Le Web 3 Live. Jason Calacanis: Seth Goldin, Dave Sifry, Ev Williams – they're all to blame for spam on the web

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Jason%20Calacanis.JPGQuestion: if you create an open system that allows people to upload whatever they want, how do you stop those systems from just becoming huge spam fests that ruin search results? Obviously Jason Calacanis is going to tell you that the answer is Maholo, his new people powered search engine.

He’s given the speech many times before, but this time he took the opportunity to name and shame the people he felt were responsible for the spamfest that is the internet, including the founder of Blogger, Ev Williams, Seth Goldin, entrepreneur and founder of Squidoo and Dave Sifry, founder of Technorati.

According to Calacanis, Usenet was the first place that was ruined by spam after one member decided to mail the entire Usenet community. It’s the things that make the internet great are the things that destroy it.

Although neither I, not Meg Pickard on my left and Sasha Frieze on my righ have been infected with pr0n malware after running a Google search, we’re assured by Jason that it’s a very common occurrence. ActiveX. Search is about to be destroyed and it’s this kind of abuse that we’re allowing to happen.

And who are the main culprits who have allowed spam to take over the web? Well, Jason took the time to name and shame, calling out Seth Goldin for allowing Squidoo to be over-run with affiliate spam links (and stolen content). He’s just one of the many, Calacanis believes, who are pretending they don’t see the abuse so they can make money.

Ev Williams has been responsible for creating a free blogging platform that has been abused by spammers to creat spam blogs (splogs) and sites entirely populated with affiliate links. And Dave Sifry? His blog search engine, Technorati, fails to filter out all those splogs and affiliate sites.

According to Calacanis, the internet is a place to have your time wasted and we are destroying our “eco system”. We aren’t policing the systems we create and the people who have create these systems have prioritised their personal agendas (ie to make money at the expense of the web). Sites on Squidoo are full of covert advertising that is paid and undisclosed.

Obviously, Maholo is Calacanis’s big solution to the question of online spam, but in his speech he also took the opportunity to challenge the creators of platforms like Blogger et al, to take control and boot people off your system if they misuse it for personal profit. The reason no one is stopping this from happening is greed. And as his parting request, he challenged the audience of Le Web 3, saying “don’t let the scumbags take control.”

Check out our other posts from the show in the Le Web 3 category.

Katie

8 comments

  • Calacanis sure does like to badmouth people who put a lot of effort into giving power to the people, while he’s done nothing but try to take it away. We’re supposed to respect him for being a bully? Then he went and created a website that isn’t even in the same domain as the rest. You can’t call that competing. He took his ball, went home, and invented solitaire. He took out the fear factor and created his own comfort zone.

    Mahalo has its place. Some people will love it. That doesn’t make it better. It makes it another option. With his bully attitude Calacanis has lost his opportunity to earn his spot in the marketplace by partnering with winners. That’s why he has to be a bully. He has to draw attention to a service that can’t compete. Shame on the reporters who continue to feed his need for attention.

    (Katie Lee did you honestly just make an excuse for a typo??)

  • Calacanis sure does like to badmouth people who put a lot of effort into giving power to the people, while he’s done nothing but try to take it away. We’re supposed to respect him for being a bully? Then he went and created a website that isn’t even in the same domain as the rest. You can’t call that competing. He took his ball, went home, and invented solitaire. He took out the fear factor and created his own comfort zone.

    Mahalo has its place. Some people will love it. That doesn’t make it better. It makes it another option. With his bully attitude Calacanis has lost his opportunity to earn his spot in the marketplace by partnering with winners. That’s why he has to be a bully. He has to draw attention to a service that can’t compete. Shame on the reporters who continue to feed his need for attention.

    (Katie Lee did you honestly just make an excuse for a typo??)

  • Calacanis sure does like to badmouth people who put a lot of effort into giving power to the people, while he’s done nothing but try to take it away. We’re supposed to respect him for being a bully? Then he went and created a website that isn’t even in the same domain as the rest. You can’t call that competing. He took his ball, went home, and invented solitaire. He took out the fear factor and created his own comfort zone.

    Mahalo has its place. Some people will love it. That doesn’t make it better. It makes it another option. With his bully attitude Calacanis has lost his opportunity to earn his spot in the marketplace by partnering with winners. That’s why he has to be a bully. He has to draw attention to a service that can’t compete. Shame on the reporters who continue to feed his need for attention.

    (Katie Lee did you honestly just make an excuse for a typo??)

  • Calacanis sure does like to badmouth people who put a lot of effort into giving power to the people, while he’s done nothing but try to take it away. We’re supposed to respect him for being a bully? Then he went and created a website that isn’t even in the same domain as the rest. You can’t call that competing. He took his ball, went home, and invented solitaire. He took out the fear factor and created his own comfort zone.

    Mahalo has its place. Some people will love it. That doesn’t make it better. It makes it another option. With his bully attitude Calacanis has lost his opportunity to earn his spot in the marketplace by partnering with winners. That’s why he has to be a bully. He has to draw attention to a service that can’t compete. Shame on the reporters who continue to feed his need for attention.

    (Katie Lee did you honestly just make an excuse for a typo??)

  • ooh I have an idea. lets make a boring page of links and stick it in one place. never mind the fact that it just takes the first 50 results from google and sticks it on a page and calls it spam free. isnt that basically what the yellow pages is for?? How is that even people powered? theres no free speech there. if I want a list of links I can go do mozilla. thats not a new idea. taking stuff that already exists doesn’t make the internet grow. no one gets smarter regurgitating the same crap. you get an f for effort, Mahalo.

  • There’s one big problem with Mahalo: It’s boring.

    It’s a page of links.

    Furthermore, it’s not even web 2.0. It’s not collaborative for starters, but lets not forget that Yahoo! was originally authored and edited. (That was before the web even took off). So technically Mahalo isn’t even Web 1.0. It’s Web Beta.

    If you’ve ever tried to use it for anything you swiftly realize that you’re surfing someone else’s bad search results that are already out of date.

    If that’s the answer then I’m going back to television.

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