After months of subtle digs at each other, blog entrepreneurs Jason Calacanis and Nick Denton of Weblogsinc and Gawker Media respectively have for the first time openly attacked and responded to each other on their blogs in the last 24 hours.
The relationship, that has previously be described in positive terms, despite both men being regarded as fierce competitors, has come under more and more strain as both continued to expand and launch new blogs that competed directly in the same topic areas.
The two has also previously clashed over issues of morality, with Calacanis engaging readers on topics such as buzz marketing and sponsorship whilst championing a relationship of openness and transparency with the blogosphere, where as Denton has often pushed boundaries, in the use of exclusive sponsorships and the use of pornograhpy on a number of his blogs.
The open hostilities result from a post from Calacanis alleging that the deal announced by Denton owned Gizmodo for the Gadget blog’€™s Editor, Joel Johnson, to fly to the CeBIT Trade Show in Germany at the expense of Siemens was a sellout, and that the Calacanis owned Engadget was offered the same deal but turned it down due to the numerous strings attached.
Denton then returned fire calling Calacanis his “endlessly entertaining rival” then attacks Calacanis for alleged censorship of comments and provides proof of a negative comment that was subsequently deleted.
Calacanis returns fire pointing out that he has always maintained a policy of deleting “vulgar” comments, points out that Denton doesn’t allow comments, and last but not least, asks Denton: “If I buy you a round trip ticket and put you up for a couple of night in L.A. can I get a half dozen posts on Gawker?!?”
Whilst we are sure both men are far to busy to continue with open hostility, none the less in some ways it a relief to see that the previously phoney war has finally broken out into proper, tit-for-tat hostilities, if only for the amusement of the readers and followers of both men, of which we can say there are many.