Jason Calacanis' First New Email Post


Jason Calacanis announced on Friday that he was retiring from blogging. There was a very mixed reaction to the news, with most believing it to be a publicity stunt. Jason said in his farewell post that instead of blogging, he would instead be posting to a mailing list made up of his followers, capped at 750 subscribers. That subscriber limit was reached very quickly, and today Jason sent out his first new ‘post’ to that mailing list, which we have included below.

We expect that moving his posts to a mailing list will not achieve what he has set out for – and that is to have a conversation with the top slice of his readers. Instead, you will likely see his emails re-published, probably on a blog and probably with comments and everything else.

> From: “Jason Calacanis”
> Date: July 13, 2008 11:16:15 AM PDT
> To: jason@binhost.com
> Subject: [Jason] The fallout (from the load out)
> Brentwood, California
> Sunday, July 12th 11:10AM PST.
> Word Count: 1,588
> Jason’s List Subscriber Count: 1,095
> List: http://tinyurl.com/jasonslist
> Team Jason,
> Wow, it’s been an amazing 24 hours since I officially announced my
> retirement from blogging ( http://tinyurl.com/jasonretires ). As
> you’ve probably seen there has been some of coverage of my retirement,
> most of it wondering if I’m joking or not (links at the bottom). To
> those who know me better than a couple of Valleywag headlines, am I
> ever not joking??!? I mean, Clark Kent asked a question in the faux
> Q&A session, I posted a photo of Michael Jordan’s retirement, and I
> spoke about spending more time with my family (as in my wife and two
> bulldogs).
> Clearly I was joking in the post, but I’m dead serious about the
> retirement from blogging.

> Most folks have no tolerance for ambiguity, and when faced with it are
> extremely uncomfortable. This lack of comfort makes them think, and my
> goal with the blog was always to challenge people’s thinking–most of
> all my own. Confusion is attention of the best kind–I long to be
> confused. I’ve become addicted to playing poker because your
> constantly faced with confusion, and winning is trying to make sense
> out of nonsense.
> Is blogging dead?
> ————————-
> Yes, it is. Officially. :-)
> Actually, I’ve been thinking about this question and while blogging is
> clearly booming, there has been a deep qualitative change in the
> nature of the ‘sphere. There are so many folks involved in blogging to
> today, and it’s moving at a much quicker pace thanks to “social
> accelerants” like TechMeme, digg, Friendfeed and Twitter. Folks are so
> desperate to be heard–and we all want to be heard that’s why we
> blog–that the effort put into being heard has eclipsed the actual
> hearing.
> Bloggers spend more time digging, tweeting, and SEOing their posts
> than they do on the posts themselves. In the early days of blogging
> Peter Rojas, who was my blog professor, told me what was required to
> win at blogging: “show up every day.” In 2003 and 2004 that was the
> case. Today? What’s required is a team of social marketers to get your
> message out there, and a second one to manage the fall-out from
> whatever you’ve said.
> Think: Nick Denton has reworked the bloggers pay at Gawker Media to
> reflect not the quality of the words but the number of page views
> those blog posts get. He doesn’t pay by word count, he pays by page
> views. He’s closed the loop between editorial and advertising, turning
> the Chinese wall into a block party. It’s the publishing promised land
> while simultaneously being the death of publishing. Gawker is growing
> page views while simultaneously destroying it’s brand equity. This
> will either result in an implosion, or the perfect id-driven magazine
> where our core desires are synchronized in relation to their
> marketability. It will be fun to watch, but I wouldn’t want to be one
> of those bloggers in the cage, running on the Denton’s wheel.
> Excelling in blogging today is about link-baiting, the act of writing
> something inflammatory in order to get a link. Many folks say I’m
> responsible for link-baiting–these people are absolute idiots. I’ve
> never tried to get any of these insecure, lonely freaks to link to
> something I’ve said. :-)
> Truth be told, I’ve always written the way I talk–honestly and
> without a filter. John Brockman explained to me at one time that some
> of the most interesting folks he’s met have, over time, become less
> vocal. He explained, that there was a inverse correlation between your
> success and your ability to tell the truth. When I met John I was
> nobody and I promised myself I would never, ever censor myself if I
> become successful. My friend, and one of the few folks I’d consider a
> mentor, Mark Cuban laid a path for me to follow in this regard. I wish
> I could say I’ve succeeded, the best I can say is I’ve tried.
> My good friend Xeni Jardin, who I had the pleasure of working/playing
> with for a couple of years in another life, faced massive assault from
> the audience she herself built at Boingboing.net. These folks were not
> attacking her because of what she did (she deleted some old posts for
> personal reasons), they were attacking her because they could. They
> were attacking her because open-media (i.e. blogging) has turned into
> an excuse for bad behavior. It’s outrageous to think that an audience
> would turn on the author they love and built up for years over
> something so trivial as deleting some posts.
> Then again, they booed Dylan when he went electric in Newport and all
> along his tour of Europe. They called him Judas, but he didn’t believe
> them. I hope Xeni doesn’t believe them–they’re liars.
> Why email?
> ——————–
> In a word, intimacy. This message will go from my inbox to your inbox,
> perhaps from my Blackberry to your iPhone. From my sleepy garden
> office in Brentwood to your laptop perched on a desk in some high-rise
> hotel in Shanghai or your crummy little studio on the LES. I’m
> stopping my day to write it, and you’ll stop your day to read
> it–perhaps. Maybe you’ll save this, or forward it to some friends
> with certain sections in bold. There is zero tolerance for waste in
> personal communication, so if you don’t find value in this email
> you’ll delete it and maybe remove yourself from the list. You would do
> the same if someone started boring you at a cocktail party, no? Find a
> graceful way to get the hell out of there, and in email it’s one
> click.
> This platform puts a level playing field between us that is so
> different than me posting to my blog which gets swept up in the Google
> and Yahoo machine, sending thousands of visitors who haven’t made the
> email commitment.
> Also, there is an immediacy to this. At any point you can hit the
> reply key (or forward) and send your thoughts directly to me at
> jason@calacanis.com. This is much different than you posting to my
> comments section and subjecting yourself to the trolls and haters who
> have taken up residency there.
> Why should we all build our homes and give residence to the trolls
> under them? Comments on blogs inevitably implode, and we all accept it
> under the belief that “open is better!” Open is not better. Running a
> blog is like letting a virtuoso play for 90 minutes are Carnegie Hall,
> and then seconds after their performance you run to the back Alley and
> grab the most inebriated homeless person drag them on stage and ask
> them what they think of the performance they overheard in the Alley.
> They then take a piss on the stage and say “F-you” to the people who
> just had a wonderful experience for 90 or 92 minutes. That’s openness
> for you… my how far we’ve come! We’ve put the wisdom of the deranged
> on the same level as the wisdom of the wise.
> You and I now have a direct relationship, and I’m cutting the mailing
> list off today so it stays at ~1,000 folks. I’ll add selectively to
> the list, but for now I’m more interested in a deep relationship with
> the few of you have chosen to make a commitment with me. Perhaps some
> of you will become deep, considered colleagues and friends–something
> that doesn’t happen for me in the blogosphere any more.
> Much of my inspiration for doing this comes from what I’ve seen with
> John Brockman’s Edge.org email newsletter. When it enters my inbox I’m
> inspired and focused. I print it, and I don’t print anything. The
> people that surround him are epic, and that’s my inspiration–to be
> surrounded by exceptional people.
> The Feedback
> ———————-
> Ted Leonsis, another mentor to me over the years, thinks I’m pulling a
> Brett Favre. Perhaps. Background: Ted is responsible for Weblogs, Inc.
> being bought by AOL, and he spoke at the *first* event I ever did
> called “Meet the Alley” in 1997. The event took place at Pseudo.com
> and the air conditioner broke. It was August, and it was 100 degrees.
> Ted went on and gave an amazing talk. When Ted spoke about content on
> the Internet back in 94-96 time frame I was 23 years old and I knew
> what I wanted to do with my life: I wanted to be Ted. Weblogs, Inc.
> was version of his AOL Greenhouse, and Mahalo is a souped up version
> of AOL. http://www.tedstake.com/?p=2504
> Sarah Lacy says blogging is at a cross-roads and she gets where I’m
> coming from. I’ve known Sarah for a couple of years now, and she’s
> become a personality on the Web 2.0 circuit thanks to her book “Once
> You’re Lucky, Twice Your Good,” a book in which I get very few
> mentions (not that I’m counting them.. 384, really? :-). She too has
> felt the harsh mob mentality, also known as “the wisdom of the
> crowds.” For the record, crowds are really frackin’ stupid and to put
> your stock in crowds is about as bright as putting your faith in a
> dictator–they’ll love you for as long as they feel like it, then
> they’ll ripe you apart without mercy. Also, has anyone else noticed
> that women like Sarah and Xeni get treated 10x as harsh as men do in
> the blogosphere? Another reason to opt out.
> http://tinyurl.com/6fz4qd
> SarahinTampa.com says: “It’s like he hit the nail on the head of
> everything that’s wrong with blogging today…at least for me.”
> http://tinyurl.com/56f3f6
> A bunch of other folks have commented on the story, and you can see
> their reactions on TechMeme:
> http://www.techmeme.com/080712/p14#a080712p14
> Jim Kukal says it’s the death of the A-list:
> http://www.jimkukral.com/the-death-of-the-a-list/
> Scoble says it’s a farce:
> http://tinyurl.com/62n649
> All the best,
> Jason
> _______________________________________________
> Jason mailing list
> Jason@binhost.com
> https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/jason

More TechCrunch

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

1 day ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

1 day ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo

Sony Music Group has sent letters to more than 700 tech companies and music streaming services to warn them not to use its music to train AI without explicit permission.…

Sony Music warns tech companies over ‘unauthorized’ use of its content to train AI