Feature Friday: Highlight This Post

The other day my friend Ben Kweller released his new record, Go Fly A Kite. I wanted to give Ben a little help getting the word out. So I used a new feature on Tumblr to create this:

Go fly a kite

Yesterday our friends at Spark Capital announced that Nabeel Hyatt had joined their firm as a Venture Partner. Bijan used that same new feature on Tumblr to create this:

Nabeel news

This feature is called "Highlight This Post" and it is available at the lower right of the post creation screen in Tumblr.


Highlighting a post cost $1. The highlight activity happens in the Tumblr Dashboard. For as long as the post is active in dashboards, it will carry the highlight. I put $20 into my Tumblr credits early this week and will use the Highlight feature as need be. I haven't highlighted a post since the Ben Kweller post, but I certainly expect to use this feature regularly.

Highlight This Post is one of several parts of the Tumblr promoted suite. I don't want to reveal what else is coming but I can assure you that the other features will be as fun, clean, and native as this one.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    I love the direction where this is going. When Tumblr introduced its stickers, I was super-excited. The payments flow was superb. This is a mix between a virtual good and a (native) ad product. Very smart.I’m surprised that more social networks don’t focus more on building their own internal “gift economies” as a way to monetize. Back in the day Facebook had a “gifts” feature and you could send people gifts for a buck. I would do that for my then-girlfriend (now wife), and loved it. I could see something like that taking off on interest-based platforms like Tumblr and Pinterest. I guess the reason why it hasn’t been done more is because it hasn’t taken off, but I’m really curious as to why.  

    1. fredwilson

      canvas is working on that too

    2. ShanaC

      They still  have that.  They just used credits.And oddly enough you can buy real gifts through it…

  2. awaldstein

    I like. Fun and easy. I’ll use this.I’ve been thinking alot about the randomness of my Tumblr posts (and the random nature of my mind actually).I’ve never bothered to build separate streams for photographs, marketing ditties, quotes, wine and food. When I saw the Big News on Bijan’s post yesterday, I started to think about categories and bookmark stickers of sorts.Any thoughts from them in that direction?

    1. fredwilson

      try the product Arnold. i think that will answer your question with a resounding yes.

      1. awaldstein

        Will do.

  3. Max Yoder

    My first boss used to preach to me about taking small bets.With small bets, you can build fast, launch fast, and not be too nervous about getting it wrong.I think that’s what Tumblr’s doing here. If this feature works out, and they can monetize even a small percentage of their 50 million daily posts—great. If it doesn’t, no big deal.Established companies tend to forget how to make small bets. I think Tumblr has the concept sewn into its DNA.

    1. fredwilson

      david has launched and taken down more features than are currently in tumblr he’s a fiddler

      1. Matt A. Myers

        I think David and I would get along quite well

    2. Elia Freedman

      WordPress has done a lot of this, too, using small features to make money on a small base of their customers. Thank goodness they all aren’t just throwing big ads all over the place!

  4. LIAD

    It’s an interim step at combating increasing dashboard noise. I found the implementation quite crude and below Tumblr’s normal magnificent design standards.The brilliance of Twitters promoted tweets is that they actually amplify your message and broaden your audience. Highlight-your-post (currently) merely acts as a fluorescent callout to existing followers. When Tumblr roll-out ways to push your content into non-followers timelines, or globally aggregated category pages which you can pay to post on – that’s when things gets interesting

    1. Rohan

      I agree, Liad. I find this similar to crowd-funding. And my issue with it is that it helps if you have tons of followers (like Fred, Bijan). I got on tumblr a few months ago (since Fred’s school of blogging recommended a short form blog) and if I were to use it, that would be $1 down the drain..Maybe I’m missing something..PS: I love your tweets. They always make me laugh! Thanks! 😀

    2. David Noël

      You start small, learn, take it from there :)There’s been lot of debate about highlighted posts within the Tumblr community, one thing people tend to agree on is that they give Tumblr kudos for trying things out. I expect the newly hired editor duo to work quite a bit with highlighted posts.

      1. LIAD

        I thought about prefacing my comment with [NOT A HATER].I’m a big fan of Tumblr and their experiments. Was just (hopefully) constructive feedback

        1. David Noël

          It is Liad! You know I love you and would never think of you as a hater.

          1. LIAD


    3. fredwilson

      yup. that’s what the last paragraph in my post is all about

  5. Donna Brewington White

    More “voice” coming from Tumblr.  Thinking back to an earlier post where you mentioned that they were doing confetti for one of their milestones.Now if there was a way to give more “voice” to email.

  6. JimHirshfield

    $1 each. Why not also $10 for a dozen?You loaded up with $20, but I wonder if the current pricing model only draws $1 at a time.

    1. jason wright

      …and do we get an even deeper discount if we pay in Dwollas?

    2. JLM

      Agree completely.One of the best applications of pricing theory is seen in iStockPhoto.com which provides great quality photos to professionals and amateurs alike.Their pricing model is very interesting with quantity discounts and expirations of credits.They get your money up front and they create the possibility for positive “breakage”.

      1. kidmercury

        it’s great for them, although as a customer i’m less than enthused. i feel a bit scammed, i’m paying for something and then they’re going to take it away for no legitimate reason if i don’t order it on their timeframe. they want you to forget in a way. but overall i like istockphoto very much and use them routinely for my stock photo needs. 

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. kidmercury

            Oh that reminds me, they also changed the x-rate from being $1 per credit to $1.5 or so with discounts for bulk buys. But it still gets you in the psychology of thinking 15 credits is cheaper than it actually is

      2. LE

        The pricing for istockphoto is steep and the reimbursement % is nominal (as low as 15% goes to the photographer unless they are exclusive then they give you 45%).There has to be a site that allows prosumers to monetize the photos they take.Do I really need to pay between $6 and $19  for this (and check out the ad ons):http://www.istockphoto.com/…Not every use of a photo needs to be agency quality.  I hate to use the cliche disrupt but why hasn’t this been disrputed?Credits work well to obscure the true cost/value (like amusement rides).The ride isn’t $3.50 it’s 10 tickets (the numbers usually don’t divide easily either to further throw you off).

        1. kidmercury

          there are companies that do what you are talking about, i forget the name off the top of my head. i agree it is a promising space. istock used to have better prices, although since they raised them and moved to their scam model of expiring credits i’ve become more selective in how i use them. now i basically only buy illustrations from them. 

          1. LE

            “scam model of expiring credits”NFW! (I mean really?)

        2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. LE

            I just checked the site timeline after bringing up an archive.org of the page in 2001/2. I wasn’t aware of their history. (istockphoto provides all the details of their journey)They obviously took the money and became a vehicle to get as much as possible from traditional buyers of photos. One of the reasons appears to be as a result of costs back then which may not be as relevant now (remember storage/bandwidth costs 10 years ago?)Now they have mouths to feed and can’t go back. Not to mention that they would cannibalize an existing revenues.Back then you needed to be a professional we didn’t have the level of cameras we have now that anyone can shoot with (of course people can suck with good equipment).And of course there are now many more uses for “stock” photos that don’t look like those phony stock photos that are such a cliche. Attached.

          2. LE

            “READY FOR BE RE-DISTRUPTED”So do it. You can feed a hungry child or you can turn the page…

          3. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          4. LE

            “NOT FIGURE OUT RIGHT MODEL YET.”So have multiple wives.Make startup a little of tastylabs and a little of yc.My personal feeling is your strength is greater than writing code.Remember the girls who don’t get married don’t end up having babies.

          5. FAKE GRIMLOCK




  7. Khalid

    Good Morning Fred,I wonna tell you that yesterday i did send you the third email. I have a new startup project, and i wonna know your opinion as a VC.Please read my email, please. The title is: New startup idea.My email starts with my firstname: khalid.I know that you are a very busy and successful man, you recieve maybe hunderds of emails, maybe if you search for khalid, you will find my email.Thank you.

    1. fredwilson

      i read it earlier today and replied

      1. Khalid

        Yes, thank you Fred for your reply. I sent a reply too right now. Your advice and feedback is very important for me.You are an angel venture capital :-)Thanks

    2. Jess Bachman

      I wonder how many of Fried’s emails just say “new startup idea”.  Matt Inman once said he used to get people to open his email with subjects like “IM GOING TO PUNCH THIS HORSE IN THE MOUTH”.  But that doesn’t seem necessary here.

  8. jason wright

    Perhaps it would work better if there was to be a way for the promoter to retrieve their $1 as the post tumbles its way through the system and gains traction with other users.So, author writes post and publishes to Tumblr, and then pays $1 to highlight it. If the post has quality it gains traction and achieves a critical mass of followers at which point the author has achieved the value for money return on the highlight investment. After that economic tipping point the post could then become readable by further users if they pay 1 cent to the author. This is a mechanism that acts as a quality filter for the platform. Authors are encouraged to focus on quality and not crap, and users have a way to identify quality content with ‘scores’ that stimulate a desire to read the post by making a payment to the author.Tumblr keeps the initial $1, and the author of quality is also rewarded. The reader seeking quality is also rewarded, and at very low cost.Imagine I was released from the Krankenhaus after six weeks of treatment. That would be 6×7 Fred posts I’d missed = 42 posts. That’s a lot of posts to get through, plus a new one every day after that. I would need some sort of indicator of quality to guide me through the jungle. Obviously I would know not to bother with friday posts, but that still leaves quite a number to hack my way through. I might be willing to spend a fraction of a Dwolla (what’s that called?) to read something good ( I would pay to read the recent Entropy post and comments).

    1. fredwilson

      Why would you want your money back?

      1. jason wright

        Bottom line?If there’s the possibility of getting money back then people might be willing to spend more money highlighting more posts.Cash… flows.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          The more posts that are highlighted, the more diluted the value of highlighting becomes.

          1. jason wright

            That’s very true. If there are at present 50 million Tumblr posts each day as Fred suggests then that’s a lot to dilute. At 1% highlighted posts will gain attention. At 10%? Diminishing ROI. That’s why I wonder if paying to read popular highlighted posts might work as a parallel revenue stream within Tumbler as it is clearly necessary at some percentage point to cap highlighted posts. This may allow for pricing above $1 without discouraging the market from buying.The community spirit of Tumblr needs to be protected from the sense that big business is gaming the community with big bucks spending. When corporations enter a social network users can soon become pretty hacked off and leave, MySpace being an example. If users feel they can actively contribute to the economics of the advertising system by choice through interest the process becomes a virtuous circle model.

          2. Matt A. Myers

            I imagine the %s would be quite different than that. Most people who’d play around with the $1 I don’t think would have any direct quantifiable purpose behind doing it.I’m sure the analytics could show some increased engagement, but most value will come from the relevancy of your followers – how well you’ve attracted those people to follow you to begin with — and what you’re then buying is to gain their attention (and the attention of highly relevant followers has more value than the average).

          3. kidmercury

            i consider an evolution towards auction model somewhat probable here if traction is gained…..



        1. jason wright

          In a culture where capital has primacy over all other values I would choose to not understand even if I did understand.Injecting corporate capital into a social system will most likely corrupt the harmony of that system unless account is taken of the sensitivities of that system. Most people come to tolerate capitalism, but few can genuinely embrace it, and that’s its dynamic subjectivity.

    2. Jess Bachman

      Stumbleupon works like this somewhat.  You pay 5 cents per paid stumble, but with good content you can attract organic stumbles, which is the end goal.

  9. Gary Sharma

    I like it. I wonder if it might make sense to let users try out a couple of highlights for free initially. $1 is a great price but still friction. Free might help broaden the pool of users that try it and get value out of it and return to buy more.  

    1. LE

      “$1 is a great price but still friction. “If no friction then it’s not special and it will be spammed and loose effectiveness. Different price points would be nice though.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Different price points”But then what are they getting that I’m not for my $1″Clearly this has to be a test run to see what happens overall to the network, user engagement, etc.. To see if there are any increases or not — to see if there’s even a possibility for different price points.If demand is so high then either a price increase would be needed or different tiers.

        1. LE

          “”But then what are they getting that I’m not for my $1″”They get a gold label instead of a silver or bronze label? Or some other swag.While there are always exceptions, over time most offerings of goods and services evolved to allow making more money by giving different price points. People generally like some choice but not to be overloaded by choice (apple has nominal choices).   Charity giving and even kickstarter works this way. Different levels of support.  7 backers to the iphone dock gave $10,000. 4 Gave $5000. (I understand they are getting more merchandise but on other kickstarter projects they just get some extra benefit that is not resellable.)For launch, offering at $1 to test is fine.  My comment is more based on going forward. But I might have just as easily tested it with three levels to start (I mean if I had been part of the decision I would certainly weigh the pro’s and con’s more than in writing a quick blog post reply.)From my experience it’s amazing how you can manipulate behavior and maximize by pricing in a certain way. You can price things to get people to make the decision you want them to make. You can offer a certain time period for turn time (on a product or service) and then offer a faster turn time with an extra charge (or you can offer “free” and of course that has benefits as we are seeing now with shipping offers.) While they obviously teach this in MBA school as theory, pricing like this was something I did  way back when I was doing photography and waxing cars in high school. (Hmm car washes do that also with those extra spray waxes and wheel shines now that I’m thinking of it…)

          1. Matt A. Myers

            It’s all apart of decision fatigue. That’s why people end up buying more than they want at grocery stores if they don’t already know specifically what they want. For every decision you have to make your ability for self-control lessens — including constantly deciding to not have that extra slice of cake…If there aren’t options you’re not playing on the decision fatigue at all, so the people will genuinely just want to give it a try – and less chance of being turned off by it, especially at $1.

          2. LE

            Decision fatigue doesn’t set in at 3 choices. Decision fatigue can result not only in fast and careless decisions but even in decision paralysis, where no decision is made at all.[6] Research by Iyengar and Lepper (2000) “found that people who had more choices were often less willing to decide to buy anything at all, and their subsequent satisfaction was lower when they had been confronted with 24 or 30 options than when they faced six options”; which “suggest[s] that choice, to the extent that it requires greater decision-making among options, can become burdensome and ultimately counterproductive.”[4] In the formal approach to decision quality management, specific techniques have been devised to help managers cope with decision fatigue.[7]Specifically:”and their subsequent satisfaction was lower when they had been confronted with 24 or 30 options than when they faced six options”And I’m noting from my experience as well with pricing over the years. I would also argue that giving people choice gives them a sense of control which makes them feel better about their decision as if they have a say control of their destiny. That said everything depends. For a different purpose Apple priced songs at .99 a song. But even then they allowed you to buy collections.  Apple pricing all music at .99 was important though in not differentiating artists..

      2. Gary Sharma

        Which is why, as I mentioned, you only give a couple of highlights for people to play with. When you only have 2 free, you will use it wisely. Also it widens the initial pool of people trying it out and give valuable insight and data as to how / why / where people are using it and what value they are getting out of itGoogle does a good job of this with its $100 AdWords credit for new signups. Call it the Freemium Advertising Model 😉



      1. Gary Sharma

        Can’t get anything for a buck these days, huh ;)Still I think going from Free to a Penny is a wider chasm to cross than even going from a Penny to a Dollar. Friction is not necessarily a bad thing especially if the goal is to reduce dilution of value of the new feature as LE points below. But at a dollar / highlight, they will need to reach some scale to make meaningful revenue. Unlike Twitter’s Promoted Tweets this feature does not seem targeted just at big brand advertisers but at a broader consumer market. And giving people a free taste of its value is a good idea. Google does this with AdWords ($100 signup credit) and lot of folks tried it out cuz of that. 

  10. William Mougayar

    So, it’s like “paying for attention”? I’m lukewarm on that feature. Maybe I need to use myself to find out. It assumes you have a large audience to have any impact, and works best if you’re publishing a lot such that these promoted ones are pinned instead of sliding down.But the last paragraph of your post is the most telling, hinting at more upcoming features. I’m willing to bet some of them are around monetization. This is a positive signal for the business model of networks of large users.

    1. fredwilson

      this one is about monetization too.there are over 50 million posts a day on tumblrhttp://www.tumblr.com/aboutimagine if 1% of all posts were promoted

      1. JLM

        Very interesting.Pricing theory says it should have been priced at $0.99 and with the first 3 for free?  Introductory pricing.You are attempting to get “tryers” and then addicts thereafter.This is a very interesting application of the mini-revenue overwhelmed by the macro audience.  Perfect for the Internet.Well played.  This could be huge.

        1. LE

          “with the first 3 for free?”Maybe I am misunderstanding the offering but from what I see some exclusivity is necessary to make it special.

          1. JLM

            How many things in life would you never have tried if the first experience were not for free?Free is how tryers are created sometimes, often, always.

      2. gbattle

        Did you really just suggest the dreaded “if just 1% of people do X” strategy? Methinks you’ve seen this movie before Fred … Divide any strategy saying such things by 1000, and start there.

        1. kidmercury


        2. Modernist

          Imagine if one 1000th of 1% of the world population paid for promoted posts daily on tumblr

          1. gbattle

            @modernist you just made me giggle beer through the nose.G-Mobile

      3. William Mougayar

        At $1/unit, that $182 million per year. – posted via Engagio

  11. Raj

    Organic content as advertising.  It’s killer if it works.  Been thinking about this notion for years.  Tumblr may have the best chance at actually making this work.  

    1. fredwilson

      i agree. i’m excited about that

      1. Matt A. Myers

        I doubt I’ll ever be privy to the conversions of such, but I imagine with a less cluttered interface then anything highlighted will attract a significant more attention and value of importance.Twitter does the same thing, though I feel there’s much less clutter in Tumblr feeds, and the prominence effect is higher because the speed is slower – at least for my feed.The cost of $1 is a good filter, though some people have too much money so it may be required to add a Limit to the number or % of posts in a given period so that they’re not oversaturated and effect lessened.If all of someone’s posts have some tag on them I’d just start to ignore them and/or get irritated because it’s a visual disruption in my flow of reading/skimming.

        1. LE

          “The cost of $1 is a good filter”Pricing psychology says to give 3 or 4 price points. With three for example people typically pick the middle choice (and that’s consistent with what I’ve found with renewals overwhelmingly).  (Toasters are also priced this way to get you to end up where they want you..)There are obvious benefits to doing this. It could also be applied somehow by disqus with either blog posts or even blog comments.

          1. Matt A. Myers

            This is based off of intent though.Are you intending the person to spend as much money as possible? Or is your intent to get as many people testing it out as possible?$1 keeps it simple. Less friction. Almost no friction. $1? Okay. No multiple options to cause potential friction. Cheap enough to have no real second thoughts, yet not too cheap to make it feel like it’s a “cheap” feature.Edit: I understand “Regular price $137, now only $37 — Save $100!” is a good way to play with feelings numbers give people, and doing the whole “$10 for basic, $50 for regular, $200 for advanced” makes $50 looks cheap, relative to the $200 – and makes the $10 look even better… just comes down to intent, how much you want to manipulate or influence people trying it out.I feel most people understand this psychology though with many products we’re really just at the mercy of the masses. The rest of us just buy what we need if it’s at a price we can afford

  12. ShanaC

    do you think there is a way to long term do an auction for critical demographics? Create more variable prices?

  13. andyswan

    I like the idea of making it harder for people to ignore me.

    1. Rohan

      It’s hard enough……….

    2. William Mougayar

      it’s gonna cost ya

      1. andyswan

        I have more cash than appeal

        1. Rohan


        2. Carl J. Mistlebauer

          Gee, sounds like a politician……

        3. Donna Brewington White

          “cash appeal”

        4. William Mougayar

          No comments. – posted via Engagio

    3. Richard

      It it makes you feel better, I’ll only read your paid posts.

    4. Matt A. Myers

      That caused a vocalized “Ha!” from me. Thank you. 🙂

  14. leeschneider

    When I saw this last night I thought, “oh, that’s really cool.  but don’t think it makes sense based on my tiny tumblr following.”  I wonder how many others feel the same way.  On the other hand (!), it’s only a buck, so I don’t think it’s something worth putting a lot of thought into from a user perspective.  Cool post?  Highlight it for a buck and don’t worry about the follower count.

  15. andyswan

    $1 says this is a test of tech behind functionality and user response to promotion.  No need to read into this as a final product offering.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Isn’t everything in life just an experiment? 🙂

    2. Mark Essel

      Advertising as a feature will outlive humanity. Maybe not in Tumblr.

  16. Richard

    With blogs being structured chronologically, it would seem that, particularly with increased use both within and across different blogs, the banner would be ineffective. Testing will tell. At least make it pay for performance, where the price is a function of the hits (a pseudo cpc).

  17. Rohan

    Very quiet today for a Friday when I could do with some entertainment. Need to think of something controversial to say..In the meanwhile, here’s a fun quote -‘If you ever get caught sleeping at work, just slowly raise your head and say ‘In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen’ #practical-advice 😀

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I snore when I pray too. 😉



  18. Chris Phenner

    Fred says: ‘…fun, clean & native’ to describe a unit of monetization.I think those are great words to apply as litmus to monetization implementation.And a sound argument in support of why t-shirts continue as great monetization.In FCN we trust.

  19. Elia Freedman

    When I saw this feature announced last week (or whenever that was, the week’s are disappearing too fast) I thought, “what a great feature!” I am fascinated with how companies monetize free products and am always excited when companies figure out how to make money without just throwing big ads in my face.

  20. whitneymcn

    I like the proposal that David Lifson tossed out a couple of days ago: give the highlighted posts by people I follow a persistent space on the dashboard, similar to the way radar is displayed.The nice thing that happens in that scenario is that if you decide to highlight one of your posts, I don’t have to be checking my dashboard at the moment you post it — it’ll be easily available to me for some set period of time, which I think offers more value for your buck. The dashboard space could even just be a list of the people who have highlighted posts in the past 24 or 48 hours, linking to those highlighted posts on a separate page — letting me know that fredwilson, flamgirlant, and kirklove have all recently posted something that they think is worth my time. That might be a better implementation, actually, since displaying text posts in a little radar-style box is less than ideal. This approach does feel a bit more like “buying ad space,” but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. 

    1. fredwilson

      there are more promoted products coming. i think you’ll like where the team is headed based on this comment

  21. Heather Ewalt

    Does Tumblr show any analytics data along with these highlighted posts yet?  Interested in trying this out for a national tech contest we’re trying to promote, but with a fast approaching deadline would want to know if our $ was having an effect.

    1. fredwilson

      if not now, then soon

    2. Richard

      Yes, and add functionality (e.g., heat maps) to make bloggers more efficient. Call it an analytics package, charge $5 a month. Seems like low hanging fruit?

  22. Emmanuel Bellity

    I think it’s cool and was excited about this feature until I realized I misunderstood it a bit. Being highlighted to your followers is interesting but not so much. A lot of tumblr blogs don’t focus on having followers, they just share on their social networks etc. What would be really cool is to get external readers who aren’t usually reading your blog. Even if it’s small. Let’s say Tumblr creates some sort of curated website. You could highlight your post for a few hours in the “Tech” category and get like 50 views of people you don’t usually interact with. That would be great.I don’t have many followers on tumblr since I blog rarely so I don’t see the point. However I really like the path they’re taking in monetizing with a native / useful / well designed features that can bring values to their users instead of degrading the product with ads etc. so let’s see whats next !

  23. Fraser

    Very cool. I’m way late to the party, but I recently set up a Tumblr account. I’ll give this a try in the coming days.I did finally find a way to get Kweller’s new album. It’s fantastic.

    1. fredwilson

      artist of the weekend on fredwilson.fm

  24. Dave W Baldwin

    You begin with an album and move to highlighting.  Would be interesting to gain paid highlights per favorite recordings with money for highlights going to a worthwhile charity, say R&D or a choice of 5.  On top of that, gain backers that would match your highlight dollar.

  25. Matt A. Myers

    All of these organically-integrated revenue streams make me smile.It confirms too that this is where the web is leading.Blatant ads are intrusive.They take away from the user experience because they distract the person.Not only that but ads take up valuable space — even if it’s whitespace that allows the mind to be calmer.The actual value of organically-integrated revenue streams isn’t obvious. With less clutter and non-intrusiveness the user engagement and user interest in what they’re looking at, presented, will be much higher.The audience your targeting is also already very highly targeted, especially if the user curates their feeds to things they are interested in currently viewing.And they did follow you after all — and will likely actually stop and read anything highlighted because if you’re noting that it’s important enough for someone following to hear, they’d likely want to consciously stop and read anything highlighted.If the quality and relevancy of posts that get highlighted (and perhaps engagement with it) remains high then it will become a learned behaviour.

    1. fredwilson

      i gave a keynote at OMMA Global last year talking about thisi think we are most definitely seeing this happening in front of our eyes

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Another hard part to see that gives it a higher value is that as people prefer to use tools and services that had revenue streams integrated, then there will be less opportunities for advertising – which will drive up the cost of organic revenue stream advertising.Re: OMMA Global keynote – I found the Prezi slideshow. Do you know if a video if it exists?

        1. fredwilson

          i don’t know if a video exists

          1. Matt A. Myers

            Found a video by appending “video” to my Google search *facepalm*http://www.ustream.tv/recor… *5,714 views – you’re famous!

  26. Rodney Mesriani

    This is an interesting feature. More exposure, more fun.

  27. Max Yoder

    Fred, pardon the aside, but are you a musician and a huge music fan, or just the latter?

    1. fredwilson

      the latter

  28. Cody Robbins

    This is great and all, but where is the $999.99 ‘I Am Rich’ conspicuous consumption upgrade? I would gladly pay 999× times more for my post to be highlighted with 125 pave Swarovski crystals, a <blink> tag, an animated full-page pyrotechnic display, and a bottle of Cristal personally delivered to me by David himself. I feel like they are missing an opportunity to capture the upside on the luxury blogger market for whom money is no option.

  29. Cody Robbins

    My previous comment notwithstanding, this is actually really awesome. I feel like people have been talking about this kind of revenue model for a decade, but I think eBay is really the only company I know of that pulls it off. Is it the social sharing aspect of Tumblr that makes it work here?I think what would be really interesting is if Twitter introduced a feature like this. A few people have already mentioned their promoted tweets feature, but that’s squarely positioned as an advertising program for businesses; it’s by approval only right now; and it sounds relatively expensive. An ability to pay $1 to promote your own tweets rather than push advertising—even if it were just within your own network on Twitter—would be really cool.

    1. fredwilson

      etsy has built a large revenue stream with promoted items

  30. kidmercury

    i find the value proposition a bit disappointing, but i can see this working…..or at least i wouldn’t bet against it.

  31. Conrad Ross Schulman

    absolutely delicious revenue stream

  32. Tom Labus

    Is there some way to get an audience too?Or is that next?

    1. fredwilson


  33. Carl J. Mistlebauer

    At one time I had accounts on Facebook and Myspace, basically for business.  Then one day while researching something I stumbled on Fred’s blog and slowly became part of the “AVC Community.”  The next thing I know I have a LinkedIn profile, a Twitter account, a Twylah whatever, a Google + account, a blog on Tumblr, I joined Foursquare, and now I have something on Pinterest.I played with each and everyone of them for “a while” and they were interesting.  Oh, and I started blogging and signed up to get something called a “Klout Score”Somehow my “influence” keeps going up, its now at 44, and I have no idea what that means.So a month ago I had a couple accounts hacked and had to change my passwords and then I couldn’t remember them so I ended up attempting too many times and got locked out of my own accounts.  Now, I enjoy a life that involves reading and commenting of this blog and that’s it!So, having “experimented” with all these wonderful forms of social interaction and now I just have to ask:  What is the purpose of all this interaction?  How exactly does one find time and or  anything of interest to share?This social interaction is a full time job, as a job, do you get paid for your activity?  Or are your lives just that much more exciting than mine?  Could somebody explain “social media” and “social interaction” to me and then convince me that it is a valuable use of my time.  I really don’t understand it.  Now, people are willing to pay a dollar to promote something of themselves on Tumblr.  I came upon another site yesterday “About.me” or something like that and I couldn’t help but think, “who cares…”Remember, I am a grumpy middle aged guy, so tell me exactly how social interaction is going to improve my life? 

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Big questions for a Friday, Carl.I think a question that helps to determine the answer to your final question is: How big do you want your world to be?  That’s all I’ve got tonight.  I’ve been asking questions all day (i.e., interviewing).Ask @awaldstein:disqus .

    2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      Carl,A open question and an open answer as i see it. Many a times my seeing ability is screwed and skewed. This social media thingy is about “attention” … which plays a good role for people/thingwho seek attention … and can be used effectively if you are at good socialising and communication skills.Attention is money…I repeat … Attention is money …simply put like ‘adverticement’. The attention seeking thing can be a person, product, a message …Now if you (your product) want attention … ME … then you will like all those forms and spend time on them … instead of spending money on some other medium … you spend time on the social media on spreading the ‘ME’.That i beleive is the core of the social media … but many people use it as passingtime (who don’t have  much of ‘real’ social life … spend time on virtual social life).Mind can never be idle … idle mind is devils workshop … instead of making it aliving place for devil … you spend it out on social thingy or gaming etc.,Did i come any closer to answer your questions?

    3. jason wright

      Carl, you know, it’s the thing, the human hamster wheel. You go as fast or as slow as you want to. Is the social web becoming that boy in the golden hamster cage? You can’t eat it, you can’t drink it, you can’t make love to it,…the social malaise of the age.Look at Fred. He’s on another kind of human hamster wheel, the email kind. That’s a whole other world of pain because he can’t go as fast or as slow as he wants to. The speed of that wheel is being driven by others. He either runs faster or jumps off.

      1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        Jason, You really hit a bulls eye with the “golden hamster cage” example.I read this article this morning, http://www.forbes.com/sites…and I could not help but shake my head in disbelief.I cannot help but wonder exactly what is so “social” in regards to social media; in light of the issue of quality vs. quantity.I ask the question that I did because I am trying to incorporate a social aspect to an ecommerce site and I realize that the young folks I am working with are all so in to the “WOW!” of social media and technology and I have got to think about my consumer, who is much more like me than like “techies” and I cannot help but wonder what the purpose of all of it is….

    4. fredwilson

      twitter, tumblr, and foursquare are my go to social services

  34. Modernist

    “Bidding” could make sense here.  When a particularly insightful tweet is rendered, many of us see it as art.  What if each tweet could spark a bidding war for some “collectorship” right?  I’m not talking about sponsorship or marketing buys, I’m talking about the pride of ownership of art.

  35. paramendra

    The key word being native. I just plunked $5 into FarmVille earlier today. Needed to buy a few Arborists. Why do I feel like you had a similar feeling plunking $5 into Tumblr?  

  36. Rootcat

    JUST one question…. HOW to INJECT money IN my TUMBLR account for this highlight fantaisy????? Glups!TY 🙂

  37. fredwilson

    i bumped into tereza yesteray. she told that you are helping her out. i like the sound of that partnership.

  38. jason wright

    Has AVC been hacked? I’m waiting for today’s real post. This is not authentic. Who is this Fred Wilson impersonator?   This sort of cheapness is very likely to erode the zeitgeist of AVC.I want my Venoms back.

  39. fredwilson

    are you serious?

  40. Donna Brewington White

    Jason have you been hacked?

  41. Shawn Cohen

    the post got me to sign up for a tumblr account. for me, the zeitgeist continues.

  42. jason wright

    Kozmo Komplex?

  43. tyronerubin

    always going to be some negativity doing the rounds.question to put out there. I am from South Africa, work in an office that has pretty good internet speeds. I am needing to get a great film competition entry in as we are down to the 20 finalists. Total package is 400 megs and you would think, being pretty techie and all I would not have struggled so much.I love pando.com as it allows user to start downloading at same time as it starts sending. The place said they had issues with it and to use wetransfer or yousendit. Both are working so slow for me right now, plus trying dropbox.You would think that nowadays 2012 I would be able to get 400 megs to the states in time. I am trying but pretty slow.Happy Friday all!

  44. Donna Brewington White

    BTW, do we still have an official mod squad at AVC (William, Shana)?

  45. Rohan

    Brit humor is my guess.



  47. fredwilson


  48. fredwilson

    bandwidth is the biggest issue facing the internet

  49. Rohan

    Try dropsend? Likely to be similar to Yousendit.Dropbox is slower for big files, I think.

  50. kidmercury

    i know this is terrible, but sometimes i find going old school via downloading to disk and mailing it is the best way to get huge files around. at least, when i get really frustrated with the internet stuff, that’s what i resort to. 

  51. tyronerubin

    Bandwidth is whats keeping Africa from innovatingIn this talkhttp://www.youtube.com/watc…it was said that innovation thrives with plenty bandwidth.still taking so long. crazy!

  52. kidmercury

    civil disobedience regarding spectrum laws imposed by nation-states and supranational entities solves that problem, and is part of the road to multiple internets. #cyberutopia

  53. Donna Brewington White

    Match made in heaven!Envious.And I am not prone to envy.

  54. ShanaC

    have fun all.

  55. fredwilson

    yes, but the only stuff they help me with is real comment spamwe don’t moderate cranky commentersthe more crank the better in my opinion

  56. jason wright

    Pay a woman a compliment and this is what you get:-)

  57. ShanaC

    shhhhhh, you’re going to reveal to someone my wonder woman  powers one of these days….

  58. Donna Brewington White

    I wasn’t implying that JPW’s comment should be moderated.  Strange as it is.  

  59. ShanaC

    @proales:disqus none of us care. we just don’t want crazy offers for term papers.(as to why this site attracts spam about term papers…beats me)

  60. Donna Brewington White

    Be careful what you wish for.Just sayin.

  61. kidmercury

    good to hear you value crank, my personal specialty…..well that and repetition of course9/11 was an inside job,kid mercury

  62. jason wright

    It feels like half time at the Super Bowl minus burn rate.

  63. kidmercury

    lol….the dialogue with jasonpwright today is hilarious

  64. fredwilson

    i guess i’ll have to post some madonna songs this weekend to tumblr

  65. fredwilson


  66. ShanaC

    1 dollar posts could lead to bid systems based on audience for tagging posts…

  67. jason wright

    Are you trying to be controversial?

  68. jason wright

     To be, or not to be, that is the…. controversy:Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to sufferThe Slings and Arrows of outrageous… Mockery,To sleep, perchance to Dream…

  69. jason wright

    Would you pay a dollar to highlight a post?Would you pay to highlight more posts if you thought you could get your money back? 

  70. Shawn Cohen

    The post got me to sign up, not the feature;) Honestly, I’m still too much of a tumblr neophyte to see the value in it unless I was promoting something that I needed ROI on, similar to a PPC ad.

  71. Shawn Cohen

    For some reason, I can’t reply to your second comment. At any rate, you’re right–either one is a possibility.

  72. jason wright

    Yes.There are two ways of looking at it. A post contains content that leads on to a sale of a product or service elsewhere – a PPC model.A post is the product/ service and high consumption of it could lead to revenue, entirely within Tumblr.  

  73. Rohan

    I do or do not.There is no try.

  74. Donna Brewington White

    I think you already have. 😉

  75. Donna Brewington White

    And what a compliment! Especially considering the source. :-)Thank you.