Dave Winer started it yesterday with a rumor that AOL was a few weeks away from launching a competitor to MySpace.com.
It was picked up and reprinted by Jason Calacanis, a self-promoter of epic proportion. He is also an AOL executive. (He recently sold his Weblogs Inc. blog network to the company).
That was quickly followed by one of his own blogs, downloadsquad.com, also publishing the report.
Return with me now to about a month ago when other rumors had Calacanis moving to take over what would be a revitalized Netscape, also owned by AOL. Of course, he blogged, again, about a rumor about him. Reports said it would likely be a "social news" venture, somewhat like Digg.com.
Now in the real world, when a new venture is brewing, such as a frontal assault by Time Warner against a property for which News Corp. paid $580 million, the execs dummy up. The suits scurry around, diverting their eyes, and certainly not answering their phones.
Calacanis acts just the opposite. Maybe planted the story with Winer originally. Picks it up immediately on publication. He'd be ready to catch it. Passes it along as if it were about a third person. Then, one of his network's top blogs repeats it.
(Business Week had the story in January.)