(Note: use your real name and a real email address. I only approve folks with real names).
“It’s with a heavy heart, and much consideration, that today I would like to announce my retirement from blogging.”
Jason McCabe Calacanis, July 11th 2008.
This was an extremely difficult decision, and I haven’t made it lightly. After five years I’m not sure I know any other way of being but the blog, but at some point you have to hang it up. I know that I had made the right decision for me and my family. I am very proud of the success that we have had in blogging and I leave the game with few regrets.
To be sure, I am going to miss blogging. I am going to miss the relationships with my fellow bloggers. I am going to miss the readers. I am going to miss the great friends that I have made over this time. I am going to miss all the good times that we have had together. But most of all, I am going to miss the comments.*
Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been linked to from so many blogs over the five years, and I have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.**
Calacanis PR rep: At this point Mr. Calacanis will take a couple of questions (you can post to the comment if you like).
“What now?” Saul Hansell, New York Times:
Starting today all of my thoughts will be reserved for a new medium. Something smaller, something more intimate, and something very personal: an email list. Today the email list has about 600 members, I’m going to cut it off when it reaches 750. Frankly, that’s enough more than enough people to have a conversation with. I’m going to try and build a deeper relationship with fewer people–try to get back to my roots.
“Why now?” Allen Stern, Center Networks.
That’s complicated as they say on Facebook. Let’s me try and explain my thinking.
First, please don’t take this as a condemnation of blogging. I love blogs and always will. However, I’ve done my part and I’m looking to strip it down. I’m looking for something more acoustic, something more authentic and something more private. Blogging is simply too big, too impersonal, and lacks the intimacy that drew me to it.
The “a-list” pressure, the TechMeme leaderboard debates, and constant accusations of link-baiting are now too much of a distraction. I’ve never link-baited in my entire career–I just spoke from the heart for better or worse. If people want to say honesty is link-baiting fine–that’s on them, not me. If they want to turn link-baiting into a science and dissect every detail of my posts in order to reverse engineering that’s fine, but it wont work. Link-baiting doesn’t exist to me, so trying to figure out how it’s done is a fool’s errand.
Today the blogosphere is so charged, so polarized, and so filled with haters hating that it’s simply not worth it. I’d rather watch from the sidelines and be involved in a smaller, more personal, conversation.
“Will you come out of retirement at some point?” Clark Kent, Daily Planet
No. Absolutely not. This is not a Michael Jordan or Jay-Z ploy. I’m done. It’s not over one instance, and it’s not because–give me a minute [editor's note: Calacanis looked down, fighting back his emotions]–I can’t handle the pressures of being an A-list blogger. This is a very personal choice that I’ve discussed with my family, and it’s the direction we want to go. I’ve done blogging and now it’s time for the next chapter.
“If you would change anything over your career would you?” Brian Williams, NBC
Not that I can think of. Well, maybe I wouldn’t have published that story on YouTube not being a real business, or maybe I wouldn’t have wasted the energy on destroying PayPerPost… but you know, that’s all hindsight and I live in the moment for better or worse. I never said I was perfect [audience laughs]… you did.
[Williams: an even bigger laugh from the audience. Cameras flash, Calacanis hugs some associates including Brian Alvey, Peter Rojas, Mark Cuban, and Jon Miller before leaving the stage--his face in his hand to cover the tears. I can say personally I've experienced few things this emotional in 35 years of broadcasting.].
Calacanis PR rep: Thank you folks, that’s all we have time for. We would like to ask you to respect the privacy of Jason and his family, especially his bulldogs Taurus and Fondue who are very young and not used to this level of media attention. Mr. Calacanis would like to have some private time and this moment. We will be providing transcripts and photos following this event.
* Special thanks to Dan Marino for the inspiration.
** Special thanks to Lou Gehrig for the inspiration.