Even if you don’t spend a lot of time on FriendFeed, it becomes apparent after not too long that Andrew Baron — the co-founder of Rocketboom, the pioneering video-blog starring Joanne Colan (and formerly starring Amanda Congdon) — has a real hate on for Jason Calacanis, the diminutive and self-aggrandizing founder of Mahalo and former founder of Weblogs Inc. The latest eruption was a post from Baron noting that Mahalo’s traffic seems to have flattened out, according to a graph that he included from Compete.
Baron says: “Can you imagine trying to pretend like your business is successful when it’s not, and then going on to give advice to other people about how you do it?” This isn’t the first time the Rocketboom founder has made such allegations: a post earlier this year made the same point, and drew a comment from Calacanis to the effect that “we had two record months in the past four and August — the slowest month of the year — looks like another record. Not sure why compete shows flat, but it’s sample based. Also, note that compete is only US traffic…. only 60-65% of our traffic is US. so, we’re well over 4m uniques a month.”
At one point, a commenter suggested that Jason “ask his daddy to buy him more traffic” — a veiled reference to the fact that Baron’s father is Fred Baron, a prominent lawyer and fundraiser for both John Edwards and John Kerry. Andrew Baron then responds: “as far as I know, Jason has a lot of sugar daddies that gave him a major round with tons of cash to start Mahalo. He could ask his daddies to buy him some traffic.” Valleywag has a good roundup of the back-and-forth between the two.
As several commenters have pointed out on both FriendFeed threads, the figures from Compete are hardly gospel, since they suffer from the same measurement biases and errors that numbers from Nielsen or comScore do. Still, they do show a flattening of traffic. Unfortunately for Andrew, however, a Compete graph comparing Mahalo and Rocketboom isn’t really that impressive either.