Jeff Jarvis says
that Jason Calacanis is "the single most competitive person I’ve ever met,"
and quotes an email from him claiming "3-4x the traffic of gizmodo"
for his rival gadget blog, engadget.
(According to Alexa,
engadget’s pageviews are just under 30 million per day, while gizmodo’s are
just over 16 million. The numbers might be wrong, but the relative
numbers are probably pretty solid.) Even an exclusive interview
with Bill Gates, it seems, can’t persuade Calacanis to give his rival Nick Denton
At least Jason Calacanis vs Nick Denton makes conceptual sense. Now, however,
let me present to you… Jason Calacanis vs Steve Jobs! That’s right, in his
latest blog entry, Calacanis menaces Jobs with the threat
that he might stop publishing tuaw.com. "We
need each other Steve," writes Calacanis, "and you trying to bully
us is just unfair and, frankly, pretty ungrateful." Naturally, Jobs is
not in any way trying to bully Calacanis or The Unofficial Apple Weblog: Calacanis
is using the first person plural here to refer to journalists in general, and
specifically – the publisher Apple is suing.
to Alexa, ThinkSecret gets about 2.7 million pageviews per day, while tuaw.com
gets, well, nothing, really. Still, the two sites are competitors, and in that
respect I’m sure that Nick de Plume would be more than happy for Calacanis to
pull his Apple blog. And I’m equally sure that Steve Jobs couldn’t care less
whether Calacanis writes about him or not. But Calacanis isn’t done yet: "you
need to learn to play nice in the sandbox or we’re going to go home, and
I can tell you it’s no fun playing alone," he tells Jobs, apparently
in the belief that if he stops writing about Apple, then so will everybody
Reading this latest post reminded me of the Calacanis
classic from August, wherein our hero faces down two enormous black men
in a gas station forecourt:
I’m five-nine on a good day, and these guys were both well over six
feet. One looked like he just stepped out a gym and the other looked like
he could have been in the WWF he was so—well—large.
I assessed the situation quickly. First I noticed the size of the first guys
neck.—it was big, and was my best shot of taking him out. One punch
to his throat would probably kill him. The other guy, well, he was pretty
round and there was no neck to punch. I’d have to find another target—perhaps
his knees. They couldn’t be very strong since he was carrying all that
extra weight around. One low side kick and that knee would snap like a dry
twig—he wouldn’t be getting up.
This assessment took about two seconds—it’s what I’ve been
trained to do all my life. First by my father and then by the masters of the
ancient art, and I put my odds at about 90% given that they might have a gun.
I’ll save you the suspense: it turns out the two enormous black men are travelling
with their mother, and she ends up saving our Brooklyn hero (who also does a
mean southern accent, we’re told) from having to play those odds. Calacanis
then feels "one the greatest senses of serenity in my life".
I’ll say this for Calacanis: his pathological self-importance can certainly
be entertaining. Needless to say, however, a spokesman for the journalistic
community in general he is not, even if Apple suing ThinkSecret really isn’t
a very nice thing to do.
While I’m on the subject of blogs, by the way, I should also admit here that
I was wrong about Gawker
back in July. "Gawker has never had more than 600,000 unique visitors in
any given month," I wrote then, "and at present rates, it looks as
though it could be a very long time until it does." In fact, it only took
until November: in each of the past two months, Gawker has broken
the 600,000 barrier, and it will
do so again in January. Jessica Coen and Matt Haber might not have the buzz
of Elizabeth Spiers and Choire Sicha, but they have many more readers than those
predecessors did. It’ll be interesting to see whether Lockhart Steele, in his
job, can help get Gawker’s numbers higher still.