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No, you are not my friend and you can’t comment here
This column is a reply to a post by Jason Calacanis about Bankruptcy.
From what I can tell, it seems that whenever Jason's ego-booster level drops, he has to do something to get it back in line. It's like when the oil light comes on in your car (no, not a corvette), you have to pull over and drop in a quart. The manual tells you to check your oil level frequently, and Jason is good at making sure that he always has enough oil to hold him until the next station on his journey. Nothing wrong with self-promotion, Jason is one of the true Internet masters at it and he will most likely author a book on the topic someday. Others seem to share the same view.
Earlier this month, Pete at Mashable wrote, "A trend: sometime every Saturday afternoon Eastern Time (now), tech bloggers run low on real news, and a story about bloggers themselves gets an unnecessary amount of airtime." Looks like we have this weekend's winner! That's right, "Facebook/Comment Bankruptcy" is your winner. Please see the cashier at the front for your prize.
Let me summarize Jason's initial post about Facebook Bankruptcy: "I can't keep up with how fast people are adding me, so I am turning it off." I will admit that I am not a Facebook master, so other than "friending" people, I don't know what else is involved. Scoble says it takes him mere seconds to add a friend. I think what happens is that as we add more and more, even more and more want to be added. Jason has 4000 people following him and he is following another 2900 on Twitter. No idea about how many on Facebook. It does seem that Facebook needs a bulk-add option. At the same time, they probably need a follow option as well.
Robert also notes that Facebook is the new rolodex. He is right. These new tools are sometimes a bitch to get configured and setup, but they are replacing the old-school rolodex. The key is to make sure you always have a connection to whatever or whomever you need. I call it the "internal network." It's important to know who to go to when you need x or y. Want to know a real bitch? Having to put the # before every color in a style sheet. I want to declare pound bankruptcy!
NYC venture capitalist Fred Wilson says, "I think Facebook's an important phenomenon, maybe as important as Google over time. That's a big maybe, but you have to pay attention to maybes." Fred also believes removing comments is not the answer for Jason and suggests he take a blogacation (ok I made that word up!). "You can't turn off the comments and have a truly interactive blog with a community. Comments are where it's at in blogging," he says in a reply to Marc Andreessen's comment removal.
Video blogger Loren Feldman says, "Is Jason becoming disillusioned?" Loren says that Jason is a leader and that if he does something, others might follow. Loren is "freaked by it." and suggests that Jason stick in there.
Let's move on to the other part of Jason's bankruptcy: comments. He has deactivated the comments feature from his blog. Absolutely his right to do so however I would not call it a blog anymore. I wrote about comment removal earlier this year. When you can't comment on a blog, then it becomes a Web site. Jason notes, "At the end of the day this blog is a conversation between me and the people I care about." It would be great if he could explain that comment. In my opinion it is no longer a conversation. It's a shout by Jason and a reply somewhere else. The idea of a blog is that I say x, you say y, we discuss and arrive at the answer of Z. Now when I read Jason's posts, I have to go hunt down any objections or agreements, and then try to put all of that together. Now that's a damn lot of work. Jason says he removed comments because of all of the assholes who comment. As a side note, the popular book "The Secret" says that whatever we put out is what comes back to us. No idea if that applies to blogs and comments. I am guessing that Jason could easily afford to get offshore help for comment removal but then he couldn't post about it and we wouldn't have Pete's Sunday news.
Now here is where the real humor comes in! Jason just posted asking for help with his iPhone. And he turned comments on! So when it suits him, he will put on comments. When he needs help, feel free to comment. Otherwise, no comment for you!
I don't know Jason. I only know him based on what I read from him and about him. He seems like a very bright and knowledgeable guy who has obviously made it out of Brooklyn and to the big time, which is awesome. I still hope we get a chance to sit down and talk one day. My emails to him earlier this year went unanswered, only time I got a reply is when I commented that he spelled Neil's name wrong in the SEO battle. His reply was, "Don't be an asshole." Jason invited me to be part of his Mahalocast last month (which I thought went very well and appreciated being part of the panel) and he has commented on CN regarding Mahalo a couple of times. My last emails to him, requesting a TechCrunch20 press pass and a Mahalo page about my startup have gone unanswered.
My guess is that Jason will start accepting Facebook requests and opening blog comments soon. This is just a temporary oil leak. What do you think about all of this "friending" on so many networks and platforms? Overkill or a necessary evil? And should blogs be allowed to disable comments? Leave a comment :-P