Social Networks That Bring People To AVC

According to Google Analytics, these are the top social networks that bring people to AVC

Social network referrals

I've been tracking this for quite a while and not much has really changed over the years except that Disqus and Facebook have risen a lot in the past year and StumbleUpon has fallen a lot.

I think Disqus can drive even more traffic as they refine their discovery algorithms.


Comments (Archived):

  1. LE

    What’s the time frame that those numbers relate to?

    1. fredwilson

      The past 30 daysBut they look pretty similar month after monthTechmeme and Hacker News bounce around a lotThe others are pretty constant

  2. Vineeth Kariappa

    like the real time location analytics of google. Anti google?

  3. Andrew Kennedy

    Interesting. Disqus has a native advantage in that it can bring people back to avc in a way that twitter et all can’t. By this I mean it has the commenting data. I often times find myself strolling through the comments of AVC on a Sunday to catch-up on comments that happened after I left earlier in the week. Tons of great content being created days later and this week especially. This is an opportunity I think Disqus can capture that it currently is not and would add value to this user and increase visits.Everyone is super busy and so knowing that I “+1’d” a certain response might be enough to send me an email the next day to say, “Hey, there have been 75 comments since your +1 and here are a few from the user that you +1’d”. I def don’t want spam and so for sure a fine line, but there is just so much good stuff that is happening later in the day/week on a given post and often times I forget to go back. Just an idea.

    1. Andrew Kennedy

      Supporting example attached (I couldn’t figure out how to attach an image to initial message and tried to edit and attach and couldn’t find it then either so I created a response post to my own post…). This is a “Disqus Digest” email I got this morning. Basically a useless email that tells me what I already know / got an email for. It could be an opportunity to update me and entice me to engage in a discussion. Also, there is a very annoying bug in the software at the moment that makes it hard for me to edit lines above. It makes me want to not comment as it creates an odd scroll in the webpage (using Safari / OSX) and makes it very hard to edit.

      1. Guest

        1. Andrew Kennedy

          Charlie Crystle wrote the below and I got a notification of it in an email, but it didn’t seem to post above so I am copy/pasting here. I am seeing a “…” for Guest response above.”I posted on Disqus Digests in May. http://diggingintwo.blogspo…In the comments someone from Disqus recommended that I start to follow people, that their relevance algo was tied to that. Seemed like a lot of work for something for which they have massive amounts of data–links clicked, comments made, up votes…all sorts of powerful signals.I had turned off Digests because they amounted to noise in my inbox, but decided to try the Follow technique.At the time I was only following 2 or 3 people on Disqus, largely because seeing their comments out of context doesn’t work for me, and their other interests don’t always interest me (Twitter is flawed in that way too).Now I follow 30 or so and turned the Digests back on. And I have to say, sadly, that the digests do not surface great content. The baseline assumption feels fundamentally flawed.’s email service delivers better results for me.2:02 p.m., Sunday June 30″

          1. Dave W Baldwin

            I’ve wondered about the digest too. BTW, the up vote from me on guest was due to fat finger and quirky iPad (buttons never work)

      2. ShanaC

        it is meant to be traffic inducing

    2. falicon

      Have you ever clicked on the ‘Disqus commenter breakdown ‘ link at the end of a post? It should be another way to quickly catch up on active conversations you’ve been away from for a bit (or missed completely)…I recently updated the algorithm a bit as well…

      1. Andrew Kennedy

        I hadn’t, now I have. Thanks a lot for this. Really helps summarize what’s going on in the comments of a given post.

      2. awaldstein

        Actually, I never have. Weird that I don’t know that. Thanks.

  4. LE

    disqus is like the child with potential that you think is great already, but you also think needs to try harder and do a better job in the details. Like me with my stepkids when my wife tells me they get all “a’s” and my response is “the classes aren’t hard enough then they need to…”While it might seem that I’m always negative on disqus the fact that I am always complaining shows how much I must think it could do or how important it is.Just today I discovered that by clicking on “my disqus” next to “community” I can see a summary of who responded to my comments. I just saw a response to a comment I made on gg’s blog and replied to it.The question is why didn’t I know that existed before? I’m pretty observant (or maybe it was just rolled out?)I don’t have any clue about how “Disqus can drive even more traffic as they refine their discovery algorithms” because all I know about disqus is I use it to comment here and maybe 1 other place (not looking for any other places I don’t have the time). In other words if they are offering any discovery at all I certainly haven’t seen that at allMaybe I’m unique but I would have no problem with disqus figuring out from my comments the types of things I might buy and making money off of that. As long as there was some benefit to me in some way and they asked my permission. etc.

    1. fredwilson

      Agreed. They can do a lot of things better

  5. matthughes

    Interesting … I’ve always thought of Techmeme as a news aggregator, not a social network.I guess it’s semantics depending on how you look at it.

  6. awaldstein

    Thanks for this mid Sunday snack Fred.Facebook is a surprise in ranking but not surprising in the numbers.Disqus is not a surprise but surprisingly lower in numbers than I would have thought.Disqus, as much as I love them, is in no way a social network nor a community in itself. They are very smart plumbing in my opinion.

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      Don’t know. I think connecting the pieces could turn Disqus into a ‘social’. It fits into the forward thinking realm.

      1. awaldstein

        Hi DaveI’ve commented and posted on the community possibilities, the ability of Disqus to turn the web inside out endlessly.In this post from Oct 21 2009–> Comments, Conversations and Community I compared their possibilities to the worldview of four of the earliest and greatest community visionaries I had the good fortune to work with : Douglas Crockford, Randall F. Farmer, Chip Morningstar and Mark Jeffrey.What a company can do and what they decide to do as right for their business model or within their skillset to get done are not the same thing.Today, Disqus is the smartest plumbing on the planet. No mean feat but right this second the core of the community we are in is not Disqus, it is AVC.

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          You are right and I knew I’d get corrected re AVC, not Disqus. Old school says it is a matter of convincing bloggers to use Disqus, follow that with trying to personalize Disqus via digest. To move forward, Disqus needs to go more on offense leading to a vague vision Fred and I shared here back when.There is a way to move beyond Twitter where people share the same links to story/posts of the day thinking it makes them look smart…

  7. William Mougayar

    Interesting that Google+ isn’t even in the top 10. G+ has a really nice mobile app that I use about once per month.But if Facebook had a mobile app like G+, they’d have a lot more mobile usage. The FB mobile experience is still not what it could become.

    1. fredwilson

      I don’t post any AVC content to G+ or FBThe only place I post to is TwitterSo these numbers make sense in that context

      1. William Mougayar

        True. You don’t post on any of the others either. That traffic is coming from your readers who are re-sharing your posts on FB, LinkedIn, HN, etc. So, in the context of user-generated shares that don’t benefit from any of your own boosting (twitter), organic posting (disqus, tumblr) or machine aggregation (Techmeme), a list based on people bringing you traffic would be:1. FB2. StumbleUpon3. Hacker News4. LinkedIn5. Reddit6. Quora

        1. fredwilson

          I don’t post AVC stuff to Tumblr

          1. William Mougayar

            Sometimes you post a quote that refers to a post, so it’s kind of a hybrid case :)Btw- which was your most popular Tumblr post that you mention here?

          2. William Mougayar

            Ah…ok, 25,001 now.

          3. Donna Brewington White

            Thanks for asking that. Was wondering too and wasn’t sure of the best platform to do so.

      2. Techman

        When I create new posts at my website I push them out to every social network that I’m on, which in this case is Twitter and Google+. I actually like Google+ a lot, more so than Facebook.

    2. kidmercury

      google+ will make it, the only question is if it will make it as a direct to consumer service or if it is infrastructure for other services. i.e. google+ commenting engine is already out. as google continues to force feed/integrate its services google+ will eventually be a major force in large-scale social networking.

      1. awaldstein

        Let’s bet on this. I think Google is clueless abt social behavior. G+ is test tube perfect without a hint of soul and without a clue of why people share or aggregate.They think marketing and social behaviors are a science. They are just wrong about this.

        1. kidmercury

          Google will make the tools, marketers can build on top of it and put the heart and soul into it. All big services eventually devolve into a big data approach, at which point they compete too closely with google and amazon.

          1. awaldstein

            I like this answer. It’s provoking but I wouldn’t bet on this.G+ was a sleeper hold for the marketers of the world. You want natural rankings then play socially here and it will help.Brilliant product. Homeless from the start. The thought that they can take this social Frankenstein, dismember it and let others find behavioral traction on its pieces just feels wrong.

        2. William Mougayar

          They have a beautiful app though 🙂 They could teach Facebook a few things about mobile design. I’m surprised that Instagram hasn’t rubbed off on FB.

          1. awaldstein

            Instagram is an amazing community for certain.But…beautiful design without capturing a behavioral need (G+) means kinda bubkas.BTW–check out these Vine & Instagram video ads. Only a few make the grade but I’m now a believer in their potential as a media channel.http://arnoldwaldstein.shar

          2. William Mougayar

            But Facebook on mobile is beyond usable. It’s a joke.

          3. awaldstein

            It is bad.I do use it though. Why even though it suck?–cause there are some networks that are only on there and I need to respond.Why don’t I use G+ even though its perfect?–cause who cares?Motivation will trump all the UX foibles in the world. Value will trump all the techniques that could make it better.But having value and capturing intent in great UX–that’s always the best answer.

          4. William Mougayar

            I’m the same as you. I cringe when I use FB on mobile, bc I have no choice, but once a month I go on G+ and it looks so sleek but useless.So, my point was if FB improved their mobile app’s UX, they would kill it. Even LinkedIn looks half-decent now on Mobile.

          5. awaldstein

            Yup but even though you don’t love Facebook as a brand honestly they are starting to kill it. Promoted posts is seamless and for the right groups and the right content really effective .Following this thread on mobile here ain’t so great either but I do it cause the conversation is worth it.

          6. leigh

            and you just got one click from me so AVC should show up on your list of social networks that drive traffic 🙂

          7. awaldstein

            AVC is w/o doubt a social network. All communities are in some way.

      2. William Mougayar

        Hmm. That sounds complicated.

  8. Semil Shah

    Disqus is quietly sitting on two goldmines — it connects people to interests, and it’s a social network, at least in how I use it. I’ve become so loyal to Disqus I wrote this earlier this year:

    1. robertdesideri

      exactly. a goldmine. others out there too. many will never figure it out, it actually pains me to see value just sitting there.

  9. robertdesideri

    Disqus has two big opportunities it’s missing:• Publishers want traffic. Commenting services are less interesting than traffic, and much more easy to come by. This is a strategy opportunity, they need to engage in one of Jerry’s meditative moments and consider a shift in their marketing strategy.• Users want pleasure. I consider utility in the pleasure category, processing a comment is one thing, enabling composition is another. I like what they’ve done however the interface is quirky, it’s like kissing a model who has a tongue disorder.Disqus has done an amazing job. None of my comments are meant to minimize their work.Since their formation the world has changed a bit. We all, yes me too, tend to overlook things that other see, the reason being it’s perfectly natural. It’s how our vision works, we don’t see the frames where nothing has changed, however we are quickly alerted to movement. Becoming ‘glazed over’ is the result of lack of activity in our visual fields.Turn disqus inside out, put search on the index page. Yes, that will drive traffic faster, instead they drive traffic away. Nuts. Easy to fix. Turn disqus inside out, show the good stuff. Why does one have to go to to locate a native comment? Note to duckduckgo, work with disqus to hoover their comments, offer “site=” option in search criteria, and not just for disqus.They shouldn’t do the inversion until they fix their search bits. Here’s a good example, you can’t make this stuff up. You mean to tell me there have never been any comment re beer or pizza, my two favorite subjects on a Sunday, never ever?WYSIWIG editing in 2013 shouldn’t be an obstacle. Make it a pleasure to compose a comment. And don’t forget same for mobile.Disqus and twitter are different animals, behaviorally, from the perspective of commenters. They shouldn’t look to twitter for strategy intelligence, need their own.

    1. falicon

      These sorts of issues are part of why I built in the first place…

      1. Sean Hull

        I’m getting a 504 error from nginx at the moment. Also tried the iphone app but no luck. Seems to support HN & Reddit. Any plans to add Disqus?

        1. falicon

          Doh – sorry about that (should be fixed up now). The system actually was built from day one to allow you to search Disqus comments…it’s evolved from there to include a number of features since then, but at the core it’s still all about finding the conversation (which def. includes a heavy dose of Disqus conversations — it still works best in tandem with a site that is powered by Disqus)

          1. Sean Hull

            I’m playing around with it now.How do you mean using it in tandem with a site? I run a blog with Disqus. Could I use it to search just my own blog conversations?

          2. falicon

            Yeah – the core of the system is meant to be installed to power your site search (if you use the search box at the top of AVC, you’ll see it in action).You can request your blog to be added to the system here -> (once we start indexing your content, I will send you details on how to add the search feature to your site if you like).

          3. Sean Hull

            Great. Added.

      2. Techman

        Don’t worry @falicon:disqus I still use your search engine to power my site’s search results, as well as social conversation results. I think your system is unique! I hope you eventually add that search subdomain feature someday!

        1. falicon

          Nice! Thanks!

    2. Matt A. Myers

      Commented at wrong place

  10. jason wright

    if i’ve never heard of avc how will disqus drive me to it?

    1. fredwilson

      Links at the bottom of the thread and sometimes at the top

      1. jason wright

        prostates, positions, womanizing, and belly fat?i get the avc fat issue link, but not the other three.

        1. William Mougayar

          Look at the My Disqus & Community tabs at the top of the comments. That’s where I expect Disqus to continue adding personal discovery features. And do you get their daily email? They also notify you now if someone follows you on Disqus.

          1. jason wright

            thanks William.i get the ‘top conversation…’ daily.i want my disqus on toast at my bedside every morning, with a cup of green tea.i’ve yet to get to grips with the finer details of disqus. it will come in time.

          2. jason wright

            nice timing. thanks.

      2. Techman

        I think Disqus needs to improve their discovery and promoted discovery algorithms. For example, if a post is about Disqus I would want Disqus to recommend to me posts from the same site about Disqus, as well as third party sites about Disqus. Not about belly fat, weight loss, sex, etc.

    2. JimHirshfield

      Notification emails, like the daily digest. Also if you follow someone and they comment somewhere, you would see that in your My Disqus tab… Click through and you’ve discovered a new site.

      1. Dave W Baldwin

        Need to show something on that, Jim. Many are on the run and don’t know that.

        1. JimHirshfield

          The level of notification you receive is configurable. By default, I don’t think folks want an email for each and every comment folks they follow make. So, we’re getting better at encapsulating this type of discovery in the Daily Digest emails.

          1. Dave W Baldwin

            Good point! I understand the trade off.

      2. jason wright

        thanks Jim.where is my My Disqus tab? i can’t find it.

        1. JimHirshfield

          At the top of the comment thread.

          1. jason wright

            thanks Jim.does disqus sell spectacles? 🙂

          2. JimHirshfield

            Ha! Hidden in plain site?

          3. Techman

            That is a lot of notifications…

  11. Richard

    Can you mine into twitter and see the source account? Are these from your tweets or does it include other accounts (original and retweets).

  12. BillMcNeely

    I have like Disqus because of the profiles. I find other interesting people and their blogs. Disqus can be a referrer service not just a comment service.

    1. Sean Hull

      I use disqus the same way. Follow quality commenters w relevant expertise & you find gold. I blogged about it as a disqus hack to blog discovery.…I think the upside for better discovery will be huge in terms of traffic to both disqus & blogs that use it. It’s still a bit lacking tho at the moment.Also would love to see a mobile app. I’d spend a lot of time with it.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Thanks for kind words. Stay tuned for iteration in this area.

        1. Sean Hull

          I will Jim.Someone at @disqushelp pointed me to: this appears to be just a proof of concept at the moment, it’s proved useful to find interesting stuff.

          1. JimHirshfield

            Yes, POC, but live and real data. Fred wrote a post about it a month or so ago.

          2. Sean Hull

            What’s POC? Do you have a link to that post? Thx.

          3. Sean Hull

            Yeah I’ve played with Gravity a bit, and discovered some discussions with it. It definitely illustrates the goldmine Disqus is sitting on.Now for a mobile app. My wishlist:1. find active commenters2. find popular commenters3. find commenters & blogs by specific subject matter experts4. discovery blogs that other experts follow5. edit, comment & reply to disqus messages in app

          4. JimHirshfield

            Thanks for the wish list. Will share with product team.

          5. Sean Hull

            Glad to help beta test as well. Cheers Jim.

  13. George

    It’s not even close, twitter cultivates community. The more you tweet, the more people stories and traffic. Amazing how Twitter has essentially become a free subscription model…

  14. jchristianson

    How are RSS feeds categorized? I know a number of people who follow AVC using RSS (including me).

    1. fredwilson

      the big four sources of traffic on AVC are direct, google search, RSS, and Twitter

  15. daryn

    to this casual observer, you’ve been less active on twitter over the past year or so. Do you agree, and if so, has that communication moved elsewhere or are you just less active?

    1. fredwilson

      no less active on twitter than on the web in general

  16. OurielOhayon

    Why would techmeme be a social network ? And Disqus ? It’s more Non google traffic sources no?

    1. fredwilson

      i think of disqus as a social net that hangs off communitiespeople have disqus profiles and you can find people on disqusi am with you on techmeme

      1. OurielOhayon

        i have a hard time considering Disqus as a network even i recognize there is an identification system and a “follow” mechanic in place. But it is not a social network in the sense that it does not allow me (at least from what i perceive) to build a community of users that will interact between each other on a regular basis. users will mostly interact with the publisher and in some rare cases with other readers and even if they do the relation does not seem to be enduring more than the period of the post they commented

        1. fredwilson

          this community at AVC suggests otherwise

          1. OurielOhayon

            your site may probably be an exception. i have commented in hundreds of blogs and do not feel i have participated in a community.

          2. fredwilson

            that is disqus’ opportunity

          3. OurielOhayon

            but to be frank even on your site i have a hard time “sensing” disqus as a social network. For this it would have to really exist as a network with a full public/private communication channel, event management, full profiling and history….

          4. Tyler Hayes

            Those are common features of current social network paradigms. Even Facebook had almost none of that when they started; they didn’t even have a photo library feature.

          5. William Mougayar

            I’m not sure that’s a correct statement. I would agree that there is a finite number of communities one can possibly belong to, but I have seen other communities emerge as a result of vibrant commenting. It takes a bit of time and regularity for it to emerge, but I have met many other people via online communities.

          6. ShanaC

            so have I – I discover a mix. It helps to have a systems in place to bring people back, but it isn’t the only requirement

          7. Tyler Hayes

            I can assure you it’s not. I mentioned a few (out of thousands of examples) at…I agree with Fred — this is Disqus’ area to improve on. They need to make it known that these communities exist. Glimpses at the data they’re sitting on are at and some other places.

          8. OurielOhayon

            Well I am an active commenter on many sites including Disqus including ours. And I am far from having a sense of community anywhere I amProbably because comments are “secondary” in a site structure and content Not sent from a computer

      2. Techman

        I agree with you on Disqus. Disqus has become more of a social network lately on how they are connecting communities.

  17. Pete Griffiths

    Considering the nature of the content on AVC Linkedin is obviously missing the mark badly.

    1. fredwilson

      well i don’t post any content there so it may not be their product but my use of it

  18. Grumpy Dude

    now following via Digg reader but Disqus intriguing!

  19. Raymond Duke

    I feel that the one of the greatest things about creating content is it can result in conversations. After all, why publish something in the first place if you don’t want anything to come out of it? The point of writing/publishing is for people to read it, talk about it, share it, etc. Too many people think of content as a “send it and forget it” ordeal…I’ve been working on creating a better conversational platform. It hasn’t been easy, but seeing articles like this that show how enthusiastic people can be over commenting is motivating.Disqus is good, but it could be better. I’ve seen how the DQ talk about their platform at conferences and I think they got it all wrong. They use terms like “engagement” but the framework itself is lacking several basic functions that are necessary for interaction.I think people are loyal to Disqus because it’s the best option available at the moment, bu it won’t take much for someone to come out of nowhere and do the things that Disqus is missing for their spotlight to be taken away.

    1. William Mougayar

      You are wrong re: displacing Disqus.Have you seen their usage & installed stats?2.5 million sites, 100 million users, 7 billion page views/month, etc… They are entrenched and part of the Internet’s fabric.

      1. Raymond Duke

        That is indeed impressive, but fabrics are a delicate material.

          1. Raymond Duke

            I know it’s rhetorical. Do you have a problem with rhetoric? I wouldn’t have used my phrase if you didn’t compare Disqus as being part of the “fabric of the internet.”That link is more like a summary of some recent minor changes. I read about the see who upvotes your posts weeks ago. The find your friends feature has always been there. And the privacy thing, I suppose that’s the only new thing. I’m not one for privacy, so it’s not a big deal for me.I looked up your history and you are obviously a cheerleader for Disqus. That’s cool. I like Disqus but I also have my fair share of gripes about it. So, we are in disagreement. That’s okay, too.I like people that disagree with me because they provide grounds for me to strengthen my point of view.

          2. William Mougayar

            I’m an Advocate of Disqus, but not a cheerleader.My point is that your original comment seems to trivialize doing something better. Reality is one can’t easily replace something that has incredible user engagement & market footprint. It’s better to be patient & offer specific feedback they could use.

          3. Raymond Duke

            I understand your point and I agree with it. While I can think of something better, it’s an entirely different issue making it a reality.I still believe that the user engagement is not really their own. I think they are simply having the best party in the neighborhood right now, so people are using what is available.When and if something better comes along, people will relocate.

  20. laurie kalmanson

    and the social network that avc brings people to: donors choosei got another package of letters from kids via fred’s challenge to the community, and two things.1. the whole donors choose process is extremely well executed, and the handwritten followup letters from the kids are a piece of the real world2. what will it take to make all schools funded at the level they need to be funded at so all children can reach their potential?

  21. Techman

    Disqus is a very great discussion system, but the ONLY gripe I have about it is not having full customization (aka CSS support) like the classic Disqus offered. One of the top complaints from publishers when they switched to the new Disqus was that they could no longer customize like they had before with their own custom embeds.A great example of this was allkpop. When they switched to the new system they wanted CSS support and when they didn’t get it they dropped Disqus.

  22. Jamie Lin

    Here’s my story. Still very different and the gap is not closing.