As many of you are aware, Jason Calacanis of Mahalo, went into retirement from blogging on July 11th. Claiming he needed to find his new voice, he set out on a quest to build an ‘intimate mailing list’ to host discussions on.
In a recent blog post, an update on his retirement, Jason says he is having a wonderful time writing his emails to his ‘intimate email group” (since when is 3000+ considered intimate?)…he continues: “I’ve been writing 2-5k word thought pieces on the email list, and I’ve found it to be very rewarding in a way that the mud pit of blogging isn’t.”
My thoughts are:
1. How is blogging a mudpit, and does that make us bloggers pigs? If so I feel a bit insulted.
2. Isn’t writing 2k+ ‘thought pieces’ the same as blogging just in a different format? I mean blog comes from the word weblog, which is a log of information on the web, a journal so to speak of one’s thoughts and opinions, whether it’s posted to a website or sent over email, in my opinion he’s still blogging.
3. It appears to me that this is somewhat of a scam like his twitter follower campaign, and other such to build a bigger audience for himself and mahalo. Everyone knows that the money is in your ‘list’. I’m not saying building a newsletter is bad, but if you want people to subscribe to your newsletter, don’t do it by trickery, just come out and say it.
Darren Rowse from Problogger says that before you do anything you need to build a list, and should start a newsletter on day one of your blog’s launch. There are just so many people who still don’t use feed readers that can benefit from your blog, and you can benefit from their visiting your site it’s a win-win.
Jason Calacanis continues his blog post : “Now I still love blogs: still read them, still comment on them…. but I’m trying to find my voice again–my true voice. There is something about the acoustic, intimate nature of email that is impacting how I write. I’m writing every sentence as if I’m looking someone in the eye and speaking directly to them. I’m thinking about the economy of words again. I’m trying to say things in as few words as possible, and I’m cutting sentences, paragraphs and pages more than I’m publishing them. I’m proof reading again, and C.K. Sample is proofing for me. It’s a new, slower and more considered process and I’m loving it. I’ve published ten emails or so and I’ve thrown away at least 30. Somethings happening, but I don’t know what it is.”
When he says “I’m writing every sentence as if I’m looking someone in the eye and speaking directly to them.” I’m thinking, isn’t that how blogs are? That’s at least how I’ve always wrote my blog, as if I’m writing an intimate letter to a long lost friend…
He also says “I’m thinking about the economy of words again. I’m trying to say things in as few words as possible, and I’m cutting sentences, paragraphs and pages more than I’m publishing them. I’m proof reading again,” and I’m thinking economy of words?
Didn’t you say your ’emaillog'(not to be confused with a weblog of course) are 2k-5k word thought pieces? How is that economical at all?
“Over 100 folks respond to every email and I try to respond to every single person. Some of these emails are five pages and I read every single word. No one else sees these words–they are between me and the reader and that is also wonderful and true. Posting to the comment section of a blog is meaningless when compared to sending an email containing your thoughts inteneded for the author. Folks say very, very deep, true and honest things in one to one communications that they can’t say in a blog comment. I love that.”
Call my cynical, but the tone is that of perhaps a hippie(and I’m a very liberal person, hell I voted for Dennis Kucinich), or someone in a midlife crisis, or perhaps someone post stroke, maybe he’s been playing with model kits in a non-ventilated room, your guess is as good as mine. No offense but it’s like he’s living in a dream land. If he were writing blog pieces people could still email him from the blog if he so choosed to put up a contact form right at the bottom of each post or such.
Bottom line: Jason Calacanis if you’re really retired from blogging, more power to you, but why not stop blogging about being retired from blogging, seriously. I know blogging is addictive, and there are places that can help you with your addiction. (that last line was sarcasm, in case you weren’t paying attention…)
- Do Blogs/Bloggers Have Expiry Dates?
- It’s the end…
- Jason Nation leads to resignation [Jason Calacanis]