It’s not an ‘either-or’ medium, Jason, it’s an ‘and’ medium

It’s not an ‘either-or’ medium, Jason, it’s an ‘and’ medium

: Jason Calacanis — who is the single most competitive person I’ve ever met … and that roster includes Bill Gates — sends me email and a blog comment sputtering because I dared to mention CES coverage from Gizmodo and Engadget in the same blog breath, after Gizmodo got an interview with Gates (even though I gave Engadget twice the links this week and do think Engadget’s Pete Rojas et al have done a great job). He fumes:

give me a break…

we did 3-4x the traffic of gizmodo, and we did 4x the number of updates

we had 9 people at the show… nick had one

not even close to competition.. .even with the gates interview

I respond: “Relax.” And he responds:

relax? not in my vocab… :-)

you’re always pumping up Nick… so objective of you… can’t wait till you liquidate that Moreover stock and can stop kissing his ass!

I wish I were his therapist. I’d be rich, I tell you, rich!

For the full-disclosure record, I sit on Moreover’s board but do not own Moreover stock and have cashed no options. Nick’s a friend. And, yes, I admire the quality of Nick’s work. I also like, Jason. But that’s not the point. Neither is being No. 1.

Jason is misunderstanding the essence of this new medium. In big, old media — in the age of the power law — only the top guy or maybe the top two won because only the top guys could afford the printing press and the marketing budget. It’s an ‘either-or’ industry.

In this new medium, if you’re alone, you lose, for there’s no one to link to; it’s lonely at the top when you’re the only guy there. This new medium is more like a mall, where having more stores, even competitors, in the same place is better for everybody: better for the “consumers” who get more places to click to, and better for the clickees. This is an “and” medium.

So it’s good for readers that we have both Engadget and Gizmodo covering CES, not to mention Paid Content and I just found some neat stuff at UberGizmo — plus Rihooligan’s and, of course, big media. (Note that you can pretty much cover CES via the PR Newswire.)

It’s also going to be better for every player in the medium, I contend, when they set up ad networks that deliver critical mass of audience across multiple sites to marketers. So competitors will need to cooperate to make more money, or else advertisers won’t bother.

So if I were you, Jason, I’d be glad to Gizmodo and PaidContent were there alongside you — and I’d try to set up an ad network with them, rather than lash out at them. That’s so old media, man.

And when are you going to start the Valium Blog?

: Oh, and by the way, in the original post, I said that Gizmodo had Bill Gates and Engadget had the sexiest geek goddess around on video, even). Who do you think won that post?

: UPDATE: Jason next tackles Steve Jobs. And Felix Salmon tackles that.