The Blog Where Everybody Knows Your Name

This blog attracts around 125,000 unique visitors a month pretty consistently. That's a lot of people.

But there's about 1,000 to 2,000 who I'd call regulars who hang out here and talk about stuff. I know all of them by name. And they know each other by name.

I was reminded of that while wading through the comments to my post yesterday. In the midst of a serious discussion about venture deals and the venture industry was this exchange:

Kid talk
The Kid, David, Brooks, and Shana are all regulars. And we had a little chat about The Kid who in addition to being a brilliant thinker about where the web is taking us is also a kook and a conspiracy theorist. But he's our kook and conspiracy theorist.

It's like a bar where a bunch of regulars show up every night. You aren't sure which of them will show and what the talk will be, but it's fun and everyone is respectful and you learn a lot. I can't exactly explain how it got to be this way, but it is. And I am so grateful for it.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Satish Mummareddy

    Thats so true. πŸ™‚ I feel like the guy who shows up everyday and sits in a corner and watches the rest of the people and listens. πŸ™‚

    1. Diego Sana

      me too πŸ™‚

      1. Mark Essel

        As long as you chime in from time to time, we can all say hello.Howdy gents πŸ˜€

    2. ShanaC

      I work to comment. I actually go and look things up. It’s been a huge growing experience for me.

    3. Donna Brewington White

      Exactly. I relate to this. Also, great comments above — you’ve nailed the “culture” of this blog. I feel like a “student” here and yet even when I chime in from time to time, Fred has been gracious. It is no small feat to create a community like this…reminds me not only of a bar/pub, but a great graduate level class discussion where the professor gets the ball rolling and let’s the students take over the discussion. Hey, Fred University. In keeping with the “bar” theme…to Fred, Salut!

  2. David Semeria

    It’s a pity Mark Essel didn’t get a shout, his energy, curiosity and manners are amazing….

    1. fredwilson

      yes, Mark is absolutely a regular. but he wasn’t in that little exchangeyesterday

      1. David Semeria

        Sure, and I agree with the sentiment of the post – a lot of which is down to Disqus.

      2. Mark Essel

        Yeah Mark is awesome, I’d get a T-shirt with his picture on it, but my fiance would object.Besides I was dissing on Kid’s kooky conspiracy theory early, but loving his crowd sourced private venture party idea.But kid has created great defense mechanisms surrounding his vision of truth, who am I to pick (seriously he has studied and looked much more into the details of his conspiracies than I have). If I believed what Kid did, I’d have to start a witch hunt, to route out all those involved, and I’m way too lazy πŸ˜‰

  3. alexismichelle

    Someone pointed out at a conference last week that seeing someone’s name regularly in your twitter stream makes you feel a stronger sense of familiarity and personal affinity. I think this also extends to people who are active participants in a blogging community (only perhaps stronger, because all members of the community are seeing the same participants, not just the few that they follow.) Either way, I certainly feel like I know many of the regular contributors (even if I am not one of them myself, though I read religiously ;)You capture it perfectly in this line: “…but it’s fun and everyone is respectful and you learn a lot,” So true! And for this, I too am very thankful (and also why it was so important to me to give something to your donors choose challenge, despite being on a ‘start up’ budget– though I’m certain I’m not the only reader of this blog who is! πŸ™‚

  4. awaldstein

    Fred–The unique aspect of this blog that draws me is that it is a ‘community’ of interests with interesting people, the online equivalent of a place, with its own dynamics. As a newbee to the blog and beginning participant, as a place it it is remarkably non exclusionary and welcomes new folks and ideas. Great spot to hang out πŸ˜‰

  5. Satish Mummareddy

    “I can’t exactly explain how it got to be this way, but it is.” Here is my hypothesis on how it got to this point.Most of us who do not know Fred personally start leaving comments to have a direct conversation with Fred, to build a relationship over time and potentially work together when the right situation arises. The volume of comments is so high here because Fred participates and responds to as many comments as he can. So all the readers feel that their comments are valued, and continue to leave comments. And then after a while people who leave comments start to read all the other readers comments rather than only Fred’s response to their own comments. πŸ™‚ And then magic happens. you realize that there are a number of people who consistently leave comments and you start to recognize them. And then you start to communicate with the other readers who leave comments and there you have a bar (oops i meant a community)

    1. David Semeria

      That’s right. Fred’s commitment and continuity got (and keeps) the ball rolling. A valuable start-up lesson in itself.

      1. awaldstein

        “Accessible leadership” is what you are saying. in this blog and in business.

        1. David Semeria

          Or, to use a more populist (and rather ugly) phrase: Fred eats his own dog food.As mentioned in numerous posts, USV regards the existence of a community around a product/service as a key competitive advantage. By creating his own community, Fred is essentially practicing what he preaches.The role of Disqus is also important: “Turning comments into communities” (just made that up, but it has a nice ring to it…)

          1. awaldstein

            I’ll look into Disqus for my clients. The ease and natural real time nature of this conversation is a motivation to continue it.

          2. Mark Essel

            I highly recommend Disqus to all my friends who blog or host websites. Whenever I have to re-enter credentials in another isolated island comment I cringe. Disqus provides the glue to all my 2-cents worth of feedback. I feel compelled to give feedback whenever I come across a topic I care about, because it helps me so much when I get it (in agreement or in contrast).In a very real way tools like Disqus and comments help us all get a little smarter by tuning into perspectives outside our own. Fred see’s things differently than Dave, who see’s things differently than Shana, etc. All these perspectives on interesting questions/concerns about value and proper methods help shake out the unessential aspects of ideas, revealing good ole raw truthiness. Now I need to think about that statement some more, thanks for getting my weary noggin’ going this AM.

          3. awaldstein

            Historically, tools have always been behind the needs of online community building. I built my first online community on a BBS system for Atari developers way back then. (My first real job ;)) It worked because the passion of the community was there, regardless of the primitiveness of the tools. Disqus seems to be a catapult. They have a WP plugin. I’m installing it today for my stuff.

          4. Dave Pinsen

            “I built my first online community on a BBS system for Atari developers way back then.”You should add some color for the younger readers, e.g., Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” was in heavy rotation, Tron was on the big screen, the nation’s gamers hadn’t gotten tired of Pong yet…

          5. awaldstein

            Hmm…I came on the scene to help rebuild the Atari brand and move all the early Atari game libraries like Asteriods, Frogger, Pacman, from Coin Op and early consoles to new platforms like the 7800, ST and PCs. Interestingly, I got to play with these classics and many more again when I built the Sound Blaster developer organization and rolled out multimedia on the Windows platform.

          6. Dave Pinsen

            That must have been a great experience.

          7. awaldstein

            More to come. Lot’s of unbelievable platforms and communications possibilities today.

          8. fredwilson

            What a great job to have had. Those games are like the great early tv shows

          9. awaldstein

            Yes, an incredible first job to get me going in my career. Not only the content but this was when the Jack Tramiel Family (Commodore Computer) took over the company from Warner and basically reduced it down to about 20+ people from I remember thousands. I was one of them. A great story in early corporate takeovers as well.

          10. fredwilson


          11. ShanaC

            You’d appreciate this then:…Don’t take it too seriously, It’s Scav Hunt. They don’t actually do this on a day to day basis.

          12. Dave Pinsen

            I can’t believe they took the time to do that once.

          13. ShanaC

            It’s the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt. As the largest scavenger hunt in the world, it’s well known for that sort of level of antics. What else could you possibly fill a 19 page list (including the rules) that last year had 277 different items.

          14. Mark Essel

            I’d like to question the physics of their simulation.

          15. ShanaC

            There was a whole study done back in the early mid ’00s that claimed that it only took approximately 6 clicks to get from any one location to another unrelated one. Part of the reason is there are centralized nodes that everyone refers to on the internet (IE, lots of people link back and forth to the Huffignton Post).I suspect that study needs to be redone. The reason is that since the underlying technology of the web has gotten better, I suspect the nodal points of where people interlink in and out to have gotten tighter and looser at the same time, so now it is more web like. If we Take Freds blog to be a node, having Disqus or some other non-one to one parity social networking tool installed could easily cause someone to link out more quickly since the page is now much more link rich.So even if we all end up here, and are very tight knit here, because we are easily accessible through Disqus to other locations it is totally possible that we’ve more firmly joined even on a link by link basis. (I’ve been overthinking this point for a while in relation to some other thoughts.)

          16. Mark Essel

            I was just having an old man’s mid afternoon siesta (was up till 1am playing with Google Wave, then got up at 5am with Michelle) and dreaming about network link strength (a cool visualization chart that I don’t know how to code-> much like my current foray into building a google wave robot with scala). Google’s breakthrough information mapping was counting links, real time information quality doesn’t have time to develop links, so we require other measures. Every time I follow a link, some part of me feels like I’m strengthening a neural connection of some super smart but as of yet non-existent entity. Our usage of the Internet “teaches it” by making direct connections between abstract concepts. Loosely we train the neural network of the web. Crowd sourcing sites do this with votes, social sites do with likes, and twitter does it with retweets.The further strides we make in building the Internet’s depth, by making it a richer experience, the greater we are rewarded. It’s a feedback loop. The more I improve Internet usage efficiency, by adding useful services, the richer I become. The intelligence of the Internet isn’t an isolated entity either, it’s composed of a billion or so people actively using it, generating and connecting content. Our attention, and shared time and thoughts here are changing the structure of the web in a real way.Look at what became of traditional advertising, Google’s 20billion dollar plus revenue stream didn’t come from no where, it came directly out of the pockets of traditional advertising, which was a lot bigger market than 20 billion dollars. So Google shrunk the industry, and captured the revenue – classic disruption.

          17. fredwilson

            I love the siesta. I’m gonna put a couch in my office and a do not disturb card for the door20 minutes mid afternoon gives me a second wind

          18. Carl Rahn Griffith

            “You must sleep some time between lunch and dinner and no halfway measures.” – That man again …. (Churchill).

          19. fredwilson

            I’m gonna put that quote above my couch!

          20. Carl Rahn Griffith

            How about this – below – for yet another wonderful Churchill quote? Had not read this one before:”I wonder whether any other generation has seen such astounding revolutions of data and values as those through which we have lived. Scarcely anything material or established which I was brought up to believe was permanent and vital, has lasted. Everything I was sure or taught to be sure was impossible, has happened.”What a man. That one’s definitely going on my home-office wall.

          21. fredwilson

            And he’s talking about the 20th century!

          22. ErikSchwartz

            With the glass wall and your office being right up front your first “post-siesta” meeting of the afternoon will be sure that you’re well rested and focused. It will become the prime pitch spot of the day. :-)My 3 daughters taught me the value of the nap.

          23. fredwilson

            Three daughters. You are blessed erikThe key for me with the nap is I don’t sleep for more than 20 mins during the week because I’m groggy after I wake up if I go for the 40min variety

          24. ErikSchwartz

            It’s all fairies, ballet, and glitter right now.What worries me is in 10 years when they are 17, 15, and 12.

          25. fredwilson

            that’s where i am Erik and it is fine. in fact it is wonderful

          26. awaldstein

            Mark, this inspires me “Our usage of the Internet “teaches it” by making direct connections between abstract concepts. Loosely we train the neural network of the web. Crowd sourcing sites do this with votes, social sites do with likes, and twitter does it with retweets”. I’ll take this to the gym and think on it this morning.Interested in your thoughts on Google and shrinking and disrupting the ad industry and how interactive TV technologies could do some of this as well. Have any links to point me to?

          27. Mark Essel

            A quick look up on Google showed a Bloomberg post with recent upbeat reports on ad sales.Here’s a telling quote from the article: “Even as companies pared marketing budgets, Google benefited from a shift to online ads from traditional media. Search advertising will grow 3.6 percent in the U.S. this year, while the entire ad industry declines 15 percent, according to Magna Global in New York.”This is somewhat counter online advertising, but I like Eric Clemons’ style: Why Advertising is Failing on the Internet. For interactive tv look to boxee, hulu, netflix and other providers that give viewers the freedom to pick their media and create their own personalized stations. I’m not sure how popular the ad model versus pay to play will be though.

          28. awaldstein

            Thnx Mark

          29. hardaway

            I feel the same way about Disqus. I put it on all my blogs (four)

          30. Dave Pinsen

            Great tag line, David!

          31. Mark Essel

            The beginning of Dave’s long and illustrious marketing career-> web/tech company jingles.

          32. Jeff Pester

            David, I’m going to be really disappointed if that tag line doesn’t show up on the Disqus site soon – that’s pure gold :)Love, love, love Disqus. Just wish Posterous would integrate it in to their platform as Tumblr has done.

      2. Satish Mummareddy

        Yup. I missed the fact that Fred shows up every day so i show up too. πŸ™‚

    2. fredwilson

      That’s a great analysis and likely correct in all regards

    3. kennethli

      I wonder what percentage of the regular commenters are from the NY region versus elsewhere. I wonder this because although the internet makes the world a much flatter place, location/offline is also a strong contributing factor towards community. People who have met face to face are much more likely to want to start/continue engaging in conversation with each other. Also, if the hypothesis is that a seed group of commenters do so to get exposure to Fred and for potential business opportunities with him, it would make sense that a larger proportion of these people would be from the northeast, as deals are usually done close to home.Counter to all of this is that this blog is just a great place for learning and for discourse on technology. So anyone anywhere would want to just jump in =) The fact that Fred responds to comments welcomes people from anywhere to participate and feel connected.

      1. Satish Mummareddy

        So when i started reading blogs that talked about startups, i did not look at the location of the author, just whether the content was good and whether there were frequent posts. I read Marc Andreesen, Brad Feld, Guy Kawasaki, Scoble as much as i read Fred, Seth Godin, Ed Sim, and Josh Kopelman. I sat on the sidelines before i left any comments at all. Most of the other top blogs do not have communities even though they have a lot of readers. And the main reason i think for that is that the author of the blog doesn’t participate in the conversation realtime. They might do it once a day at best and mostly never. So Fred participating made me comment and i think i would do the same even if Fred was in LA or Seattle or India. πŸ™‚ Just a great guy who i want to get to know more and would want as a mentor at the minimum and a partner/friend at best. :)PS: Chris Dixon might be able to replicate Fred’s success if he continues what he is doing now. πŸ™‚ The community that comments is small right now but i think there are a lot of us sitting on the side lines to see if Chris will commit to the community long term, and if he does then a lot of us will get in and it will flourish.

        1. Satish Mummareddy

          BTW the content on all those blogs i named is fantastic. I call the Marc Andreesen blog content the “The Pmarca Bible to Startups” πŸ™‚ Same for Mark Suster’s “Both sides of the table”.

          1. fredwilson

            Suster is another one to watch. he’s got great stuff

        2. fredwilson

          chris is killing it right nowthe question is can he sustain itandreessen could not

          1. Satish Mummareddy

            If anything, now is the right time for Andreeesen to have a conversation on his blog with potential young entrepreneurs who have bought into his philosophy of building a startup. I am not an RSS reader guy, so i visited Marc’s page every single day for a year with no change in content until one day he announced that he was starting a VC fund and then removed all the previous content. I panicked and went to the webarchive to download all the important posts. πŸ™‚ and make my own personal book. πŸ™‚ and now i think the content has been taken off the webarchive too. πŸ™‚

          2. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

            Damn. I’d buy a copy of that book.

          3. fredwilson

            Its a damn shame. I have to bend his ear about the removal of the content. That totally sucks

          4. kidmercury

            damn boss ANOTHER shot at marc andreessen?!?!? first you dissed him for being a silicon valley bigot and now you are dissing him for not being able to cut it as a blog star!!! brutal boss. i thought i was rough on jdawg but you are truly pouncing here. let it be a lesson to those foolish enough to try to beef with you in the future.

          5. fredwilson

            I wouldn’t say anything here that I wouldn’t say to marc’s face.

          6. kidmercury

            lol….fair enough boss….you have already won the beef anyway, marc is a comments off blogger, that is like instant forfeiture

          7. fredwilson

            I noticed that seth godin wasn’t on your blog stars list

          8. kidmercury

            same deal…once you go comments off, game is over, no matter who you are or good your content game is (and as we know seth brings a great content game)….but without comments you might as well go back to using a typewriter and taking phone orders for selling subscriptions by postal mail

          9. fredwilson

            Your man jdawg does that from time to time. He even tried going back to the email newsletter

          10. kidmercury

            lol, well jdawg’s game is retro, he even tried to create a 1997 style web directory, so it makes sense that jdawg would embrace such strategies.jdawg hustles though, so you can’t rule him out and have to give props in that sense. hustlers can succeed in spite of many, many obstacles.

          11. fredwilson

            Yup. He is certainly a scrappy guy

          12. Dave Pinsen

            Scarily again, I agree with Kid on something else. Comments or bust. I don’t even read blogs that don’t have them. If the blogger doesn’t want to hear from me, I don’t want to hear from him. In fact, I’ll take it a step further: I don’t read blogs where the blogger doesn’t occasionally interact with his commenters. That’s just as bad, IMO. Not that many bloggers interact as often as Fred does here, but they should all interact at least occasionally.

          13. David Semeria

            Well said.

          14. Carl Rahn Griffith


      2. harpos_blues

        Kenneth,I live in Los Angeles. AVC is one of my daily reads, though I’d likely never approach USV and/or Fred for an an investment opportunity. My focus is mostly content distribution for ” traditional” media (music/film) and the impact of technology on that industry. When I’m not involved in the digital media wars, I’m focused on “dual-use” or transition of Gov’t research projects to the commercial sector.You can check my posting history (via Disqus) to see that I rarely agree with Fred regarding his opinions on creative content distribution via the interwebs.What I enjoy about this blog is:β€’ Fred’s engagement and honesty. He’s opinionated, yet will readily admit when he’s uninformed or incorrect on a particular topic. Most important — no drama. β€’ Fred is enthusiastic about technology and it’s uses; as another commenter noted “Fred eats his own dog food”.β€’ Fred writes well. Even his most complex discussions of the economics of the VC industry are easy to follow. β€’Β Fred has a great sense of humor, and is also genuinely committed to the “public good”.AVC is my third blog read every morning. I’m often awake before start of business in NYC, so I check what Fred is up to in the wee hours here in Los Angeles. I track the comments for topics in my area of interest, and comment when I have something to add to the conversation, whether or not Fred, or the rest of his blog community will agree with me.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          What are your first two reads?

        2. fredwilson

          it is a source of great pride that regular members of this communitydisagree with me on some of my most strongly held beliefs

          1. David Semeria

            No it’s not.

          2. kidmercury


          3. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Oh yes it is.Well, Panto’ season is approaching … πŸ˜‰

      3. Mike O'Horo

        I live in Las Vegas; was referred to this blog by a colleague from a former life, Rick Klau, who heads Google’s Blogger unit.

        1. fredwilson

          Rick is a great guy That whole feedburner team epitomized the ‘no assholes’ rule

    4. Mark Essel

      Great perspective on the how it happened. Fred knew this too, but he can’t toot his own horn too much, it’s unseemly ;)Better we pipe in, and say “pass us another round of drinks bartender” and raise our glasses to salute Fred. I think an actual meetup/party would be fun. I just missed bumping into Fred at Hugh and Seth’s Purple Cow party and that was a blast (and I didn’t know anyone there).

    5. kidmercury

      yes. nailed it. this is why blogs are the future of online communities. it starts with the blog star.

      1. fredwilson

        Can you name ten blog stars? Is your man mikey, as you call him, a blog star?

        1. kidmercury

          can i name ten blog stars. without breaking a sweat boss! here goes:1. fred wilson2. heather armstrong ( kottke4. jdawg (gotta admit it….you know i don’t run from the truth boss)5. mike masnick6. dave winer7. kanye west8. richard macmanus9. om malik10. mike shedlock (…)and that’s off the top of my head; there are many others (regrettably mikey must be included, although as we know, he doesn’t know how to play the game….if you’re feeling charitable boss could you toss him a few pointers on how this blog game is played….after you whup his ass in the donor’s choose contest, of course).to clarify, blog stars can simply be defined as independent media creators/publishers who have created and continue to engage their own niche community. because of the influence they hold over the community, they will have the assets required to crowdsource labor and to make endorsements. their relationship with their fans, if managed properly, can enable P2P transactions as well. it is critical to note that when evaluating the potential profitability of a blog star, we need to consider not only the quality of the content they produce, but their governance/political skills as well, as their influence must be used to manage/lead/inspire the crowd.there will be many blog stars in the near future, as blog stars are the epitome of the “power to the people” nature of the internet. you’re on the cutting edge of a new trend, boss!

          1. fredwilson

            I’m saving this comment. Brilliant analysis

          2. fredwilson

            Kid – this is going to be my post of the day if you’re OK with that

          3. kidmercury

            of course — i’d be honored!

  6. Rob K

    1- I’d like to have a seat at that bar.2- Fred: You should have a meetup or an unconference. It would be fun and enlightening.

    1. fredwilson

      i am doing a meetup in early November with everyone who gives to donorschoose via this blogi know that is not what you are talking about but its a first step

      1. Rob K

        That might prompt me to give. When in November?

        1. fredwilson

          don’t know yetbut i will set the date soon and blog about it

        2. fredwilson

          Nov 4th. 6pm to 9pm. Near union square in nyc

          1. Adrian Bye

            perfect. i will be in nyc that day

      2. Dave Pinsen

        Try not to have it the night of the 10th, Fred. You’ll probably want to keep that night open to see The Cult in Montclair.

        1. fredwilson

          that’s the night of our annual meetingwon’t be doing that unfortunately

      3. Mark Essel

        Nice, I’m in (hopefully my fiance can join in), she loves going out and meeting folks.

      4. ShanaC

        Out of sheer curiosity, how do you know who gave to Donor’s Choose from here?

        1. fredwilson

          they give through my giving page and donors choose keeps a record of each ofthem

  7. Darren Herman

    It is so true. We use that analogy at work on how a blog community is a bar and your blog exemplifies it.If it’s a bar, who is the bouncer? It’s a crowdsourced bouncer I’d argue as everyone is exposed at all times.

    1. fredwilson

      the kid is the bounceri appointed him to the position when Jackson (my brother) stopped comingregularlyhe was the first bouncer and was amazing at watching my back

      1. Mark Essel

        That’s funny, my brother is my blogs watchmen. He doesn’t always follow all the post topics or ideas but he appreciates the sentiment.

        1. fredwilson

          Its a natural role

      2. kidmercury

        just doing my job boss. always proud to be of service!

    2. Dave Pinsen

      Your blog must be more of a velvet rope lounge, because if memory serves, I left a comment there once and it never appeared. Or maybe it was just a technical issue. Who knows.

  8. Mark Essel

    Just a heads up Fred. Something about the way you run your comments attracts a certain type of blogger bar fly. If your blog grows too much, and the comment stream becomes unmanageable, it may lose that cozy feeling. A force in opposition to idea/thought sharing expansion, how terrible and awesome all at once.

    1. fredwilson

      i’m not terribly worried about itthis blog has been flat at about 125k UVs per month for yearsi think it has a natural limit

  9. Vladimir Vukicevic

    I’m sorry I’ve been slacking Fred – have a few things cooking. But I still read the blog religiously.

  10. Dan T

    Who’s Woody?

    1. fredwilson


      1. JLM

        Hmmm, Woody? OK! LOLWhat has been created here is actually quite extraordinary and an interesting phenomenom. I think it is the almost anonymous wrestling of “ideas” stripped bare of the normal “learned” reactions with which we color our view of the sponsors of the ideas. It allows one to focus on the ideas without any preconceived notions. It is quite liberating.I find it quite interesting to see how far geographically these ideas are cast and how democratic the marketplace appears to be. In addition, the mix of ages provides an interesting flavor to things.In another sense, it is also the “anarchy” created by the anonymity of the medium which opens our minds to the possibilities. As an example, when I read the Kid’s rants I am forced to give them careful consideration because he has such keen and valuable (and in my view usually correct) insights on other subjects with which I agree.There is also something charming about having a “bouncer” for a blog as one of my greatest regrets in life is the abolition of dueling.This blog has taken on the civilized characteristics of a “salon” in which the entry price is a thoughtful observation of the world, the human condition and the ability to share ideas and views in conflict but without being contentious.Fred is the guy who has made this happen and here’s a tip of the hat to the old boy!I will be glad to host the Austin, TX meet up if it should come to that. Tex Mex or BBQ?See ya in Dallas Saturday morning at 11:00 AM — TX v OU — Hook ’em, Horns! My 29th TX v OU game in a row!

        1. fredwilson

          “one of my greatest regrets in life is the abolition of dueling”that would be the line of the day

  11. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    Absolutely right. And I’m proud to call myself a member of this community, albeit not the most active. You know I follow your blog religiously, but I don’t comment as much as I’d want to because most of my comments would be “I agree.” (like this one)

  12. LD Eakman

    I’m afraid that the conspiracy theorists will be proven correct. I’m glad you have one.

    1. fredwilson

      it looks like we have two Lindel!

    2. kidmercury

      you know it never ceases to amaze me how much people can deny kookology. kooks have been saying for years that there would be a currency crisis that would be used as the pretext to introduce world government. we now live in a world with a World Bank (literally, that is its name) that prints its own money (SDRs via the IMF) and we have an organization called United Nations that pretty much as global governance power. it seems to me that the kooks might already be proven correct.the last step of the equation is for the united states to be weakened, as there can be no superpower if there is to be a true world government. we are in the midst of that process unfolding.

      1. Mike O'Horo

        As Gandhi is quoted re: contrarian thinking or ideas, “First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they attack you. Then you win.”

        1. fredwilson

          that’s a terrific quote mike!

      2. ErikSchwartz

        Wouldn’t “kookology” be the study of kooks?Kookism or kookist would be the dogma of kookiness.

        1. kidmercury

          good point. however i wanted to find a word that conveys that kookology/kookism is not simply a philosophical outlook, but rather something that has its own science. i feel like -ism is more associated with subjectivity, while -ology has a more objective, fact-oriented connotation.but an excellent point you raise, and certainly one that merits discussion.9/11 was an inside job,kid mercury

  13. William Mougayar

    I have nothing to add, but am “checking-in” that I’ve read today’s post.Is that the equivalent of “hi everybody, just stopped to say hi, but won’t be able to have a drink with you today”.Speaking of drinks, there’s something about Fred’s blog that goes to people’s heads, so it is like a bar. Actually, the food and decor are good too. πŸ™‚

    1. lawrence coburn

      hmmm… checkins can apply to more than just places. I’m with you on that one.

    2. fredwilson

      Checking in is a fundamental social action. So few realize that

  14. Eric Vreeland

    I just started reading Fred’s blog a couple of months ago and it immediately became one of my favorites not only because of Fred’s incredible insight but also because of the great contributions of “the community.” I have been lurking for a while waiting for the perfect opportunity to contribute but making that first post can be a little intimidating. So hi all! Here’s to being part of such a great community *raises glass*

    1. fredwilson

      What’s in the glass?

  15. kidmercury

    this is why i think blogs are the future of online communities, and thus a major, major piece of all the freeconomics stuff — perhaps the gateway, the portal to that of the things i been meaning to pitch you on fred is the idea of creating more of a community with social network type stuff. i don’t think a blog alone can truly leverage the full value of the community — value being defined in both the utility sense (i.e. knowledge being shared, friendships made, etc) and the monetary sense (takin’ it to the bank and then bragging about it on your blog). i think a more social CMS of sorts is needed. my trading site and my kook blog are examples of what i had i mind as this is something i am working on.i will pitch you on this again when i have the content management system that can itnegrate all your portfolio companies (i..e use disqus for comments, twitter integration, etc), then i can be like “damn boss you gotta do it for the sake of your portfolio.” but i was thinking we could import all the blog feeds of the members we trust into their own blog here on your site. you can then subscribe to whoever you want and create your own RSS reader of folks you follow on the AVC community. we can pull in other feeds and create our own news community. this would be the foundation for doing cooler things in the future, like integrating social games and a building a useful and fun reputation system. after all, where else are folks like DaveinHackensack, Mark Essel, ShanaC, Andy Swan and so many others going to play 9/11 truth games with their good buddy Kid Mercury?this would also be a good way to extend the bouncer storyline (i.e. like if i built you a club, i really would be the bouncer). this is very important.such a community could also lead to a whole bunch of additional benefits for USV. wouldn’t take much more than a bulletin board, preferably one modded to pull and integrate the APIs of your portfolio companies, so that you can make bank and laugh at everyone else who isn’t.anyway, something to think about. fred i will pitch you on it again more seriously when i can integrate all your portfolio companies. unless there is real interest in doing it now. but you guys probably lack the community spirit needed to make it happen. OR DO YOU?????

    1. fredwilson

      it seems like a lot of work to do all of that. i’d have to see in action toknow if it is a good idea but then someone would have to build it first

      1. kidmercury

        sounds great, i will go ahead and build a test version. it is not too much trouble — in the world of open source and open APIs, many things are made easy!no worries/no pressure if you hate it and think it is stupid/unfeasible.i will take it slowly, but i should have something to show you in a couple weeks.

        1. fredwilson


    2. daryn

      One of the things I love about Disqus is that I can use it to explore people from this community, see their comments on other blogs, and join in there as well as visit their own blogs.

  16. Rohit Gupta

    Thanks for getting the Cheers theme song stuck in my head. Seriously though, I read this blog equally for the comments, it’s amazing how interactive and real the discussion is. I’m waiting for one of the commenters to spin off and become a psychiatrist/radio host. Thanks for putting in the time and creating the venue for such a dialogue, and thanks to everyone else for joining!

  17. Mike O'Horo

    I think you captured that, precisely, Fred. Because I’m new to the whole social media space, I’m learning, so I lurk quite a bit and only comment on the handful of occasions when my graybeard experience might actually contribute. (Something about remaining silent and having people think you a fool rather than opening your mouth and removing all doubt.) However, when I do choose to chime in, I always feel welcomed and respected.Kudos to you and the regulars for sustaining a stimulating forum where most of the discourse is pretty robust. And thanks for being inclusive.

  18. William Mougayar

    Speaking of Cheers, Woody Harrelson just checked in next to me at the UA counter from SFO to Toronto and we’re on the same flight..!Update: As it turns out, he was in Toronto to receive an Honorary degree of Law from York University.

    1. fredwilson

      that can’t be a coincidence πŸ™‚

      1. William Mougayar

        If its not a coincidence, it must be something else? As an afterthought, I shld have taken a picture. I said hi Woody, and he said hi buddy.1 of ur 125,000 readers ran into a Cheers actor on the day of that post. That’s the extent of your audience reach.

        1. fredwilson

          Large reach turns coincidence into probability I guess

          1. William Mougayar

            Exactly. I bet you could tap your audience for some meaningful surveying or a quick poll widget…just a thought.

      2. Guest

        If its not a coincidence, it must be something else? As an afterthought, I shld have taken a picture. I said hi Woody, and he said hi buddy.1 of ur 125,000 readers ran into a Cheers actor on the day of that post. That’s the extent of your audience reach.

    2. JLM

      Talk about karma! LOL

    3. JLM

      BTW, Woody Harrelson trivia — Woodrow (born in Midland, TX) Harrelson’s Dad, Charlie, was a hit man who was convicted of killing Federal Judge Buck Wood in San Antonio, TX. Shot in the back taking out the garbage. Charlie Woodrow died in prison never having revealed his client in the contract killing though speculation centers on the Chagra crime family. The killing was reputed to have been contracted for at the third booth on the left at Mi Tierra in San Antonio over fajitas.Mi Tierra is my favorite San Antone Tex Mex life support station and I have had the fajitas and a tequila or two in the third booth.The karma circle is closing.

      1. kidmercury

        you know woody’s dad, the hitman you reference, was also one of the people suspected of assassinating john f. kennedy….woody knows all about the new world order

        1. fredwilson

          Woody’s dad killed JFK? I would expect nothing less from you kid!

          1. kidmercury

            well, accused of being involved in the jfk assassination. he allegedly confessed to being a part of the hit team. not sure on all the details, though, the kennedy assassination is an epic story. of course it is a cherished subject amongst kooks, as studying the kennedy assassination provides great insight into the new world order and how their system operates.but the simplest answer to “who killed jfk?” is the CIA (or more precisely, a division within the CIA). the new world order is a more correct answer in my opinion, but that’s too kooky for most folks. if you say CIA, you basically tell the same story in a more believable fashion, and can provide more proof (like confessions from CIA agents).

  19. marblespark

    Long time listener. First time caller. Putting your finger on what attracts fans (to your blog, or a rock band, a church, etc) always seems tricky, because it’s multi-dimensional. It’s your leadership, influence, honesty, likability — all of those soft things that need to come together just right.And then the magic happens when the fans start loving the other fans — and they become fans of the experience, not just Fred (or the band or church). The local bar metaphor resonates with me. First you go for the beer, the ambiance, the music. But eventually you go for the community.

    1. fredwilson

      This is exactly what I was trying to say in the post PhilYou did it even better

  20. Glenn Gutierrez

    Good blogs are definitely like this. A good community that makes the engagement worthwhile.

  21. Steven Kane

    1,000 to 2,000 regulars? wow!i realize its a guess, but how exactly do you calculate that number? seems kind of large?

    1. fredwilson

      Disqus stats which are coming soon to everyoneOf course I am defining regular loosely

  22. hardaway

    That’s how I feel about my Twitter account. I’ve got tons of people in the stream, but some of them are regulars and I see and converse with them all the time. It is like a bar. In fact, for a person who lives with two dogs and no people, as I currently do, it’s a wonderful social life.

  23. Elie Seidman

    Fred – truly incredible. You provide so many great seeds each week on which to granulate. I agree with the recommendation to have a meetup/party.

    1. fredwilson

      Nov 4th evening at washington irving HS but you have to give something (amount is immaterial) to my donors choose campaign

      1. Elie Seidman

        Fun and for a good cause no less.

  24. David Smuts

    My reasons for reading, participating and enjoying Fred’s blog are:1) The subject Fred posts are relevant to me, and for the most part I feel his sentiment on the issues surrounding innovation, community, giving, and business in general echo my own2) The people who contribute to the discussion add value for me (more networks, contacts and twitter followers) as well as other angles on the thread3) I perceive a sense of genuineness and passion from Fred. I say “perceive” because it’s all about perception; “perception is the reality”. By posting regularly and by commenting to the comments Fred demonstrates a passion for this (or at least I perceive it that way) and without knowing Fred very well personally, I’m totally sure this is the case. Personally, I am drawn to people who are passionate about things. I don’t sense this is just a commmercial opportunity for him, although I’m sure there are commercial benefits (and so there should be too!).This is a BIG lesson for any Entrepreneur trying to build a business or community or to any VC trying to maintain a blog (and hopefully find his next home-run). You got to:1) Make your content meaningful (say something intelligent or controversial or don’t say anthing at all)2) Be visible, be accessible, be out there and be relevant3) be passionate and be genuine about what you do4) Speak the truth (at all times, even if what you believe goes against the grain)5) Engage your audience, ask questions, story telland most importantly……………….,BE A HELPER!

    1. fredwilson

      Great comment david and so true

  25. Carl Rahn Griffith

    It’s important to note that Fred has used the bar/pub lexicon in this analogy.Whilst cafe culture is very pleasant, it just doesn’t cut it regarding lively banter.I mean, can you imagine these Sheffield music greats (below) shooting the breeze over a latte?….;-)

    1. fredwilson

      I gotta get back to sheffield carl. I want to see some more football and hang out in the pub with you too

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Anytime, Fred. Looking forward to it! Don’t forget we also need to fit in a gig next time.FYI, a new Sheffield Wednesday community has just gone online. Nice design: off soon – we badly need a win today – we started the season well but have lost momentum of late.Up The Owls!

        1. fredwilson

          Who are the owls playing today? I wish I could watch the game live on boxee this morning

          1. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Coventry, Fred – should be an even match. We should sneak it; our home record is pretty good so far this season.Aye, TV coverage – especially internationally – is frustrating. Will be easier when we are back in the Premiership, though! ;-)In meantime, if you can – ahem – bypass non-UK country of origin, the regularly updated highlights on the BBC are very good:

          2. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Just Twitter DM’d you.PS, we’ve just gone one nil up after just a few minutes!

  26. ErikSchwartz

    The thing that is really impressive to me is the mutual respect the community has for one another even when in many cases we strongly disagree. Conversations rarely get ugly. That is both rare and refreshing in an audience as large and diverse as this one.

  27. Christian Brucculeri

    I’ve often wondered about people with “The Kid” nicknames. What happens when they’re the oldest person in the conversation?

  28. Peter Renshaw

    “… It’s like a bar where a bunch of regulars show up every night. You aren’t sure which of them will show and what the talk will be, but it’s fun and everyone is respectful and you learn a lot. I can’t exactly explain how it got to be this way, but it is. And I am so grateful for it. …”Fred this is an important point and I think the following elements are in play:- bdfl: benevolent dictator for life means good policing- identity: contributors are known so reputation counts- culture enforces good behaviour- intelligence and positive behaviour is rewarded not bad behaviourIn any online community the deficiencies in any 4 means discussion degrades. One thing that might skew this is if the community increases to the point identity becomes a problem.

    1. fredwilson

      I’m hoping that doesn’t happen

  29. rosshill

    Fred your bar is one of the best around for a daily drink πŸ™‚ Thanks

  30. paramendra

    I know how: a great blogger + Disqus.

  31. Jan Schultink

    Seth Godin is running a closed-group social network “Tribes” (…, following the principles of this book (buy the book, you get in). Still his blog posts hardly get discussed there.The reason he closed the comments is that he got so many of them that he was not able anymore to address the 5% commenters with “flaws in logic”

    1. fredwilson

      He could manage it with disqus I think

  32. ShanaC

    Actually, I think from your blog you are local to me currently. huh.