Jason Calacanis retires – Death of the blogging A-list or just a prank?

July 12, 2008

Jason Calacanis retires - Death of the blogging A-list or just a prank?Jason Calacanis, owner of Mahalo, and celebrity blogger, has just announced his retirement from blogging. This is either a complete non-story, the beginning of the end for blogging, or a wind-up, depending on who you listen to. Or it could signal the end of the blogging A-list.

Jason Calacanis is one of those bloggers that every other blogger knows about. There are others, such as Robert Scoble, Michael Arrington, Dave Winer and many more. They all have a few things in common – they’re bloggers, they’re opinionated, and they’re Web celebrities. At least for now.

Calacanis is currently the CEO of Mahalo, who writes, or at least wrote, a blog at Calacanis.com. And now, he has retired… maybe. He wrote what is meant to be his final blog post yesterday, a heartfelt goodbye to blogging, where he announces his retirement, and claims to be scaling everything back to just an intimate mailing list of 750 people.

There’s a few things about the post which lead me to thinking this is one huge wind-up, in an effort to drive traffic to the blog, and obviously up the people registering for the mailing list. There’s the emotional element to it, which seems way over the top, especially as he’s not exactly leaving the Internet completely. And then the big giveaway of answering a question asked by Clark Kent, of the Daily Planet.

Assuming that it is real, and not just a prank to get on Techmeme over the weekend, then what does this signal? If you listen to Mathew Ingram’s opinion on the whole thing, then this is all a complete and utter pile of nonsense. Whereas Jim Kukral thinks this could be the beginning of the end of the A-list bloggers.

Being a blogger myself, I don’t think blogging is going anywhere soon, although it will obviously evolve over the next few years to include mediums other than the written word, and become more of a conversation than it sometimes is now. The A-list could be on the way out though, as more and more bloggers move in to the middle ground and become well-known.

But even if that happens, Jason Calacanis’ alleged retirement doesn’t signal anything. It’s just a guy looking for some new followers. Maybe I’ve just added to the publicity he is gaining from all of this, but I don’t think it will do him much good in the long term, as people realise they’ve been had.

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