Your days of being mean, are dead

August 19, 2008Comments Off on Your days of being mean, are dead

Jason Calacanis is the most disliked web 2.0 celebrity.

This is the great connector of Silicon Valley only a decade ago. He founded Weblogs Inc, sold it to AOL for $25m and launched a new semantic web-search engine, Mahalo. He's achieved more than 95% of the web celebrities on the list. He should be loved.

But for all his great achievements, his online ego precedes him.

There was a time when you could be mean on the internet. It was fun. You could log in, indulge your ego, argue about movies and get into heated scraps. Now you can't. Now you have to act like you're in a room full of people.

Technology doesn't matter anymore. Maybe it never did. If you say mean things on the internet, you're a mean person. If you rave about yourself, you're are narcissist. And never, ever, trade personal insults.

It goes beyond this. Would you desperately prove someone is wrong online when you would normally agree to disagree? Would you post an anonymous comment when you wouldn't mumble it under your breath? And would you ever join a mob and attack someone you didn't know?

These are symptoms of thinking the internet is a place. It isn't, not anymore. Only spell checkers still capitalise the I in internet.

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