Hostility Greets News Of Calacanis At Search Event

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The Kelsey Group’s Interactive Local Media/SES Local event in Los Angeles in November will feature a keynote conversation with Jason Calacanis, whose critical views of SEO have earned him few friends in the industry.

If anyone needs to fully understand why Peter Krasilovsky from the Kelsey Group personally invited Calacanis to chat before what will likely be, at best, a neutral audience, the reaction to that news being posted at Sphinn should prove instructive.

Calacanis has become something of a lightning rod with his opinions on SEO. He even managed to provoke this reaction from Danny Sullivan back in August:

Want to be like Robert — and Jason Calacanis — and keep equating SEO with spam? Then fuck off.

I don’t think I’ve ever used the F-word in any of my writing, and my apologies for being so crass. But I’ve had enough of people trying to advance their own personal agendas (Jason hoping someone will care about Mahalo; Robert hoping someone will watch his videos) on the back of an industry that is full of plenty of people who do good work.

Krasilovsky justified the invitation in his comment response on the Sphinn story, saying, “if Jason can invite his harshest critics to debate him on his own blog — and they all seemed to have come and participated — why can’t we invite Jason to speak to our audience?”

But no one is telling Krasilovsky what he can and can’t do; as far as we know he can invite whatever personal pals he likes to chat. Calacanis should be something of a draw in the way Rush Limbaugh is today to people who don’t share his views.

If that gets a few more people to attend, that works out well for the Kelsey Group. Conferences are a business first, and stirring up interest ahead of the conference by inviting Calacanis looks like a good decision right now.

Hostility Greets News Of Calacanis At Search Event
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