Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kara Visits Mahalo

So I paid a visit to Jason Calacanis’s newest venture, Mahalo, in its nondescript warehouse office on the outskirts of downtown Santa Monica, Calif., on Friday.

We demoed the manic entrepreneur’s latest company, the “human-powered” search engine, at D5 this year. The venture was funded by–among others–Sequoia Capital and its wunderkind VC Roelof Botha.

The colorful Calacanis has been around the Web space for a long time, with a range of ventures back in the day, like “Silicon Alley Reporter,” up to the last of which–Weblogs Inc.–was sold to AOL in 2005 for $25 million.

He’s had Mahalo going since May, using funding he said will last for years to come, while he gets the service built into a highly targeted search site. While not everyone is rooting for Calacanis to succeed, and even calling him a self-promoter (which is so uncommon–not–in the Web industry), it will be interesting to see him try.

Oh, yes, Mahalo means “thanks” or “gratitude” in Hawaiian.

Here is the first video of my visit, one looking around the offices. And the second is in the post right below this one.

mahalo


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald