scripted or not, it made me think a lot about what blogging means to me today and what's wrong with it, too.

  5. Defiantly not true, I'm hoping to post about it tonight or tomorrow. Classic Calacanis!

  6. He's been hanging around Feldman too much. The drama only works for some people. You're either in show business or you're not. I call b.s. too. The walls are crumbling.

  7. […] Later that same day, Jason Calacanis decides to tell the world he’s quitting blogging in a dramatic long-form blog post. Six months ago, this might have caught on and made the front page of Techmeme (for those who still read it), but right about now, most people are calling drama or bullshit. […]

  8. It does feel stagy, but if he is really gone — I'll miss the laughs. All things considered, Jason adds a certain carnival barker flair to the blogosphere.

  9. It was about this time in the last couple of years that Jason took a break. Maybe a little earlier. It was just before Mahalo launched. My first thought when I saw today's goodbye post was that Mahalo is on the verge of being acquired or else he's working on something new.

    Since he's mostly been blogging Mahalo links lately, I'm inclined to think the self-imposed mailing list/blogger outage is really a way to black himself out before he moves to the next level. He's been at Mahalo for how long? People like Jason don't ever stay in one place very long. If Mahalo is stable and growing, he may be fixing to move on to the next project.

  10. I am beginning to like you more Matthew Ingram. There needs to be more honesty out there. Jason Calcanis seemed to come off to me as a slick salesmen type… lots of fluff, no depth. Mahalo doesn't really help his reputation in my opinion…

  11. how could jason give up the blog – that's his main source of seo to mahalo – where's sean when you need him

  12. “I refuse to care”
    As should everyone :-)

  13. […] but just like Jason’s desire to limit comments when and where he feels like it — and I totally agree with Mat Ingram on this one — its more of a pulpit than anything else, where, like “old” or […]

  14. Yeah but you gotta admit, 'acoustic' was pretty poetic.

  15. […] Mathew Ingram calls BS on Jason Calacanis’s retirement press release […]

  16. Calacanis is the master of online manipulation. Now you see me, now you don't. Like NFL quarterback Brent Favre, who now wants to unretire, Calacanis will be back because he's can't help himself.

  17. What's Maholo, isn't that the company where the puppets live?

  18. Am I the only one who immediately thought of Bret Favre when hearing of this? That every time a Big Name athlete 'retires' (Jordan a great example), he can't stay on the sidelines for more than a few months (Clemens, thelist could go on) and 'un retires', only to retire again, and so on. Calacanis is mocking that, in my opinion, and playing it for some attention getting tunes.

  19. Dave Winer pulled the same stunt. Never retired. Publicity stunt. Jason is entertaining for sure.

  20. I actually thought it was intended as parody.

  21. I felt the same way when I read it. I call a bluff. Thanks for the additional insight.

  22. All I have to say is that I hope he doesn't let the door hit him on his ass on the way out. Whether staged or reality, it's just beyond comprehension.

    Why not just walk away without saying a single word? Oh, I know, he needs some form of self-fulfillment and gratification so he's assured his decision was the right one.

    Bleh. Lame.

  23. Mathew, love the post. Silicon Valley has turned into the tech version of Beverly Hills 90210. Integrity and ingenuity are gone, replaced by bling and poularity contests and stunts. Hence, why VC's are losing their shirts and IPO's have dried up.

    Great work. Canada rocks!


  24. […] editor Tony Hung from his sleep. He’s calling it bullshit, as is Scoble, while Matthew Ingram thinks it is just too much to be really true. Time will tell, it could be a pretty clever PR hoax to pimp his mailing list, […]

  25. […] many of us on the [nw] web have [nw] called bullshit [nw] on this announcement that Calacanis has retired from […]

  26. Whatever keeps him off the interwebs is fine with me. I just pray that he never gets my email address.

  27. […] blogosphere’s immediate reaction — which seems to be about 40% rational (Jason’s playing everyone yet again/this means nothing) and 60% utterly irrational (regurgitation of the “why […]

  28. There are so many bloggers out there who've never heard of Jason, and who really don't care whether he “retires” and goes back to email or not. They're too busy trying to keep their small businesses going, and blogging works for them on a lot of different levels.–and yes, sounds like a whole bunch of drama for sure.

  29. […] Mahalo’s Jason Calacanis announced he was quitting blogging, the tech blogosphere responded with a collective eyeroll. After all, his decision to move to an email-based newsletter sounded so last-decade. Who uses […]

  30. Damn! I was suckered in.

    Thanks to Mathew and Jim my perspective has been refocused.

  31. […] 12, 2008 Jason Calacanis is no longer maintaining his blog. More can be read on the subject here, here, here, and […]

  32. […] this has garnered a fair degree of interest, skepticism and bewilderment from the blogosphere and of course there has been the predictable allegation of […]

  33. […] Or, like Mathew Ingram says, “give me a break.” […]

  34. It is still unclear to me why Calacanis made his decision to quit blogging. What kind of ‘private’ topics does he want to discuss in his mail list? Personally I do not believe in email newsletters and often regard them as spam despite of their subject.

  35. It is still unclear to me why Calacanis made his decision to quit blogging. What kind of ‘private’ topics does he want to discuss in his mail list? Personally I do not believe in email newsletters and often regard them as spam despite of their subject.

  36. […] whole uproar over Jason Calacanis quitting blogging has to be one of the most ludicrous bitchmemes / bitchfeeds ever. I was going to go back and read […]

  37. […] Calacanis’ retirement from bloging. Like others makes me cry foul and […]

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