The Difference Between Wordpress and Facebook

Is about $14.8bn according to the publicly available information about the most recent financings of the two companies ($15bn for Facebook and $200mm for Automattic).

But consider this comscore chart of unique visitors over the past year.


It’s a very similar growth trajectory, driven largely by the same phenomenon – the creation of personal spaces on the web by people who want to engage with others.

So why is Facebook worth $15bn and WordPress is worth $200mm? Well for one, Facebook controls the advertising inventory on the pages it serves and WordPress does not. And for another, Facebook has built a "soup to nuts" social network with powerful viral channels (which they are cutting back on) and WordPress has not.

But trust me on this one. The blogging revolution is the adult social network whereas Facebook style social networking is for teens and college kids. This gap will narrow.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Philippe Bradley

    comScore stats – z0mg!

    1. fredwilson

      What does ³z0mg² mean?

      1. jeremystein

        its a typo version of “omg”. there are a ton of words that youll see like that: pwn = own etc

      2. Philippe Bradley

        sorry – t’was a joke re.…that literary styling is called ‘L337speak’ (i.e. elite-speak). Surprised (but not disappointed!) that you’ve never come across that meme before!…(the depth of detail on that page speaks volumes about Wikipedia!)

        1. markslater

          whisky tango foxtrot?

  2. twinsrcool32

    SWAY dear sir……AM

  3. WayneMulligan

    Facebook’s engagement metrics probably trounce wordpress’ as well – time spent on site, pages per visit, frequency of visits, etc. Facebook’s “competitive moat” is also much wider…no network effect on WP. But, in the end, there’s no way in hell FB is worth $15 billion — defensive move on MSFT’s part.Most importantly – where’s a place to score a really good cup of coffee near Madison Square Park? Anyone?-Wayne

    1. fredwilson

      Taralucci e vino on 18th just west of broadway

      1. WayneMulligan

        Nice, thanks…anybody up for a cup at 8:30? I’ll be the ugly bald guy in the red track jacket :)-Wayne

        1. fredwilson

          Can’t join you at that time. Would have loved to

          1. WayneMulligan

            Hopefully next time…Great recommendation by the way! I walk that way to work every day and always thought it was just a wine bar…it’s officially my new morning spot.-Wayne

          2. Alberto Escarlate

            Taralucci is the best. I regret I’m not in that neighborhood any more. We used to have a sacred 3:30 pm espresso walk there every day.

  4. Jevon

    I think one of the appeals of Facebook so far has been that it is closed and feels “safer” than being out there in public with a blog, twitter, etc.Eventually though, I think people make the mental leap. They see the value of being as open as possible in the safe space of Facebook, but the slippery slope eventually has us wanted to be as public as possible, and then the distinction between private and public really starts to go out the window, as Jeff blogged yesterday:…Eventually, WordPress will overtake FB in terms of reach and sustainability. There is also the issue of resiliency. The revenue model for WP might not be as “fat” up front, but the operations side is so much leaner. WordPress could weather a 5 year storm while Facebook couldn’t handle a couple years (guess).

    1. fredwilson

      I like the word sustainability even though it has become overused in recentyears. It’s a good measure of what we should all be investing in and workingon. If you replace wordpress with blogging, then I agree completely withyour statement.

      1. zachlandes

        I have to disagree to a certain extent. I think that there is more of a place in people’s lives for something like Facebook than blogging – not everyone is interested in following long monologues (as blogs often are, this one being an exception). But everyone wants to know what party their friend is going to later. And I think age is not as much a factor for Facebook as perceived. Facebook has grown (and is designed for, to a certain extent) among teens. But these teens are just the perfect market to take something and run with it. Maybe it won’t be facebook, (maybe the model is more like twitter), but social networking of the mundane in easily parsed form has a larger possible user base (all socially active people) than reading/writing of traditional blogs.

        1. Jevon

          I think the core problem with Facebook (which I wrote about in November… ) is that they just aren’t good at being a platform and so far they really haven’t delivered on building value for either themselves or for their users.Facebook is also a closed platform. While they talk open, have the app platform, etc,. the business strategy that wraps it all up is very closed. They are giving people incentive to build value WITHIN facebook, but they aren’t letting people build value elsewhere, while attaching to facebook. That is where their attempt to be a platform falls down.To be a platform for other people’s business, you have to be as open in your business strategy as you are with you dev strategy. Facebook only let app developers sell their own ads because Facebook knew they couldn’t do it themselves, that is destined to fail.

      2. Jevon

        I think I see the fate of WordPress and Blogging as inexorably tied, so I think they can be happily exchanged.

  5. Brandon Thomas

    Interesting idea – I have to disagree. Though I do see how blogging is becoming an adult social media playground, this activity only provides the opportunity for a few of the social behaviors being exhibited within Facebook. Using Forrester’s Social Technographics Profile, blogging provides opportunity for Spectators, Creators and Critics. Joiners and Collectors are left out. (See… And posting and commenting as the sole activity available can only engage for so long.Though blogging is growing, it is too limited an activity to serve as the adult social network, as you describe. Something else will come…

    1. fredwilson

      BrandonTry blogging on tumblr and you’ll see how the social aspects will come. Andso much can be done with commenting to make it work better. We are investingin this theme in a big way.Fred

    2. jenrobinson

      I agree that, in isolation, blogging may exclude those in the middle of the participation spectrum — but the blogosphere doesn’t stand alone. Surrounding social media, like Twitter and, provide the glue, enable the so-called joiners and collectors to participate, and create network effects.Nice comparison, Fred. This will fuel some interesting conversation at work today.

    3. andrewbadera

      Blogging, tied into Google Reader, StumbleUpon, FriendFeed, Socialthing!, takes on a whole new aspect.

    4. fredwilson

      brandon, i left out the obvious impact of twitter and friendfeed and other “news feeds” for the adult social networks that are forming around blogs. basically we are building our own facebooksfred

      1. Derek

        I see your point, but this strikes me as build vs. buy on a personal level. In aggregate, WordPress, Twitter, Tumblr etc give you similar value to Facebook, but they’re still separate entities with separate strategies, priorities etc. So maybe if you add them all together, you get a similar market cap to Facebook.You can still buy stuff at lots of places too, but that doesn’t mean Wal Mart is headed for failure anytime soon.

  6. andrewbadera

    WP most certainly has more value than Facebook. Is there any question in the mind of anyone with half a clue? WP is something people can use to RUN THEIR BUSINESS, as well as interact with others through the Internet. Facebook is something a small percentage of the Internet community can use TO SELL ADS or gather stats. I could see people paying for WP — can you say the same of Facebook users?Facebook is hype. WP is value.

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t agree with you on this andrew. facebook is hugely valuable to young folks in high school and college who use it to run their lives. but when lives become more complicated i think blogging is the better paradigm.

      1. andrewbadera

        I’ll give you that, but how do you monetize that bracket, other than through advertising and instillation of brand recognition?

        1. Philippe Bradley

          that’s a fairly significant monetization right there, y’know.i think a key point, so far omitted, is that Facebook ‘knows you’ whereas WordPress does not. That’s a very important and vastly underestimated piece of data, not just for marketing, but also for people/companies who want to build an Implicit Web that understands you and adjusts accordingly (think tuning search results, filtering all the things competing for your attention, etc).Then, as mentioned above, there’s the network effects locking people in (though no network effects are visible on the graph above, because you’d expect exponential growth). Then there’s engagement. Versatility. The ability to put adverts wherever it likes (my WordPress blog is largely out of WordPress’ control and if ever it tried to put ads on future releases of its software, I would jump ship immediately; unless Disqus drops support for other blog software, I have nothing tying me to wordpress but inertia and contentment. That’s very much unlike Facebook, which is less vulnerable than WordPress.Right now, facebook has a whole lot more to leverage than WP; I guess that although it’s over-valued, WordPress was still slightly undervalued; the comscore data suggests the two should converge somewhat; but nowhere nearly as much as Andrew seems to imply. [Do we know if the comscore data is just hosted blogs, or visits to .org also? There are 3m hosted blogs on, so if it’s just .com data, that’s ~27 uniques per blog, but less if it’s including .org data] [Does anyone use a hosted WordPress for their business?]Ultimately, at present it’s apples and oranges. WordPress is software; facebook is a peer-to-peer platform.But with disqus-like distributed/aggregated commenting, it becomes a whole lot more valueable. It’s the spinal cord+peripheral nervous system connecting isolated blogs; it makes blog readers social creatures.A technorati+disqus tie-up would make a great deal more sense than the technorati/b5media talks that supposedly just fell apart. Blog brain + blog spinal cord.

          1. Toni Schneider

            Howdy, Comscore only tracks traffic to * blogs. It does not track traffic to the 25% of blogs that use domain forwarding. It also does not track traffic to any of the millions of self-hosted blogs.

          2. fredwilson

            well there you have it, wordpress (if you count everything) is bigger than FB. congrats Toni. I suspect you’ve known this for a while now

          3. andrewbadera

            Sure, that’s a good piece of money now. Is it sustainable? I’m still not convinced an advertising based model makes sense. But hey, newspapers are still in business … sort of.As far as the “knowing” you … again, that comes down to advertising. I don’t WANT faceless applications owned by someone else to KNOW me. I want semantic queries, I want RDF, I want to ask for what I want. I don’t want some piece of software making that decision for me, and reporting my habits back to its masters.

          4. fredwilson

            ph – you are quickly becoming the umair of comments. i am digging your stuff. i rebogged a piece of this at

  7. Scabr

    I think that comparison between WordPress and Drupal more interesting

  8. Jeff Jarvis

    But I think there’s another difference: Beyond automatic trackbacks among WordPress blogs, WordPress is not a network. WordPress is a platform. Facebook is a network that added a platform. Should WordPress? No. One blog has no connection to another. And I wouldn’t want that. This raises a larger opportunity, though, one we’ve discussed: I’ve long said that the internet already is a social network and the big win goes to he who helps organize that. There’s an opportunity that scales past either of these. Another opportunity: WordPress should come with OpenX and Google AdManager and AdSense preinstalled and ready to roll (getting a marketing fee from both). (BTW, to size WordPress, I do believe this does not include blogs like mine, which aren’t at but use the platform. That’s potentially huge.)

    1. Philippe Bradley

      But it’s not really if they can’t monetize it, which at present, they don’t in the slightest, and would probably draw a lot of criticism/rejection from the open source community that is building it if they attempted to. .Org is of value to .Com, but only for marketing/brand/reputation/development/design purposes – not for direct revenue purposes. There’s not much evidence that it ever could be.

    2. bijan

      I can’t remember who said it first but i’ve heard the line “facebook is like renting a house and blogging is like buying a house.”I thought that was clever.User control is a big difference.I think that blogs are rapidly changing. you are right Jeff, in hte past blogs weren’t connected to each other.but blogs are becoming more social and they are connecting in ways that weren’t possible or conceived of in the past.

      1. Thomas

        Don’t forget though, that FB is also taking on the cost of building the house, so to speak. And as this medium becomes more democratized, the masses may opt for the automated platform. Not many people have the capacity to buy WP, hire a web guy to install it, get it hosted and SEO it.Now, that’s not saying that WP couldn’t evolve the model to make this easier…

  9. Dan Cornish

    Finally a rational voice about Facebook. How about the idea of an enterprise social network?

  10. Rex Hammock

    Fred, great post. One wise thing Facebook did: They incorporated all the features of blogging (and more) but never used the word “blog” and steered clear of any of the “publishing” metaphors used in the early days of blogging. The metaphors of Facebook mimic conversation and the goofy kinds of interaction we all enjoy in our daily lives. Too many people treat blogging like “writing” or “citizen journalism” so that it becomes a “duty” or a threat. I once said that a key to Facebook’s success was that no one calls a person a Facebooker — the way “bloggers” get defined.

    1. zachlandes

      I never thought of this – but its true! Honestly, at this point blogging is a pejorative word for many people. Its this inaccessible thing that tech geeks do. Facebook is eminently approachable.

      1. Rex Hammock

        For the record, I’m happy to be called a blogger (down-right proud, in fact) and I view my blog as a publishing platform. However, the blog platform can be used for lots more than what “bloggers” do with it.

      2. zackmansfield

        Absolutely. I have loads of non-techie (twentysomething) friends who have happily jumped aboard the facebook train but “don’t get” why one would blog. But more than a handful are very recently begun to create a “public face” and are beginning to start blogs. It’s important to look outside the tech bubble and see how much of the mainstream public still is untapped when it comes to blogs. But think how far we’ve come in only a few years – back in 2004/2005 blogs were laughed at while now they are changing the way people think about journalism, public opinion, relationships, etc.

        1. zachlandes

          I agree that things are changing and blogs will only become more mainstream. But (to summarize a post I wrote today on when you consider the amount of time and energy it takes to log into facebook or click “attend” for an event, vs. how much time is required to read and write blogs, its clear that facebook has a huge advantage in terms of what it asks in terms of time commitment.

          1. zackmansfield

            Absolutely agree. I surely don’t think it will be 1:1 (facebook will alwayshave more users, pageviews, etc). But I do believe that more and more”normal” people will begin to have a public identity on the web, especiallyas blogs evolve and become less about waxing poetic about a particularsubject and more about social communication in general.

          2. zachlandes

            I think the more natural public identity for someone is on a business networking site like LinkedIn, though blogs and personal websites have some overlap here.

    2. andrewbadera

      mimic … true! excellent observation.

    3. fredwilson

      rex, you’ve just articulated our investment theme in tumblr. tumblogs are blogs for people who don’t want to blog. the time it takes to set up a tumblog is minutes and the time it takes to post is seconds. in fact I posted a part of a comment in this thread (from PHBradley) to my tumblog without leaving this page.

      1. Ada

        I’ve recently experienced an increase in status updates on facebook, so I definitely the mainstream populations is warming up to the tumblog and blogging concept!

        1. Ada

          I wonder if here is some kind of crossover that could be developed maybe a facebook application, which would aggregate your status updates.

      2. Rex Hammock

        And that’s why I’m a happy user of tumblr and use it for

  11. khylek

    I would think that Facebook has an additional advantage in that it could more easily gain information about it’s users. The data is more structured since it’s all in a controllable format. Whereas a WP blog is free form.And I think that demographic information has a great deal of value, however it’s used.

  12. Alex Iskold

    Its about integrated user experience, FB excels at connecting people who just want to hang out. WordPress is different.Also, how many of these WP blogs are real vs. weird?

    1. fredwilson

      AOL was about integrated user experience too Alex and I agree with you. At what point will the non-integrated user experience appear integrated enough to rival (and threaten) FB?

      1. Alex Iskold

        In this case my prediction is never. Blogs and FB are different and both necessary for diff audience. I would argue that blogs are for more savvy people who are looking for richer content. To me blogging is more about journalism with feedback in the end then networking.

        1. fredwilson

          Try tumblr and I think you might change your view of what blogging is or at least what it can beFred

        2. fredwilson

          Oops. I didn’t realize it was alex. Clearly you know all about tumblr

          1. Alex Iskold

            Yep, yes, I do. I’d say it falls in between. Oddly, I have not been compelled to use it lately… I think that it lacks structure and organization too much for the structured freak like me…At some point I wanted Tumblr to be my “soul” like books. music, movies, pictures, etc. but then I found that I have to do constant uploading, etc. – i.e. work. So I now think that Tumblr is more like FriendFeed, but still needs more out of the box stuff to engage people constantly.Overall, I feel like all of these are for different people – there are stuff to be done on WordPress, on tumblr and Facebook, just not the same stuff…

          2. fredwilson

            I love posting songs and photos to tumblr and reblogging other’s photos, songs, and especially quotesFred

          3. Ethan Bauley

            ya, the text-selecting=quote feature of the Tumblr bookmarklet was the killer app for me…

  13. othylmann

    As always, very thoughtful discussions here.One thing to monetization though. Facebook is trying to monetize the social graph kind of, but in the end, it is people talking to each other. Like forum traffic, it is not hugely valuable as such as you are simply interrupting people. For blogs, that’s different because you are advertising on/in/around content. Just from a performance marketing standpoint, putting fitting ads on content at the end of that content, when people are through reading, yields amazing results. So in the long term, wordpress plays in the content/behavioural targeting idea. Facebook plays in something that is fully unproven to be monetizable.Second of all, Facebook seems to be a chatty platform, and while apps are fun they are not hugely valuable. At the moment there is still just one Social Network I really use a lot, being Xing in Germany, as it has most of the internet world in germany and it is 100% focussed on business networking, not hireing or messaging or something else. There is no dating on there, the job boards are clearly marked, and so on.Blogging is something you start investing in and then it becomes invaluable. I’ve been blogging since 2001 and sooner or later you find out that being fully open with what you want to be open helps you keep all the stupid stuff out 🙂 and you get a lot deeper interaction with people.The real power comes in connecting all of this and there the question becomes who will be the holder of my social graph. Will I hold it myself via or will facebook hold it (integrated everywhere as a service) or my GMail Address Book, … ? We will see.

  14. stone

    This is a very interesting discussion and one that has very smart people on all sides. I see these businesses as being very different. Their stated goals are also very different. Facebook is much more ambitious. WordPress is widely used but I wouldn’t call it enterprise grade. I think their platform is very vulnerable to an upstart that builds a better mousetrap. Their content management tools are pretty basic.Facebook has a faddish quality to it. I’m not saying that it goes the way of Geocities but I am saying that tastes can quickly change if the cool kids leave facebook. It’ll take more than the cool kids leaving for WordPress to be displaced — a company will actually have to build a much better platform.I think it’s easier to conclude that someone builds a better WordPress competitor over the next 5 years than Facebook becoming uncool. Does Facebook ever come to realize a $15b valuation? Only if the IPO market comes back and they can convince Wall Street that they have a scalable revenue model — which is obviously a lot of “if’s”.

    1. jeremystein

      im not sure i agree with:”Facebook has a faddish quality to it. I’m not saying that it goes the way of Geocities but I am saying that tastes can quickly change if the cool kids leave facebook”what if youre not in the “cool kids club?” the point im trying to make is that it is probably a small portion of the network. as long as you remain strongly connected to the nodes, youre not going can already find people who have removed themselves from facebook because “its not cool” and nothing has changed.facebook has real staying power.

      1. fredwilson

        I agree with this statement Jeremy. In my kid’s lives, facebook is it. I think they’d have to screw up pretty badly to lose that positionFred

  15. awilensky

    Ask me, both as a user and a SMB consultant: “give one up, Facebook or WordPress, choose only one.”No contest, I would cut Facebook loose in a heartbeat. WordPress is a platform for delivery of services beyond blogs. Facebook, as a medium for promoting small and medium business, or as a platform for fostering better communication between a business and its user constituency fails miserably.However, neither of these observations cuts ice in the metric of buzzyness. Facebook is more valuable in terms of the market of ghost valuations – functionality has very little to do with the market of perception.ThruDispatch, my dead baby for indy mobile dispatch, was DOA at VC due to the fact that although it was a defacto social network for automotive mobile servicers, was not worth funding due to its not being a ‘mobile social network for consumers or teens”.

  16. zachlandes

    Fred,what do you mean about “cutting back” on viral channels?

    1. fredwilson

      FB is working at reducing application spam which is a good thing for them to be doing. but in the process they’ve reduced the amount if virality in their system

      1. zachlandes

        Ah yes, this is noticeably true. Of course, in the long term even with application spam it would be inevitable that the applications people use and stick with are those that they would have a tendency to seek out themselves/have a real use for. It is few in thousands of “for-fun-only” applications that see long term sustainability as a result of the viral application spread on facebook. I quickly abandon at least 9/10 applications after adding them.

  17. Vassilis

    Interesting discussion. It looks like I am the only one here who feels that facebook is yesterday’s news (maybe with the exception of andrew).I guess that’s what happens after a big bang. its hard to follow up. People are still using facebook but the freshness is gone.

  18. charlie crystle

    “The blogging revolution is the adult social network whereas Facebook style social networking is for teens and college kids. This gap will narrow.”I’ve blogged since 1999 (built my own before it was a blog). But most of my friends do not blog. The percentage of adults on Facebook is, I’m guessing, much greater than the percentage of adults actively blogging. The number of reported blogs is much greater than the number of active blogs.Facebook is shallow when it comes to expression; blogging can be as deep as possible. But Facebook, as someone notes above, gives deep profiles to marketers, whereas blogs just give content that has to be read to be understood in the context of a profile.

  19. Thiago Guerra

    if the college kids of today are the adults of tomorrow will they stop using facebook in the future? or facebook will become a adult social network?

    1. fredwilson

      That’s a very good question. We should be watching the 20 somethings to find out the answerfred

      1. reece

        As a 25 year old, very early adopter of Facebook (one of the first 5 schools to get it), I can vouch that my usage has remained quite consistent in the four years since I signed up. Sure, it has waned at times – and I agree with Vassilis that the “freshness is gone,” but what remains are the connections which keep me attached. Will I still be using Facebook when I’m 30? No idea, but FB is doing a great job of trying to continually develop these connections with their bite of LinkedIn’s “People you may know” feature. I’m now getting friend requests from people I haven’t seen in years, and – a particular example which speaks to the age of FB users – former high school teachers.

  20. Dick Costolo

    Actually, you could argue that facebook DOESNT control the ad inventory on its pages (certainly loads of facebook app developers that are running ads in which facebook doesn’t participate), and DOES control the ad inventory on their pages. Example: Note the fact that does not allow publishers to use adsense (or adbrite or anything else), while facebook developers can use adsense or anything else.…I’d say it’s that controls the ad inventory on the pages it serves, they just haven’t deployed that control yet.

  21. Tim

    In your chart are those total unique visitors to, or for stand alone WordPress blogs?

    1. Philippe Bradley

      this was answered by a previous commenter – it logs/estimates traffic to any * domain, so not standalone blogs, and not hosted blogs with their own domain

    2. fredwilson

      I believe it’s the same thing

  22. Matt Mullenweg

    Fred, thanks for starting a great conversation here! I agree with you that there is a ton of value yet to be created in blogging, but it’s a slow burn and under the radar of most folks. is monetized partially through advertising but I think that’s not the ultimate scalable model for us or blogging.WayneMulligan is right that while our uniques are similar to Facebook, they do a bajillion more pageviews. However we’re two vastly different companies, 20ish employees vs hundreds for example, and I think we’re heading in very different directions, for them I think it’s more about communication (messaging, chat) and connections and for us it’s more about content, publishing, and platforms. I personally think Facebook is going to continue to kick butt and I don’t see that at the expense of Automattic in any way, shape, or form.Some people have noticed that there is not a ton of lock-in with and that is very deliberate. Blogging is about you, it belongs to you, and if you want to take what you’ve created elsewhere we’re happy to give you all your data in an easily parsed format and have for years. You can use the same platform you used before ( and have complete control and freedom to use or modify it however you like.

  23. jeremystein

    blogs might spread to the younger crowd as people learn the value of managing your digital not sure what you can say, but does tumblr have a younger demographic?

  24. VCMike

    Wow, what a great string of comments and discussion — especially for an investor in Automattic. Thanks Fred!What I’d emphasize is that these really are two very different types of platforms and so, contrary to many of the comments, the success of one shouldn’t come at the expense of the other’s. It’s not either or. Unlike many of the commenters, Fred said “the gap will narrow” not that blogging will rise and Facebook fall.I’d also note that alot of the discussion here of value flips back and forth between economic value (ie market cap) and consumer value. Especially since both provide their service free to the consumer (with the important exception of WordPress premium services), I think it is important to think about the questions separately.Facebook seems largely a communication platform. As such it gets lots of usage, but the monetization of online communication services has not yet been clearly established. The extent to which Facebook is learning lots of interesting things about its users could enable advertising that is targetted and so valuable in a way that, say, email advertising is not.Wordpress is a publishing platform. The commercial value, through advertising, of micro-publishing, is fairly well established. The question for WordPress, then, would be whether it can build a large enough audience across blogs that are appealing to advertisers; and, can it realize value by helping those blogs monetize.I am a tad biased, but in my view both are terrific startups that are having an important impact and will likely have great success from a value perspective.

    1. fredwilson

      Hi MikeThanks for wading into the discussion. Interested parties are always welcome!Thanks for pointing out that I said the “gap will narrow”. I think that means Automattic and blogging solutions in general have significant value and the market doesn’t quite realize how valuable they are. That’s the gap I think will narrow. I also think that Facebook’s value is more likely $5bn to $7bn if a true market price was put on them, so that’s another factor in my thinking.Fred

  25. mhickinseweek

    Taralucci e vino really rocks. Their first location on 1st ave and 10th street is nicer–small and cramped but their first labor of love, and it shows.

  26. Raj

    Facebook has a much lower barrier to entry than Also, there’s little value for passive users compared to FB. Lots of my FB friends are not highly engaged with their status updates, but they log in frequently nonetheless.

  27. davidshay

    the key difference is that fb is not only a network, but a group forming network, and thus it’s utility (however you measure it) is exponential in the sense articulated so well by Reed’s law.…WP is missing this group building capacity. Perhaps things like Disqus help narrow the gap.

  28. Alberto Escarlate

    Throwing some heat to the thread – here’s Dare Obasanjo’s point-of-view on your post.….

    1. fredwilson

      i’ve ben called worse. at least a clown entertains

  29. chrsoz

    Awesome discussion going on here! My contribution:1. If “eventually (blogging) will overtake FB [and conventional centralised socnets generally] in terms of reach and sustainability” (drawing on Jevon and Fred’s comments) is a realistic scenario (as people get older/more sophisticated, and want a more appropriate medium for their online expression/presence/identity), then there’s a smart move that FB can make (as a defensive extension strategy), which develops on the already basic blog functionality that they have with their “notes” (and that leverages their large, and evolving, user-base): BECOME A BLOG PLATFORM AS WELL. They can create a fully public-facing element to their “notes” blogging platform (or just acquire an alternate, more high spec, platform; tumblr? 🙂 ), which can exist in parallel with the user’s regular, controlled-access, Facebook account. It extends the Facebook ecosystem, creates a (social) blog platform/network in the process, and retains those users who want an open presence/identity and could have felt inclined to graduate away from zombies to a more serious expression medium (so it’s a hybrid socnet/blogging proposition addressing public and private expression and identity). One of the interesting things here is that, since it would be tied into the FB privacy controls, then you’ve got a blog platform where you can decide who gets to read which posts (so either make a post fully public, or specify who can see it based on your FB group settings, so only certain groups of friends/contacts potentially get to see certain posts). So you could have one blog which potentially addresses a range of different audiences, but which is managed through one platform. And probably good to not have the ‘blog’ handle (not that FB has this now), since, as RexHammock says and zachlandes supports, it’s a term that doesn’t necessarily have positive/accessible connotations for the mass audience.2. Definitely agree that blogs (whether the full-on format, or the cut-down format like a tumblelog), have the potential to become the new distributed social networking paradigm (as the user looks to assert control over their online identity/presence/expression), with the user choosing their preferred blog platform/format and then choosing the glue that they want to use to connect them with their network/content and bind their online activities together (e.g. twitter, lifestream aggregators, comment platforms, etc); interesting thing here is obviously that social networking lock-in disappears and social networking becomes a cross-platform/non-silo’d activity (I’m definitely in the category of person where a social networking profile isn’t doing the job for me, and I want more control over my main online presence)3. When you look at the broader environment it seems that the rate of convergence is gathering increasing pace generally, as, irrespective of the various big players’ starting point (portal, search, social network, blogging platform, the new media companies (e.g. Demand Media), even traditional media to some extent), they’re moving towards a broadly similar converged space, where it’s all about providing a consolidated set of tools to the user, consisting of community/social networking (of one form or another), messaging/communication, start-page, professional media & user generated content/self-publishing, etc so that they can manage all aspects of their online lives with other utilities and services bolted on (there’s also the DIY category of user who will bolt together components that they want to use, if they’re a bit more sophisticated). It really feels that, in some respects, that after the internet big bang (where everybody went off in different directions) that the universe is really starting to contract as far as the major players are concerned (there will obviously continue to be innovation from start-ups; just feels that there’s going to be ever-growing commonality in the component parts of the portfolios of the big players). Search is obviously the piece that only Google really has, but as the social environment matures (in terms of people being increasingly seamlessly and effortlessly connected) I think there will be implications for search as users increasingly call on their communities/networks for answers/information (which has the trust factor which a search result doesn’t currently provide). I’ve experienced this more and more recently, e.g. through twitter when questions thrown out are responded to fast and with quality responses, when otherwise a search might have been used. Not that I see search going away anytime soon, but people will have an increasing number of (socially-powered) ways to get answers, pointers and information. If this is a developing trend there could obviously be interesting implications for the monetisation that currently happens around the search process.Feel like there’s a much bigger post in me on the convergence theme. Maybe I’ll put it on the tumblog that I’ve just started playing around with (http://www.chroznest.tumblr… – just setting it up right now and getting familiar with it), or maybe I’ll need a longer-form blog platform to do it on. Decisions, decisions! 🙂

  30. Greg Gershman

    We all thought this 4 years ago. We were wrong. Facebook is just too easy. No messing with RSS feeds, no cutting and pasting embed codes. Normal people aren’t going to get their own blog just to share pictures with their family. Facebook is really just a blogging tool that abstracts subscription into something called friending.Blogging is losing it’s social media nature; it’s more and more just web content. WordPress could make itself as easy to use as Facebook, but then it’d just be a Facebook clone.

  31. Bob Warfield

    Fred, you are so out on a limb saying blogging is the adult social network……and I am so right there with you, because you are absolutely right!There’s something else at work here. Everyone keeps wanting the one size fits all:You can do all this with e-mail! Ewwww!You can do everything with blogs. No, everything is better in a social network.No, wrong again, do everything on Twitter.All wrong. Each of these media is appropriate to a particular set of use cases, and just as importantly, but seldom talked about, each is appropriate to a certain set of personal learning styles which cause strong self-selection in terms of which ones each of us like. This latter is not an idea I’ve heard much elsewhere, but I’ve written about it quite a lot.The latest had to do with one Stowe Boyd:http://smoothspan.wordpress…Best,BW

  32. qwang

    I think what you’re talking about is whether people’s “homebase” identity is a blog, a profile, a “lifestream”, or something else entirely. I must disagree that blogs have a larger addressable market than regular profiles–It’s far easier to talk someone into creating profile than starting a blog. I suspect that the most popular “homebase” will end up being something more passive that a blog, but still updated frequently enough to warrant continual traffic. Essentially, I think facebook’s profile + wall + life-stream is directionally correct.

  33. David Henderson

    Blogged about this last summer… still believe it’s true…http://www.blogs.dhenderson…Case an point …. there’s the twitter world and social networking world… where is Gen Y? Gen Y are not bloggers which says what about blogging?

  34. narendra

    Apparently, Yahoo got Flickr for a 0.2% of what it could have been worth!http://siteanalytics.compet…It would be nice if we could start to see real revenue being driven by all these wonderful web services but for all the excitement of Web2.0, these remain relatively small revenue generators. It is a good thing that costs have been driven way down because ultimately Facebook is primarily driven by photo sharing. And the rest of the new form communication crop are dismantling the world of email which itself was only a moderate revenue driver until Google blew that to shreds with the mantra of free.It is hard to escape the fundamentals we have seen since 1996. Search and eBay are golden, everything else is a grind.

  35. Paul Higgins

    Fred – isn’t the valuation for Facebook just a load of rubbish – Didn’t the MS deal include advertising slices and so part of the money they paid was really like income rather than equity?Paul

    1. fredwilson

      i’ve said a few times on this blog and already once in this comment thread that i think facebook is worth $5b to $7bn right now if the market were to fairly value it

  36. m

    isn’t this an indication of the kind of monetizable data beyond basic traffic data? as others have pointed out, one’s a community platform and the other, publishing, thus two very different kinds of resulting data. fb has a lot of modular / granular data about each user, whereas wp produces more fuzzy data (ie blog posts, tags, etc).even if both networks had the same eyeballs and / or users, it would stand to reason that they’d be valuated differently.

  37. Shreshth

    from what i understand, facebook is ‘Growing Up’, 40% of facebook users, who were originally college students have now graduated and are part of ADULT social networking environment. Hence, saying that facebook is just for young folks is not entirely correct. Also, fb is realizing that many of these users dont like to much advertising or viral marketing (inviting friends), mature audience wants Privacy, while engaging in serious conversations in GROUPS which can be used as BLOGs or discussion groups. hence, FB is growing up with them. The idea of opening gates by API, has given them a chance to just lengthen their ‘COOL’ factor amongst users, the mundane applications will soon vaporize, and fb would be picking up the sustainable ones itself to strengthen the platform for long term.

  38. Ernest Chipset

    About $14,800,000 I guess.

  39. anon

    The difference is facebook is outrageously overvalued.

  40. slowblogger

    I agree with you. Blogging will exist for a long time, and some social networks may not. There seems significant gap in value provided and the value financial market assigns right now. Hope you to rethink about freeconomics (or freemium, or whatever) as well.

  41. slowblogger

    I agree with you. Blogging will exist for a long time, and some social networks may not. There seems significant gap in value provided and the value financial market assigns right now. Hope you to rethink about freeconomics (or freemium, or whatever) as well.

  42. slowblogger

    I agree with you. Blogging will exist for a long time, and some social networks may not. There seems significant gap in value provided and the value financial market assigns right now. Hope you to rethink about freeconomics (or freemium, or whatever) as well.

  43. slowblogger

    I agree with you. Blogging will exist for a long time, and some social networks may not. There seems significant gap in value provided and the value financial market assigns right now. Hope you to rethink about freeconomics (or freemium, or whatever) as well.

  44. Robert John Ed

    I just wanted to say that Fred’s audience here is truly amazing. I really enjoy reading all of the intelligent conversation and strings that stem from Fred’s blog. Bravo. I’m going to think a bit about blogging as well as online social networking and write a bit more on it.

    1. fredwilson

      Maybe what I enjoy and too many others don’t is a community on this blog andmaybe that clouds my view of the intersection of blogging and socialnetworking, but I still think its comingfred

      1. Gloria

        Facebook already offers blogging as an explicit feature. It’s called “notes.” You can write notes, tag your friends as part of a conversation kick-off, comment on notes, and post other people’s notes to your profile.But the vast majority of Facebook users don’t use it. Here’s my current News Feed breaks down:- 6 events- 8 photo uploads or comments- 1 gift- 1 ad- 1 posted link…drumroll, please…- 0 notesThis tells me that even in a super-connected, social environment, most of my 20-something peers aren’t and won’t be blog writers in the “traditional” longer posts and publishing sense.Still — many of us non-blog-writers read blogs. And there is hugely important value there.

      2. johndodds

        And you’re absolutely right on that Fred. The audience here and on other blogs are united by an interest in a subject matter (here it’s generally serious, on others it can be totally frivolous) that has nothing to do with existing social networks of the real world variety though, of course, there is some overlap.That interest may be professional, intellectual or simply diversional but has the potential to cement connections that can and do extend into other social networks such as FB and in my experience into real life. Bottom line, we all have different social networks in our lives and their relative importance changes over time (which I think may represent a threat to FB) – blogging is more adaptable and long ago stopped being about the technorati 100 or indeed the tech world alone. From the point of view of the participants, size is no longer as important as it used to be. The power and relative usefulness/enjoyment of a network is correlated with the “quality”of its nodes more than their quantity.

  45. Pete

    I am someone who is buidling a blogging/search platform: has deployed wordpress for several websites on a consulting basis. I think there are a few issues.Ultimately open platforms/software will win as they are so much more flexible and you ownnn your own data. I believe wordpress is one of the better platforms but as far as I can tell it is missing alot of features (content versioning, an api, a spider/feed reader, different content formats) which are essential for support of the next generation of products. Its a very good blogging platform but the future is integrating blogging with so much more.