Jason Calacanis hired popular videoblogger Veronica Belmont back in July to host a daily show for his so-called "search engine" Mahalo, but nothing had emerged on the Mahalo Daily front since then. Finally, the video series is set to launch next week. What does a daily video podcast have to do with "curating quality links" to improve search engine results? Absolutely nothing, of course. But the bulldog-cute funtrepreneur has a plan nonetheless.
Calacanis realizes that if search isn't putting butts in Aeron seats, he can always try to boost geeky traffic with popular entertainment. He lays this strategy bare by orchestrating the amusing Belmont through an unamusing series of popular video show parodies: Ze Frank, Rocketboom, Ask a Ninja, Tay Zonday, Diggnation, and Lonelygirl15. The only problem? Calacanis's hamhanded directorial approach destroys Belmont's charm. (On the bright side, there is a bulldog!) The parade of references to one-hit wonders of online video past is telling. All of them had buzz that quickly sputtered. Fortunately, talent will out. Mahalo may end up a flash in the pan, but Belmont's star, we suspect, is only beginning to rise.