Jason’s long goodbye: Give me a break


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 :-)

Comments (27)

  1. StevenHodson wrote::

    I'm with you on this one Mathew. My gut reaction is that this a silly staged actions.

    Friday, July 11, 2008 at 10:55 pm #
  2. Shey wrote::

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

    Friday, July 11, 2008 at 10:58 pm #
  3. Matik72 wrote::

    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.

    Friday, July 11, 2008 at 11:26 pm #
  4. sarahintampa wrote::

    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.

    Friday, July 11, 2008 at 11:49 pm #
  5. mathewi wrote::

    Nothing wrong with that, Sarah.

    Friday, July 11, 2008 at 11:52 pm #
  6. digidave wrote::

    I agree with Sarah here: It does make me think about where blogging is going, but it certainly doesn't make me think that “blogging is dead.” That's the silliest thing I've ever heard.

    Would Michael Jordan declare basketball dead after he retired?

    Shaq and Kobe would certainly disagree.

    Moreover: I understand Jason's complaints about the blogosphere needing to mature, but leaving won't help. In fact, it's stupid. I think he contributed to what he was complaining about (worrying about hype instead of content ala I'll give you a macbook air if you follow me on twitter).

    The solution: Worry about content!!!

    I guess what I'm trying to say is – he should “be the change” – not “be the guy running away.”

    I do want to see the blogosphere mature, that's part of why I'm working on spot.us – but blogging aint going anywhere.

    Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 10:59 pm #
  7. Sean Percival wrote::

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

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 12:21 am #
  8. jimkukral wrote::

    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.

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 12:56 am #
  9. sbspalding wrote::

    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.

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 3:24 am #
  10. Karoli wrote::

    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.

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 3:36 am #
  11. vanchau wrote::

    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…

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 4:31 am #
  12. how could jason give up the blog – that's his main source of seo to mahalo – where's sean when you need him

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 6:39 am #
  13. PXLated wrote::

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

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 7:33 am #
  14. leigh wrote::

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

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 8:25 am #
  15. Mark Evans wrote::

    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.

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 9:43 am #
  16. daveevans wrote::

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

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 11:19 am #
  17. Jeff Crites wrote::

    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.

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 1:55 pm #
  18. John Furrier wrote::

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

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 1:58 pm #
  19. ojbyrne wrote::

    I actually thought it was intended as parody.

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 2:38 pm #
  20. Danny wrote::

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

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 6:29 pm #
  21. jark wrote::

    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.

    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 8:51 pm #
  22. AGORACOM wrote::

    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!


    Saturday, July 12, 2008 at 10:16 pm #
  23. Adam Metz wrote::

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

    Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 6:45 pm #
  24. Tish Grier wrote::

    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.

    Monday, July 14, 2008 at 10:55 am #
  25. iscatterling wrote::

    Damn! I was suckered in.

    Thanks to Mathew and Jim my perspective has been refocused.

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 5:35 am #
  26. 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.

    Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 10:20 pm #
  27. 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.

    Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 2:20 am #

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

  4. […] 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 […]

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  8. […] 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 […]

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

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