Wired/Calacanis Spat: Old Media And New Media Battle For Pageviews
Jason Calacanis is a successful journalist turned media entrepeneur, having sold his Weblogs Inc, a collection of blog sites to AOL for a reported $20m. He was recently asked by Wired magazine to comment about Mike Arrington, publisher of TechCrunch, which has been very successful reporting on the emerging Web 2.0 startups.
Mr Calacanis, clearly not wishing his words to be misrepresented and possibly upsetting the influential Mr Arrington, and a partner in a joint conference venture, he wanted to do interview by email.
A WIRED journalist pinged me for some comments on Michael Arrington and his A-list blogger status. I told the journalist to send me the questions by email and he refused.
On one of Wired's blogs, Mr Calacanis was called "Cowardly." And this unfair comment by Fred Vogelstein prompted much discussion in the comments section and on other high profile blogs.
Fortunately the matter was happily resolved within a few days.
Mr Calacanis seems to have emerged controling the highground in this particular case. He managed to use Wired's mistake in calling him cowardly to his advantage, and build his reputation as a new media prince taking on an arrogant mainstream media icon.
Did Wired unknowingly, cluelessly, lob a softball to Mr Calacanis to belt out of the park? I think so.
If this spat had originated with Business 2.0 magazine I might wonder if this was a case of linkbait designed to drive up traffic. The reporters at Business 2.0 get paid extra according to the level of traffic to their blogs. I don't know if Wired has a similar setup.