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Jason Calacanis

Size Matters To Those That Want Size


I was hoping I could get a better title than that but I wanted to also see what kind of Google search results that will provide with giggles late at night.  The reason I wanted to talk about size is because there seems to be a differing opinion as it relates to the size of your Twitter followers.  One of the most attended and best received panels this year at BlogWorld Expo was about the gaming of Twitter and the inflation of follower numbers.  I unfortunately was not able to attend the session as I was otherwise busy with a few things, but I know it did well.

The inspiration behind the panel was why it is a bad idea to inflate or increase your follower numbers just for the sake of a big number.  I was reading Seth Godin’s blog about bullhorns.  Yeah I know he has a way of speaking in metaphors better than anyone.  You have to read the post yourself to get the idea. In the post Seth talk’s about Anil Dash’s recent and often discussed series about being on the suggested user list and why having a million followers on Twitter is actually not really as it seems.  It seems among my brethren in social media and marketing circles that they are shouting from the mountain tops that size doesn’t matter and note that many of which don’t actually have the size spoken of and are not benefiting from Twitter with the same dollars that Kim Kardashian is seeing with her $10,000 per tweet budget.  Are any other people out there with 100 followers making that kind of coin? Not hardly.  Why? Because the size of your bullhorn matters.  If Kardashian get’s 10K how much would Oprah get?  I shudder to think of that amount.

I can remember when people like Jason Calacanis and others were begging to be on the list and others were upset they were not included.  It’s about the numbers.  We all know that size doesn’t matter (it doesn’t right?).  If size doesn’t matter why do companies only want bloggers that have huge traffic numbers, and only pay attention to Twitter people that have large followings?  It is because they can put a metric on it and sell it.

Apparently, it is all about the Twilebrity?

Until we come up with a better metric or until we can stop “measuring”, size will always seem to matter.  To the people that are writing the checks and paying for Tweets or making lists of the tops in Twitter that has the most traffic it does matter.  Now, where did I put that stupid bullhorn?  Sorry Seth, apparently that is the game we are playing and until the rules change, those like you that have the largest will be the winners.

Blogs Receive More Clout Than Ever in 2008 Presidential Campaign


Presidential candidates began courting political bloggers before the 2008 nomination race even got started. Virtually every candidate hired bloggers on staff. Some successfully and some not so much. Many set up conference calls with bloggers (McCain has excelled here). Both the RNC and DNC are allowing bloggers access to the show floor during their national conventions.

For those who are able to navigate the many minefields of the Blogosphere these efforts result in millions in online donations and of course turning voters out to the polls and caucuses.

Arguably the two candidates most attuned to the Blogosphere during this presidential campaign were presumptive nominees John McCain and Barak Obama (notice the video?). Obama has certainly benefited the most from social media having raised $45 million dollars online in one month!. He has more followers on Twitter (31,000+) than anyone including Bloggerati Rock Stars like Robert Scoble and Jason Calacanis. Mommie and Techy bloggers regularly tweet and post on his behalf. Obama has near 850,000 members on his Facebook fan site and a huge presence on MySpace (though many of those friends may not be old enough to vote). Who can forget the Viral Videos from Obama Girl (nine million views!); which had more than a small part in raising national awareness and elevating Obama’s candidacy to legitimate contender status.

McCain on the other hand has a distinguished military career, has made many trips to Iraq and constantly praises the men and women serving in our armed forces earning him the respect of Milbloggers.

Now the McCain campaign in following with it’s overall strategy of reaching out to voters beyond his base is reaching out to left leaning blogs and even non-political blogs. Here is an excerpt from a Washington Times article on Friday.

Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign is trying to tap a new audience of potential voters by taking his campaign message straight to liberal and nonpolitical issues-based blogs, which reach millions of readers but don’t often delve into conservative politics.

The strategy was in full swing yesterday when Mr. McCain invited non-conservative bloggers to join his regular blogger conference call, just hours after he delivered a major speech previewing his war strategy and other priorities for a first presidential term.

These candidates are both going to continue to seek the support of the Blogosphere and their tens of millions of readers. They are wise to do so. Bloggers and their readers vote. For the candidate that does it right, it just might mean the difference between winning and losing the Presidency.

PS. A couple of months ago I was joking with someone that Obama might be the first President to Tweet the State of the Union Address. I might not have been that far off.

Jason Calacanis is Right about Start ups.


lot’s of people like to hate on Jason and he loves it. If you haven’t figured it out yet Jason is a master of link baiting and this latest post is another classic example. I have only met Jason three times in very short and casual conversations. I have seen him give three keynotes. Two were fantastic and his talk at Gnomedex got derailed before it ever got started by Dave Winer.

I understood immediately that he likes to say controversial things to get peoples attention and at the end of the day he really doesn’t care what any of us think about him. With that in mind the main theme of his post is valid and 100% accurate.

If you want your start up company to succeed you need to spend wisely, save money where you can, make smart decisions and hire excellent people. You need to ideally not make bad hires to begin with but if you do, you need to cut that deadwood right away.

Following his advice will help you succeed. It doesn’t guarantee success, ignoring it doesn’t guarantee failure but I will be any of the wise men slamming Jason a year’s salary that most companies that succeed adhere to Jason’s philosophy rather than do the kumbaya lets all love each other and have perfect 9 – 5 jobs and take vacations BS. That stuff is all important but it all comes after you have a strong foundation for your company not before.

Mike Arrington gets it. Robert Scoble gets it. Mark Evans gets it.

Dave Winer responds today with a very valid point. Hot products are what makes a company succeed. That is fundamental. Some times crap succeeds but more often than not a quality product is a requirement to success not a gaurantee of it. Lots of companies with hot products fail for many of the reasons Jason listed in his posts, and some just have plain old bad luck, bad timing, etc.

While I agree with Dave that leaders should lead by example and be a model for their employees and inspire instead of intimidate; more than anything employees particularly in a start up need to believe in their product, company and leader more than they need to love their leader.

Taking Jason’s controversial style into account his main theme was you need to be driven to succeed. That drive needs to extend beyond the owner and founder, every employee needs to believe in that dream and be driven to see it succeed to have a realistic chance of succeeding.

Those aren’t new words of wisdom. They have been said and followed since the beginning of the entrepreneur and for people to dispute them is really just silly, or more likely the latest excuse to hate on Jason Calacanis.

Zac Johnson at Affiliate Summit


This is really a test and my first attempt at embedding video on the blog. I did a quick interview with Zac at Affiliate Summit on my new Flip Camera. I did cut the video a little short. About an hour after this interview during his keynote Jason Calacanis showed a slide of Zac’s famous $300,000 check; along with a photo of Shoemoney and his $100k check. Jason stated this was chump change and that both could make far more money if they applied their genius to developing the next block buster dot-com.

If everything goes as planned, here is the interview:

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