SES: Jason Calacanis Does The Keynote

    December 5, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Sequoia Capital’s newly-minted “entrepreneur in action” delivered the morning keynote address at SES Chicago, where he talked about Digg, Digg, Spam, Digg, Netscape, Digg, Digg, and Valleywag. Our Chris Richardson dug in for the session.

Calacanis Talks Digg, Digg, and Digg
Calacanis Talks Digg, Digg, and Digg

(As many times as Jason Calacanis referenced Digg, the social media site that Calacanis’ Netscape could not match, I almost expected to reread Chris’ notes and find a “white whale” lurking there. Call me Ishmael. – David)

After swiftly resigning in the wake of AOL chairman and CEO Jon Miller’s surprise departure, Calacanis resurfaced at SES Chicago, where he delivered the morning keynote to attendees who braved the 12-degree weather.

He did confirm the Sequoia job, taking a position with the company that backed YouTube and a then-unknown search engine company called Backrub, soon to be renamed Google. Calacanis suggested one route he might take would be in creating a DRM-less mp3 player that downloads podcasts automatically with Wi-fi discovery technology.

(Which makes me think he wants to reinvent the Sony Walkman cassette recorder with digital AM/FM tuner. Sweet! – David)

His talk hit a variety of topics, such as crediting AOL with “creating” Firefox after they opened the Netscape browser’s code. Calacanis also talked about his Netscape, which combined social bookmarking with editorial control; it differed from Digg in that editors could expand upon stories that reached the front page.

He probably did not endear himself to some attendees though, in referring to search optimization as BS and called for more quality content and less trying to game the search engines. Make great content and the world links to it, Calacanis said.

Danny Sullivan was on hand to agree with him on the great content point. But Sullivan pointed out how SEO done to ensure correct crawls and indexing was a correct usage of it.

Incorrect usage, like spam and its many forms, do not please Calacanis, and he railed against spammers in the talk. He sees the Internet industry as a beautiful city, and spammers as those who will ruin it with their littering.

His comments about Digg reflected his previous thoughts recorded elsewhere – he never wanted to destroy Digg, he felt that offering to pay top Diggers for posting articles to Netscape was a good idea, he tried to buy into Digg and got rebuffed.

Sullivan then played word association with Calacanis, with Danny tossing out the first word and Jason following along. Without further adieu, the Internet according to Jason Calacanis:

Digg – Brilliant
Google – Brilliant, Unstoppable
AOL – Transitional
TechCrunch – More Right Than Wrong
Spam – Evil Die Die
Netscape – The Future
Podcasting – Addictive
AdSense – I Love You
Valleywag – Liar, Evil, Idiot
Jason Calacanis – Striving

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.