Fun Feature Friday: Featured Comments

Some of you may have noticed that Disqus rolled out a feature for publishers/bloggers sometime in the past ten days. It is called Featured Comment and it allows me to feature a comment above the comment box. I’ve done it once or twice and Daniel did it once on my blog without me knowing as a way to roll it out here.

This is a feature I’ve wanted for a long long time. There are awesome comments here every day. The best you can do is get upvoted to the top of the thread. Now you can get some more recognition by having it featured. I would love it if a blogger could opt to have the featured comment get onto the main page and above the comments link. That would be even more recognition.

So we are going to have some fun with this feature today. I can feature and un-feature a comment. So I will start doing that today as the comments roll in. I don’t have a ton of free time on my calendar today but I plan to try to feature a few of the best comments for a few hours at a time throughout the day. Feel free to comment about anything you want. This should be fun.


Comments (Archived):

  1. CJ

    First Post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. William Mougayar

      The early bird gets the worm, but the 2nd mouse gets the cheese ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. andyswan

    Winter cleavage is premeditated cleavage.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Up-voted and uplifting comment. Your cleavage is getting a lot of support this morning.

      1. Robert Holtz

        LOL… the “Miracle Comment.”

    2. Ana Milicevic

      Pushing up.

      1. JimHirshfield

        He needed that boost.

      2. andyswan

        Always appreciated, regardless of climate

        1. Matt A. Myers

          You’ve been perky lately.

    3. Jim Canto

      AVC and Disqus are indeed a hot pair that really stand out.

    4. JLM

      .That’s cold, Swan.JLM.

    5. ShanaC

      what does that mean?

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Oh Shana, I love a world that has you in it.

      2. Anne Libby

        It’s an obscure Game of Thrones reference.

    6. Salt Shaker

      Winter cleavage, premeditated or otherwise, is a lot more reliable than Punxsutawney Phil. (A tribute to Harold Ramis…RIP).

    7. Donna Brewington White

      Not necessarily, unfortunately.

  3. AlexHammer

    You continue to do superior work. Pick me!

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      short – sweet – funny !

  4. CJ

    Beaucracy smothers innovation. At a certain point you have to trust your people to execute your vision. Either that or find new people.

  5. William Mougayar

    More power to the community. This ads another unexpected engagement factor.

  6. WA

    “”It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”W.B. 1989

    1. William Mougayar

      Who is W.B.?

      1. Daniel van Binsbergen

        Warren Buffett

        1. jason wright

          he recently changed his name to Baron Woofit.

      2. WA

        The oracle. ๐Ÿ˜‰ in a letter to shareholders in 1989.

        1. William Mougayar

          of course…after coffee

          1. WA

            Actually, yes. For me.

    2. Girish Mehta

      “With few exceptions, when a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for poor fundamental economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.” – Warren Buffett.

    3. JamesHRH

      From this year’s letter (although he has said it a lot): Price is what you pay; value is what you get.He says to buy assets that you feel comfortable in predicting the future productivity. If you can’t predict it, don’t buy it. Made me think of Fred – he can predict future productivity where most people cannot, so he can buy successfully when they cannot.How about this – if you don’t have any skill at predicting future value, just buy the US stock market!!!! The trust that WB set up for his first wife Susan was 10% Tbills and 90% Vanguard S&P index tracker.The Oracle is the greatest living example of the adage – A simple approach is not always a simplistic approach.http://finance.fortune.cnn….

  7. William Mougayar

    Does the commenter get notified that their comment was featured?

    1. fredwilson

      no idea. but great question. i will ask the disqus folks.

      1. JimHirshfield

        No. cc @wmoug:disqus

        1. William Mougayar

          OK. Hey Jim, where does this feature show-up in Admin or in the thread itself? I haven’t seen it yet on my sites. Is it in beta? When does it come out?

          1. JimHirshfield

            This feature is seen by primary moderators in the thread itself as an entry in the comment’s drop down menu; same place where other moderator actions are listed.

        2. ShanaC

          thank you

    2. jason wright

      no, but the police and public prosecutors do.

      1. William Mougayar

        and the NSA might.

    3. jason wright


    4. obscurelyfamous

      Not yet… but it should.

      1. JLM

        .Sometimes you just wish that someone who actually knew something about Disqus would comment here.Know what I mean?JLM.

        1. obscurelyfamous

          Ok, JLM. How about:Not yet… but it should… and it will.

      2. William Mougayar

        Good to know. Also, comments that have been featured should be permanently marked with that stamp, or some distinction, no?Another idea is to allow the blog to feature 1,2,3 comments at the same time. Why not more than 1?

        1. obscurelyfamous

          One special thing is more special than when it’s 2 or 3 special things.

          1. William Mougayar

            OK, but suppose comment A was featured, then comment B takes its place, comment A is still an ex-featured, so what I’m saying is: why not recognize all previously featured comments with a permanent flag.

          2. obscurelyfamous

            Same basic philosophy holds. Your point is fair, so worth noting for sure.

  8. Twain Twain

    For understanding why Google, FB, IBM Watson et al are investing into AI and robotics…Eric Schmidt of Google defines the meaning of “Life” and comments on Artificial Intelligence and Ray Kurzweil’s predictions:*…Summary of the video:* Life is consciousness.* Consciousness in machines is about more than analytical processes and verbal processes.* Schmidt is pessimistic about Kurzweil’s 2030 timeline.* Computer does not need to have a perfect memory to pass the “Turing test”.* It’s all speculation as to whether we can artificially simulate our natural brain and its thoughts.* There will be lots of product reviews and conversations based on morals and ethics about whether the machines are serving humans.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      As I recall Glen Beck is somewhat of an accomplished practitioner of artificial intelligence ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Twain Twain

        Haha, right.It’s just interesting to track what Google says it believes and the products it works on from those beliefs.

    2. Guest


    3. fredwilson

      i featured this comment just now because i think featuring comments with rich media (video, photos, etc) is a interesting use case

      1. Twain Twain

        Fantastic, thanks, Fred!I considered posting Rudyard Kipling’s “If you can treat success and failure as the same imposters” quote and then curiosity got the better of me.I noticed there were no comments with audiovisual files and wondered if WordPress’s featured comments would allow it.Besides which, it is a great snippet when a conservative, Glen Beck, asks a democrat, Eric Schmidt, what life means and Schmidt answers it philosophically whilst avoiding religion and whether we are “creating Life” if we do manage to create some form of consciousness in AI.Personally, I think we’ll manage to create AI that comprehends us, our language and its meanings in coming decades.Consciousness in AI of the ‘Skynet’-type, though, is something I hope NEVER happens.

  9. jason wright

    incitement to public disorder. i’m in.

  10. Matt A. Myers

    The only logical concern I have with this – which may be a moot point – is that it will receive more upvotes (logically), and so then you’ll see the “Featured Comment’ and then it might also be the top comment, and the 1st comment you then see at the top.Reading it twice will be a bit annoying, and people will be more likely to comment on it, so there will be a long thread of replies – which will put out other comment threads down and out of easy view.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Some of those things you describe were possible before Featured Comments was released. Simply characteristics of being first, being heard.

      1. Matt A. Myers


    2. Daniel van Binsbergen

      It might also actually be useful if the featured comment is up voted, as otherwise you would have to find it down in the thread to comment on it (as the replies to a featured comment appear to not be lifted to the top)

      1. JimHirshfield

        Click the share button on the Featured Comment, then click the link icon. Will take you there.

        1. Daniel van Binsbergen

          Ah, that’s great

          1. Matt A. Myers

            From a UX perspective it’s too many steps, and not intuitive at all.

        2. Matt A. Myers

          Disqus should add back the “reply” link to the Featured Comment, but link it to the comment in the Disqus widget.

          1. JimHirshfield

            That’s an idea. Thanks.

          2. Matt A. Myers

            ๐Ÿ™‚ Design and UX is one of my things … the way you described was just too many steps and not intuitive at all.

          3. JimHirshfield

            No doubt

          4. Dan Storms

            Agreed on adding the reply. The point of featuring should be less for recognition and more to enable the blogger to drive a conversation thread they think will be interesting (that might get overlooked otherwise).

        3. andyswan

          my .02 is that you should be able to reply from the featured comment but not vote on it from there. votes should happen in the thread.

          1. JimHirshfield

            Thanks. Noted.

          2. Jim Canto

            Indeed. The featured post has the advantage of being seen more often…thereby more opportunity for upvotes. Upvotes are relevant when we know they are organic and of equal odds.

          3. JimHirshfield

            You can’t get equal odds even without Featured Comments. Stuff voted to the top of a thread organically is more likely to get further voted up. Just a fact of life.

          4. Jim Canto

            Absolutely true. I guess the difference is that the path to that position is known by the community, whereas the path to “featured” is not. (that’s observation…not criticism.) And…short leap, in some communities, to having “featured” be a paid position. No?

          5. JimHirshfield

            A “paid position”…hmmm….I think you’re on to us.As far as Featured Comments getting more up votes by virtue of being featured, I’m not so sure. Some people may see that it’s already featured, and so feel that it doesn’t need any add’l boost. I don’t know the answer, but looking forward to observing the community’s behavior.

          6. Jim Canto

            “…observing the community’s behavior” .. that’s the data I like to watch and interpret as well. I like what you guys are up to, @JimHirshfield:disqus … and I’m working Disqus into my web properties… so seeing your interactions here, regarding Disqus matters, is of great value to me.

          7. JimHirshfield

            Great to hear Jim. Thanks!

          8. Jim Canto

            …allow me to clarify; Equal odds to get voted into the position as you described it (all comments are born equal.) And, I agree… once there, that particular comment has a decided advantage due to visibiity. And, it (the content) earned it. Note: I’m also just thinking out loud here. I don’t have any major challenges with the feature set or it’s logic…yet. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m just now digging in to get Disqus set up on a couple of my sites. A Social Savvy commenting system is a critical element of the properties I’m building out. Glad to be connected.

          9. Emily Merkle

            Why not be able to vote on Featured Comment? Ostensibly other comments have followed it. Once the comment is elevated to Featured Comment status, it is untouchable?That’s kinda like eliminating term limits.

          10. Jim Canto

            I don’t see this as a democracy.

      2. Matt A. Myers

        @fredwilson:disqus – Disqus should add back the “reply” link to the Featured Comment, but link it to the comment in the Disqus widget.

    3. andyswan

      current featured is losing to my cleavage so far that’s a good sign

      1. JimHirshfield

        YOUR cleavage? You just ruined the whole visual for me.

        1. Guest

          Luckily always has the remedy<http:”” post=”” 63086747578=”” ive-always-loved-october-big-month-its-the=””> .

  11. Satish Mummareddy

    One good use case for featured comments would be a summary comment similar to quora. If one of us summarizes the best points from the entire thread then that could be pinned at the top.

  12. Tracey Jackson

    As a blogger I love this. There are so many comments that deserve to be featured.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, me tooand i am going to feature this one right now Tracey

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Did you update it yet? It would be cool, great even, to get a notification that the Featured Comment was updated — and put a bar at the top like “# new comments above” bar that displays — so we can see in real-time when you’ve done this. c.c. @JimHirshfield:disqus

        1. JimHirshfield

          Wouldn’t that further the point you made earlier that you didn’t like? That it will cause more upvotes, etc?

          1. Matt A. Myers

            What would help counteract that would be identifying upvotes that happen when a comment is Featured, and then take that into consideration when filtering to sort by “Best” comments.

      2. jason wright

        needs more color contrast to give it greater prominence. a post reader could easily miss it as they plummet through the comments.

    2. JimHirshfield

      So many comments; so little time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Matt A. Myers

        So much great content out there that’s not being engaged with. All in time once we get better at organizing, sorting, and connecting people.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Clarification, please: You startedwith “content” and ended with”people”. Now, which is it? Is itreally “people” but you want to use”content” as a path to “people”? Or is it both, and then what is theconnection for you between the”content” and the “people”?A dating site is about “people” andnot “content”, but most of the”content” on the Internet is notreally about specific people the way a dating site is. E.g., Google search, just the mainsearch function, is not very ‘social’at all and, instead, is about finding”content”.So, again, what do you want,”content” or “people” or somecombination? I’m trying to learn!

          1. Matt A. Myers

            On a dating site, the photos of those people and their summary or details, etc. would be the content.What are you working on? ๐Ÿ˜‰

          2. sigmaalgebra

            > On a dating site, the photosof those people and theirsummary or details, etc. wouldbe the content.Sure, but I was guessing thatyou had a more generalconnection between content andpeople.> What are you working on? ;)I thought that the AVCcommunity knew. Well, let’ssee: It’s a new Web site andnew ‘search’ engine forInternet search, discovery,curation, notification, andsubscription but verydifferent from anything outthere now I’ve seen.The aim is for the fractionsof content on the Internet,searches people want to do,and Internet content they wantto find where current meansare from poor down to useless.So, I’m going for a new, verydifferent, better solution fora poorly served part of thewhole Internet search ‘space’,’business’, ‘market’,’industry’, etc.Let’s look a little:(1) There is a famous text incomputer science commonlyabbreviated CLRS. Well, maybeit’s available as a PDF. Sodo searchCLRS PDFand get a link to the PDF asthe first result. Terrific!While I find the math in CLRSpoorly done, if you like thatmath, then you can read forseveral evenings!So, a key word search worked!When a few keywords/phrasesand some simple, grosspopularity ranking accuratelycharacterize the desiredcontent, then search based onkeywords/phrases, say, anupdated version of the oldlibrary card catalog subjectindex, can work well.(2) Suppose Mary does keywordsearch”home decorating”and gets”About 5,520,000 results”To narrow this down she doessearch”home decorating” blogsand gets”About 1,630,000 results”She can look at a few Webpages of results, take what agross popularity measure givesher, and otherwise give up.So, net, out of some millionsof results, what she gets isjust a tiny fraction of 1%determined by page rank orsome such.For her interest, the searchhas been poor down to useless.Or, Mary’s interests might be(A) classic Italian diningroom furniture, (B) decoratingfor a master bedroom andstarting a blog and acommunity about that, (C) homedecorating for a living roomthat will please her husband,be suitable for theirchildren, and fit theirbudget, (D) starting a homedecorating business, etc.In short, what she cares aboutis the ‘meaning’ of thecontent, but characterizingthat ‘meaning’ with justkeywords/phrases isessentially impossible. So,Mary needs a better searchengine, one that ‘gets at’ the’meaning’ she has in mind forthe content she wants. She’snot interested in what’s ‘mostpopular’ but what has themeaning she wants.(3) At times here on AVC Fredhas indicated his frustrationsin finding blogs and videoclips for his interests, and Ibelieve that my work stands tobe by far the best for whatFred wants.My rough guess is that my workstands to be by a significantmargin the best for about2/3rds of the Internetcontent, searches people wantto do, and results they wantto find.To me the keys to what I’mworking on are:(1) A new ‘business model’having to do with what data Iget; e.g., I do no ‘Webcrawling’.(2) How the site works for auser; very different, unique,but intuitive and easy to use.(3) What I do with the data Iget based on some originalapplied math, with theoremsand proofs, I derived.The math is based on someadvanced prerequisites with alot of generality, and thegenerality is needed toencompass the 2/3rds. Themath also has to be powerfulenough to do well on nearlyall the 2/3rds. I have somegood reasons to believe thatmy math does these things.I have all the ‘back end’software ready for at leastearly production and, as Idevelop the last of the code,just Web pages, runningroutinely as for production.So, there are ‘back end’servers for each of SQL, somecomputing, some specializeddata manipulations, and forWeb user session state. Iwrote my own session stateserver — it works fine. Eachof the servers can be ‘scaled’with simple techniques,essentially just ‘sharding’.E.g., the session state servercan easily be scaled to fill afew standard racks and, then,have more capacity than theworld could use.Processors with 64 bitaddressing and 4.0 GHz clocksthat can run 16 threads, fast,ECC main memory at less than$10/GB, 1 TB SSDs, 4 TB harddisks, 10 Gbps Ethernet cardsfor a server farm LAN, etc.,are all very welcome for me!So, what’s left for thesoftware is to type in maybe100 lines more of code, mostlyin just the last one of theWeb pages and a few lines inanother page otherwise alreadyrunning well.Then load some initial data,do some routine businessthings, go live, getpublicity, users, ads, andrevenue, and grow.Maybe it will work!My ‘business model’ has somefeatures that should help’virality’, but, in general,eventually I might considermore in connections between”content” and “people”, i.e.,make my site more ‘social’.So, I was interested in theconnections you saw between”content” and “people”!

          3. Timothy Meade

            I just want to search APIs.RESTful HTTP is a very simple, very generic API. Google has to add all of the semantic value to the representations returned, essentially keywords and some type of citation ranking. And so we can search by keywords.Let’s say there is an API that provides a certain kind of factual data. It has semantic meaning derived from it’s structure. How can I search in such a way that it results in the request I want being sent to that API? How are the results formatted for the interface I’m using whether voice, desktop KDM, medium format tablet, mobile, automotive, etc.?

          4. sigmaalgebra

            > How can I search in such away that it results in therequest I want being sent tothat API?My work in search (discovery,curation, …), like most suchwork, returns to the userURLs.If there is some ‘content’,e.g., a Web page, a PDF file,a Word document, that is,anything with a URL, that hasthe information you want, thenwith essentially any searchengine, say, ‘comprehensive’and not specialized just tomusic, you have a shot ofgetting that URL, content, andinformation.But common problems are as Ioutlined: Put in just a fewkeywords, and get backmillions of results. Put inmore keywords and have a goodshot at throwing out the babywith the bathwater.The fundamental problem isthat what you want is some’content’ with some ‘meaning’you have in mind, and usingkeywords/phrases tocharacterize meaning at alleffectively is essentiallyimpossible: That is you getyour choice of too much bathwater or too few babies. Thatis, it’s a ‘separation’problem.So, as I outlined, my searchengine tries to do better,that is, ‘get at’ and ‘honor’the meaning you have in mindand, thus, let you find theparticular baby you wantwithout swimming through anocean of bathwater.As I illustrated with theexample of CLRS, in some caseskeywords/phrases can work verywell; but as I illustratedwith Mary looking for the’content’ she wants on homedecorating, keywords/phrasesjust do not let her ‘get at’the ‘meaning’ she has in mind.In such a case, my work insearch should be much better.> How are the resultsformatted for the interfaceI’m using whether voice,desktop KDM, medium formattablet, mobile, automotive,etc.?My work returns just URLs. Ifyou follow such a URL youmight get voice, a JPG, video,MP3 music, etc.My search engine is a Website, that is, assumes thatthe user is using a Webbrowser. My Web pages are allvery simple and should lookgood on any client deviceright up to date as of about 5years ago.If the URLs you want happen tobe REST HTTP API servers,fine.If instead what you want is aURL of documentation of suchan API, that is also fine.

          5. Matt A. Myers

            Thank you for the in depth explanation. I’m not sure if my response was helpful to you or not. I only slept 2 1/2 hours last night, so I should likely re-read this once I have more sleep..

          6. sigmaalgebra

            If she’s pretty, then 2 1/2 hours is WAYtoo short!

  13. Tracey Jackson

    I hope Disqus has made this feature easy to navigate cause I will use it every day. Does anyone think commenters will get bent out of shape if the moderators don’t feature them?

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I’m already in a rage I’ve never had a comment featured!!

      1. JimHirshfield

        Hahahaha! “Feature Rage”

        1. jason wright

          a disqus risqus.

    2. LE

      Does anyone think commenters will get bent out of shape if the moderators don’t feature them?They will and yes that’s definitely a drawback to doing something like that. Potentially. Maybe. Perhaps.You run the risk of having a version of favored child syndrome.Example. Imagine you are at a party and you are speaking to 3 or 4 people. And you just focus on one person to the exclusion of others. What are the other people going to do and how will they feel? You kind of have to make rotating eye contact with all the parties, right?

      1. JimHirshfield

        “… to the exclusion of others”I don’t think that’s a natural outgrowth of this feature. If it happens, that’s just bad conversation management on the part of the blogger, independent of whether a comment is featured or not. IMO.

  14. Matt A. Myers

    If you feature a new comment, do previously featured comments still hold the “featured” status? I think that data could be useful in the future anyway.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Nope. But an interesting idea.

  15. jason wright

    has your legal team OK’d this?

  16. Mark Gavagan

    “Last night I dreampt I was a muffler and I woke up exhausted” ~unknown

    1. William Mougayar

      Good one.

  17. Andrew Kennedy

    I don’t like party poopers and I like this feature a lot, but there is a little piece of me that feels it might be like a performance enhancing drug for one-liners and sensationalize the conversation.

    1. JimHirshfield

      At the discretion of the publisher/blogger. But yeah, could be steroidal.

  18. leapy

    How many featured posts are possible? Just the one?

    1. JimHirshfield

      Yes, just one at a time.

  19. Saurabh Hooda

    I bet this blog post will get more than 500 comments ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Emily Merkle

    I personally prefer to determine for myself which comments I deem worthy. It doesn’t usually matter to me how many “up-votes” they have; I’m not a group thinker.

  21. leapy

    Idea for your Donors Choose posts. Highest $ bid gets the Featured Post slot ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Anne Libby

    Great potential antidote for blogger/mods when a thread gets hijacked…good way to bring topical conversation back in focus.

    1. Emily Merkle

      Threads on AVC wander all the time.

      1. Andrew Kennedy

        Avc is the exception

        1. Jim Canto

          …the exception on it’s way to becoming the rule (for individual web presence…IMO.)

      2. Anne Libby

        Sometimes it’s good. Nice to see you!

        1. Emily Merkle

          Agreed. Community-specific, I suppose. Good morning to you too!

      3. awaldstein

        Randomness is goodness from my perspective.In fact the ability to chat, is the equivalent of gesturing to me. Key to what makes it work.

      4. jason wright


        1. Emily Merkle

          …like the fish.

          1. jason wright

            oh, the fish.i was thinking a fan of Jeff.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Well, perhaps in another blog community. :)This one is untameable.

      1. Anne Libby


  23. FarazQ

    What if we could feature a comment ‘within’ a post/article? Would change how an author gets data or how the article is put together.

  24. Emily Merkle

    I’ve been battling it out in this Atlantic forum for a week on a topic close to me:…Huge engagement. Very passionate positions.How is a Featured Comment selected? What is the aim?

    1. Andrew Kennedy

      just read the first part of the article, skimmed the rest and read the comments.. I went to UVA and was in a fraternity. We aren’t all bad guys. Simply too many people in fraternities for that to be possible, but perhaps I should be commenting there and not here. I plan to go back and read the whole article this weekend.

      1. Emily Merkle

        It’s a pretty incendiary piece, but it’s (in my reading) not at all an attack on individuals. It is a condemnation of the national chapter legal maneuvering that is truly dangerous. But I will let you draw your own conclusions. I come from a biased-through-experience place, but am not against the pillars of the Greek system.

        1. Andrew Kennedy

          totally understand. from my experience, we operated as a standalone entity not as a franchise of a national brand (national didn’t exist, the president and board of visitors of UVA run the place). We were the 1st fraternity at UVA and without question a model house that was respected by the schools administration and considered a leader among pier fraternities. Many many houses got shut down before during and after my time there. No question fraternity houses and their members received special treatment, but national had nothing to do with is at UVA.

    2. JimHirshfield

      Featured Comments are selected by the publisher at their own discretion.

  25. William Mougayar

    “Caffeine, taken in sufficient quantities, may produce all the effects of awakeness.”(seen on an entrepreneur friend signature)

  26. Aaron Klein

    I’m confused about which USV-portfolio-company innovation you’re implementing. Is this AVC’s first native ad unit in the making, or is it the first freemium feature?

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Maybe it depends on if you tip the bartender or not..

    2. ShanaC

      Disqus’s either way ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. fredwilson

      maybe both ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Russell

    I may be the black sheep of this thread, but I don’t like this feature. It seems redundant as the featured comment is usually near the top of the disqus results so you are taking up precious screen space. The added value for me is if the featured comment appeared on the RSS feed, which would engaged more people in the discussion. Until then it is an unnecessary distraction.

    1. JimHirshfield

      This feature was just launched. Ergo there is no “usually”.One of it’s use cases is for the editor/blogger to highlight a comment that isn’t necessarily popular, up-voted, or conspicuously visible.

    2. fredwilson

      Top voted is the community’s choice. This is mine. Big difference. Both are relevant

      1. djeck

        In that case it would be nice to have it appear in the RSS feed, since it’s effectively been incorporated into your post.

  28. Barry Nolan

    “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”Oscar Wilde

  29. baba12

    What!!! So now commenters are going to take time to craft out comments, take time to think and then hope their comment gets to be featured… Will the judge Mr.Wilson (Fred) be looking for those who can stay on the point succinctly. Will he reveal in a blog post how he decides/scores/analyzes which comment deserves to be prominently be featured… hmm maybe a dilemma to deal with :)….

  30. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. – Groucho Marx

    1. JimHirshfield

      Ha! A favorite of the natural language processing (NLP) folk.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        ๐Ÿ™‚ For me, there’s no problem that can’t be solved by watching “Duck Soup.”

      2. markslater

        that would most certainly beat any ontology!

      3. JamesHRH


        1. JimHirshfield

          Because it’s very hard for computers to discern the different meanings of “flies”…is it a verb? a noun? is it the subject of the sentence?

  31. Brett Bedevian

    Have a great weekend Fred!

  32. pointsnfigures… I saw this yesterday and couldn’t stop laughing. Feels like Saturday Night Live. The reporter reminds me of Laraine Newman. You can’t make this up…..

  33. Jim Canto

    Agree? Disagree? Why?

    1. JamesHRH

      ancient chinese equivalent to ‘most great startups are ridiculedโ€ฆโ€ฆinitially.’

      1. Jim Canto

        ….or even the ideas which spawn the “start up.” For some it would even be the idea of being the type that has ideas…some laugh at that as well.

      2. Jim Canto

        Sorry.. I replied earlier and I’m not sure what happened. Yes.. I agree with you… but I think it also spans most creative and/or innovative thoughts and ideas.

  34. markslater

    in honor of the loss of a great great man this week….”its easy to grin when your ship comes in and you’ve got the stock market beat, but the man worthwhile is the man who can smile when his shorts are too tight in the seat……..okay pokey……”

    1. pointsnfigures

      Since that movie came out, I have never played a round of golf without at least one line being quoted. Harold Ramis was great.

    2. Andrew Kennedy

      I believe he called her “pookie” ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. pointsnfigures

        Lacey: And this… Danny: Um hem. Lacey: This is your saliva line. Danny: What’s it tell? Lacey: How hot I can get you.

  35. JamesHRH

    This is not a good idea.A featured comment is not the same as a tweet or tumbl. Its not organic.If AVC is a bar, its the online equivalent of having the bartender stand on the bar, yell at everybody to shut up and then pull a patron up onto the bar to say something.The likelihood of that patron having a random thing to say that is relevant or interesting to the entire bar is very very low.Feature that Fred! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. andyswan

      Bad analogy. We don’t come here to have separate conversations about separate topics.This is Fred’s show. He writes the script and puts asses in the seats. If he wants to pull someone up on stage because it adds to the show, so be it.

      1. Emily Merkle

        If that is how this community is viewed, I am out. No placed ass-in-seat here.

        1. andyswan

          That’s how I view it. You’re free to pretend that Fred isn’t leading the show if you’d like.

          1. Jim Peterson

            Agreed. And it’s nice to have Fred highlighting a great comment even if it wasn’t up voted to the top. It’s really Fred saying, “I think this is interesting to contemplate.”

          2. Jim Canto

            Fred puts the initial piece up… why not highlight the “piece within the piece” thereby extending the longevity of the content/conversation? Seems fair to me.

          3. fredwilson

            yeah, that’s all. and i don’t plan to do it every day. but every once in a while it is nice thing to be able to do

          4. Emily Merkle

            Wielding your power benevolently, FC is becoming more palatable.

          5. Jim Peterson

            Absolutely. It can add another dimension to each days post. There can be great nuggets outside of the most “liked” or “up voted,” here or anywhere else.

          6. LE

            There is always a fine line with things like that though. It can’t be to in your face. For example the pretty girl that sucks time from the nerd in the library doesn’t say “well the truth is you’re gross I only talk to you because you can help me”. And the nerd may think that is the reason but he’d rather not acknowledge it. Imagine if he said “hey why don’t we meet Saturday night for dinner and discuss this trig?”So what may be obvious to either of us about human behavior (and I’ve always liked that about you by the way) is not obvious to many others. I’m sure that there are many people who actually think that politicians show up to boring events because they want to be at those events. [1] I’m sure my first wife’s grandmother thought that I was nice to her because I liked talking to old ladies when I was in my 20’s.[1] They like to be there because it’s votes and yeah perhaps they like the smoke being blown up their ass but take that away and they wouldn’t be there most likely.

        2. sigmaalgebra

          Look, there are too few girlsaround here anyway; we don’twant to lose any of you girls!

          1. Emily Merkle

            Fits the bar analogy. I am going nowhere, as long as girls still get free jello shots.

      2. JamesHRH

        each thread is a conversation in the bar.One day this week, the first and longest thread had nothing to do with the topic. Total tangent.

        1. Andrew Kennedy


      3. LE

        If he wants to pull someone up on stageI could argue either side of this. But I’ll take this side:Fred’s reason for having the show is to achieve a certain goal. Same as the show that Paul Graham runs with Hacker News. Consequently what Fred may see as fit personally (putting someone up on stage) may conflict with his larger goals of driving business or enhancing his image in order to create business. So if you take this down the line a community that doesn’t stick around (and isn’t large) won’t help him achieve his goals. Because in theory (if JamesHRH is correct) then people won’t come to the bar and it won’t be a popular place.So the question isn’t whether Fred should do this or not it’s whether the benefit of Fred doing this outweighs the potential detriment of highlighting certain comments.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          At’s a lot’s a thinking for nothaving any mathematics in it!

      4. Jim Canto

        “Here here!”

    2. Andrew Kennedy

      “If AVC is a bar, its the online equivalent of having the bartender stand on the bar, yell at everybody to shut up and then pull a patron up onto the bar to say something.”This is the steroid problem I was talking about

    3. Emily Merkle

      Could not agree more.

    4. fredwilson

      just did. for a while.

      1. JamesHRH

        What is funny is that I am starting to disagree with my own analogy.It might be more like a Specials Board.But it might not be.Need some more reps!

        1. fredwilson

          hot pastrami sandwich special today!

          1. JamesHRH

            Yeeeeeeessssss.I love the pastrami.

          2. Jim Canto

            Boiled? Or, fried? .. critical question here.

          3. pointsnfigures

            If you are in Chicago, head to Dillman’s. Smoked pastrami and it’s addicting.

          4. Jim Canto

            Nope.. I’m in a suburb of Kansas City. But smoked pastrami sounds fantastic.

          5. Jim Canto

            Smoked pastrami sounds good

    5. thomasknoll

      Except, it isn’t a random thing… it is something already said. I ask people to retell a story I heard earlier to a new group all the time. Isn’t this where culture came from… retelling good stories at bars?

    6. ShanaC

      guess, what, it is featured now.It isn’t the same – it is after the patron yelled something that the bartender is determining it bears repeating

    7. obscurelyfamous

      > A featured comment is not the same as a tweet or tumbl. Its not organic.Hm? I found *this* very organic comment because it was featured.Very fair to dislike the feature, but I still don’t understand your bar analogy, to be honest.

      1. JamesHRH

        I think it was @jlm who first called AVC ‘Fred’s Place’. Just extending that idea to the point of making it non-applicable ;-)Threads on disqus do feel like individual convos in a bar / room. Certain people group together regularly, etc…..I tend to skim & then dive into threads.The first Featured Comment really jarred me. I am adjusting (see other comments here).

    8. sigmaalgebra

      You’re thinking too much! Lean backand enjoy it! Besides, Fred just madea Twain Twain comment featured, andIMHO AVC and tech need more girls!!!! I remember, once a guy on the same teamas I was and I went to an AAAI IAAI conference at Stanford to deliver a paperon some of our work. I was nominated tobe one of our team on the stage.But the two of us did go to some of theSilicon Valley restaurants for dinners,and there I was surprised to see howpretty some of the waitresses were andhow interested they seemed to be intwo nerds! So, some girls are interestedin ‘tech’!’Gold diggers’? But, Mom, they look sopretty!

  36. Andrew Kennedy

    Anyone read Arnold’s blog post from today? It’s incredible. It speaks to why he uses that Chuck Close line “inspiration is for amateurs” and what it means to him. Really awesome.http://arnoldwaldstein.shar

    1. fredwilson

      just did. great post

  37. Emily Merkle

    As today seems to be a relative free for all, quick question: I am sitting here at the vet waiting to have my rescue kitty Sasha of 17+ years put down.I don’t want her ashes.Any ideas on how to commemorate a beloved pet?

    1. Andrew Kennedy

      i am sorry to hear this, truly. Friend of mine’s cat died last week and it was extremely hard on him; still is obviously.

      1. Emily Merkle

        Thank you. We had many great adventures together, and she made me a more caring person.We just left the vet; she went peacefully. We did the right thing; doesn’t make it any easier (right now).

  38. Guest


  39. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Hmmm – and I thought this forum was under chatham house rule – but then social media is a mystery to me :)…”When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.”

  40. JLM

    .The situation in the Ukraine is a very dangerous situation. Putin is attempting to reassemble the old USSR and the EU and NATO may have missed their chance to break out some of the 15 republics which were in play.Putin has picked the perfect location to show the impotence of our foreign policy. The Ukraine not only shares a border with Russia, they are ethnically and linguistically in substantial proportions Russian. The overthrown leader of the Ukraine speaks Russian.This is not a place for a strategic American interest nor a place to bet American blood or treasure. Pres Obama actually invoked the Line Doctrine in the Ukraine.Putin is a thug with a very good PR department. While the American press is silent, he is seen as a forceful leader who has handled the Syrian and Iranian situations well and had a tour de force in the Sochi Olympics.He has taken America’s and Obama’s measure and he is ready to test us fiercely.What do we do?Announce the contraction of the American military to troop levels which ensure we cannot conduct simultaneous wars in two locations — the bedrock foundation of our military policy since WWII.We are broke and cannot afford this type of nonsense.This is what you get when you put a buck sergeant in charge of DoD and a community organizer in charge of the country.Just wait until Iran gets that nuclear bomb thing figured out. Iran will become a nuclear power. And they have great judgment.JLM.

    1. pointsnfigures

      But he went to Harvard.

    2. ShanaC

      i hate to say this, but inside the DOD I believe they disagree (don’t ask how I know). There are other logistical issues they are thinking about.

      1. JLM

        .Disagree with what?JLM.

    3. Salt Shaker

      Sevastopol has military significance for Russia’s naval fleet, plus it’s where Putin and other Russian elite work on their tan. Two good reasons for Putin to flex those biceps. Cremean War of 1853-56 killed 750K, 25% more than our Civil War.

      1. JLM

        .The Russians gave the Crimea to the Ukraine in 1954 as a gift from Khrushchev. The Russians have a lease on their fleet homeport through 2044.The Crimean War casualties were less than 300K while the American Civil War is penciled in at about 600K.War casualty figures are notoriously wrong with estimates routinely having a band width of over 100%.They are really terrible when the losers are not around to add their totals. Victors only get to write the histories.JLM.

        1. Salt Shaker

          Today’s NYT pegged the Cremean death toll at “over 750,000.” Horrific either way. Humanity never learns from its mistakes. (Btw, I’ve got a ’72 LeMans Sport convertible w/ 100k original miles. Powder blue, white interior. Mothballed and needs a little work.)

          1. JLM

            .This is why it is so difficult to understand and catalog war casualties. When one uses the term “casualties”, it intends military deaths including deaths from wounds.When using the term “deaths”, it intends all deaths including civilian deaths.Here is a good reference which shows how widely the numbers can vary:…Hang on to that convertible and get it restored. That’s a good year and car.JLM.

    4. Tom Labus

      But you have continually underestimated Obama’s capabilities while he does seem to move ahead. The previous administration was packed with vets of long standing but were perpetually all levels.Start ups are run by people who do not have lots of experience but do just fine on the execution front.

      1. JLM

        .I don’t get the notion that Pres Obama’s suspect performance is somehow obviated or mitigated if it can be compared — rightly or not — to some predecessor’s performance.Judge the man on his own accomplishments not on his predecessor’s.In his sixth year, he has yet to gain any traction on the economy, has left the world ablaze and has passed a single piece of signature legislation on fraudulent representations to horrific impact.These are the objective judgments of the American people, not mine. A vast majority of the US voices their concern that the country is hopelessly misdirected.Regardless of what President he may have followed, HIS record is terrible.JLM.

        1. Tom Labus

          Federal Gov current acct in surplusHealth Care Energy independence Half yearly deficit

          1. JLM

            .Not one of these things is the result of any specific policy initiative of the Obama administration.The current account is the product of the highest Fed revenue receipts in history. It was not achieved through cost cutting. Not a single dollar has been cut by this administration though they promised to reform entitlements.This administration has not even deigned to consider reducing the rate of growth let alone actual cuts.The health care is a disaster. We started with 58MM uninsured, if the administration meets its targets — the moon is made of blue cheese — we will still have 31MM uninsured.We will have almost nobody who keeps their plan, doctor and the increases in premiums and deductibles will deliver no fairy tale $2500 family savings.This will be a disaster when the real stories start to come in. I can tell you about my personal cancellation, increased dividend, deductible explosion, etc.Energy independence has been flirted with in spite of the Federal government not because of it. To be sitting on the Keystone pipeline decision in its 6th year of consideration is obscene. It is either partisanship or incompetence.The deficit is simply the result of record Federal revenues, wars winding down — there is not a single administration action that has contributed to this.What is also true is that promised entitlement reform, unemployment U-6/7, welfare, food stamps, SNAP, subsidized housing, disability and other dependency programs are at all time highs. Some are irreversible.Foreign policy is a joke. A not very good joke. Only Obama could make Putin look like a statesman.JLM.

          2. Tom Labus

            you need to spent some time in NJ so we can straighten you out

          3. JLM

            .A bridge too far?JLM.

          4. Tom Labus


    5. LE

      What do we do?Announce the contraction of the American military to troop levels which ensure we cannot conduct simultaneous wars in two locations — the bedrock foundation of our military policy since WWII.Not to give anyone more credit than they deserve but as Geraldo used to say “we don’t believe in coincidences.”My feeling is that the timing of that juxtaposed against Ukraine was deliberate.Same as I think what we are doing with respect to the Ukraine is in order to be able to use it as a way to get what we really want out of Putin (say Syria or North Korea issues)Separately did you love the way Obama got up in front of a group of young black men and told them about how he did drugs and goofed on in school so he knows what they are going through? Forgetting how the young men will then have less motivation to do the things he did knowing full well that in the end they will still be able to make it in the world even given those indiscretions.

      1. JLM

        .To be a good role model one must have some noteworthy experiences that demonstrate character to which a youth can aspire.To suggest that a pot head beneficiary of affirmative action — which I applaud and fully support — is somehow a role model is nonsense.Not everyone is, in fact, a good role model.The more I see of Barack Obama, the less impressed I am. If nothing, the crushing weight of his collective lying is beyond belief. The absolute ordinariness of his life is meaningless or meaningful depending upon one’s viewpoint.America, we an do way better than this clown. I just pray we can survive his beclowning of America.If you want a second opinion — he has surrounded himself by midgets and ill accomplished confederates.JLM.

        1. LE

          To suggest that a pot head beneficiary of affirmative action — which I applaud and fully support — is somehow a role model is nonsense.He also did other drugs, not just pot. But remember he was angry because he had no father. Well just like you, I had a father but he was not like your father (I know that just from the way you speak about your father). I wish everyone without a father would stop thinking that all fathers are like your father was (as opposed to the average “father” or my father). Sometimes you might do better w/o a father than with a bad father (my cousins did really well and they didn’t have a father).Anyway, I guess this could be looked at a few ways.Had Obama not gotten into Harvard would he be president?No.Had Obama not gotten endorsed by Oprah would he be president?No. (Minute that happened I realized the potential of her getting behind him I saw the show iirc).Getting into Harvard (not so much affirmative action) is really what made the man (as president that is). And Oprah. JFK had his dad, Obama had Oprah.And as we know, not everyone who is even qualified gets into Harvard, that’s a dice toss for sure.That said he probably would have made it even if Oprah hadn’t endorsed him and for that matter might be a good corporate lawyer no matter what University he attended because of affirmative action.Hmm, so I guess you are right about affirmative action. Maybe what he should be saying was similar to what I say about crossing the street and not getting hit by a car. It doesn’t mean you tell young people that it’s ok to not look “see I’m ok” you tell them “I was lucky” you need to look both ways.

    6. RichardF

      The US cannot touch Russia JLM the stakes are way too high. Putin is a first class nutter.

    7. jason wright

      Russia is protecting its strategic asset, the Black Sea Fleet, and access to the Mediterranean. Turkey is a Nato member and is obligated by treaty to allow this access. There’s nothing new in all of this. Far too much is being made of events in Crimea.

      1. JLM

        .I doubt I could possibly disagree more with a statement than yours, Jason.The Russian fleet is not in jeopardy by any stretch of the imagination. They have a lease that runs through 2044 and the right to renew it. This is about whether Russia can reclaim the old USSR and broaden their borders to include historic ethnic Russian people. The same approach Hitler took in Austria and Alsace Lorraine.This is Putin, having taken the measure of the US and NATO, putting soldiers (150,000), tanks (900), attack aircraft (90) on a country’s borders while providing asylum for a failed dictatorial faux elected leader.This is about whether the US, NATO, EU are talking BS when they pretend to support self determination, freedom and democracy. Quick answer, no they do not. They are all collectively talkers and they are talking to their natural gas supplier.The Crimea is ethnically Russian. The leader of that portion of the Ukraine is a Russian sympathizer. He will undoubtedly “invite” Russian troops to assist him in quelling any rebellion in his province.If in this day and age we are to settle such matters with overwhelming force then it is a precursor to more such military adventurism.The Russians share a border with Iran and will undoubtedly insert themselves into that region also — oil and warm water ports are a huge draw but a land bridge to the Middle East is even more That is why we propped up the Shah of Iran in the first place.The Chinese will see the feckless and ineffective response of the US and be encouraged to settle their differences with Japan over the Senkaku Islands with a quick little naval engagement and a landing to take physical control.The US has treaty obligations to assist the Japanese that are questionable as it relates to such an island dispute. We will not get into a shooting match with the Chinese over those islands.This is a test for Pres Obama and his administration. “There will be consequences…” will not deter Putin and there is a high likelihood that NATO and the EU will not screw with the guy who controls the valve on their natural gas. It is cold right now in EuropeThe notion that the US pulling out of the Sochi G8 meeting is purely symbolic as it relates to Russia. The G8 needs to move that meeting.It is very small ball indeed. Putin is reassembling the old USSR and we are threatening to use the wrong fork with shellfish.This is a test and it will get much bigger before it is resolved.I do not think the US has a strategic interest in the Ukraine. Europe does but not the US. This is not where we should be contemplating investing US blood or treasure.Putin will have a clean sweep to add to his current luster of Syria, Iran and the Olympics. Putin is now the most powerful individual in the world.JLM.

  41. Manuel Molina

    I really like the featured comment feature– bartenders are entitled to choose the drink of the day.

    1. fredwilson

      just featured this comment. might be the final feature of this thread

  42. Tom Nocera

    First, personally I’m encouraged to see changes which enhance curation.Second, if managed, the additional, ongoing effort increases the possibility of greater audience engagement.And for the trifecta: the boost it can provide to recipients of this newfound recognition increases the liklihood of greater amplification or “reach” of the message. (I.e. the tweets and LinkedIn comments pointed toward broader audiences – something along the lines of: How about that Fred Wilson, he’s just featured me on his popular”)

  43. paramendra is the top user of Disqus, in my opinion. Someone could argue I don’t visit enough blogs (although I do visit a bunch, but not enough, I will admit myself).

  44. Richard

    We got the Comcast Netflix Story wrong. It has little to do with Net-Neutrality. “Netflix does not need to go direct to Comcast and pay them anything, they chose to because they could not get the level of service they were paying Cogent (a content delivery network middle layer) for directly.” See Dan Rayburn’s piece

    1. Timothy Meade

      Possibly, unless or until the price goes up for the same level of service.Other discussions have suggested that Comcast blocked Cogent from doing the the needed updates and even did the same with Netflix’s previous bandwidth provider.This sets the precedent precedent for precedent for less legitimate transactions.

      1. Richard

        Seems like this is more an issue of Netflix just wanting to eliminate a middle man. Rather than paying Cogent to position servers within Comcast and pays them directly. Comcast posts their business agreements with these content delivery networks, the revenue is minimal.

  45. Valerie Welte

    Enough discussing Disqus , Bitcoin and your blog redesign . Bring up new topics that you are adept at

    1. fredwilson

      maybe there are no new topics i am adept at

      1. Jim Canto

        Ha.. Disqus, Bitcoin and Design = Engagement, Emerging Markets and User Experience. Sounds rather contemporary to me.

      2. Valerie Welte

        Why not the FB – Whatsapp acquisition ? Perhaps that would be a good fodder for the whole week. I would love to hear what your take is on that acquisition and where’s the future heading up to acquisitions that has no business meaning.My question to you is –> Is whatsapp a twitter in the making for FB ?

        1. fredwilson

          i can only blog about stuff i give a shit about

          1. Valerie Welte

            Too bad, sir. And that’s probably why I see the comments getting off-topic to your blog post for so many days now.

          2. fredwilson

            I have been using that rule for 10.5 years now

          3. Valerie Welte

            Not quite, Sir. Last year , you meandered through a whole lot of topics. All informative and inquisitive. I am follower of your blog so much so it once was my homepage.Can’t wait to see an upgraded Fred Wilson v2.

          4. Drew Meyers

            best comment ever

          5. vruz

            I don’t want you to blog about it, that’s notoriously been done ad nauseam elsewhere. But perhaps, as an industry, we should reflect upon the 1900 startups that didn’t get funded with $10M each.Talk about misallocation of capital; what we could do but didn’t matters too.

  46. Dave W Baldwin

    This goes back to discussions last year concerning “what to build?” Many seemed to say just build it and convince/force folks to buy it. Didn’t agree. Came across this Steve Jobs quote today where he’s addressing someone telling him he doesn’t know what he’s talking about:”One of the things Iโ€™ve always found is that youโ€™ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You canโ€™t start with the technology and try to figure out where youโ€™re going to try to sell it. And Iโ€™ve made this mistake probably more than anybody else in this room. And I got the scar tissue to prove it.”

  47. RichardF

    Its of no interest to me as a punter (its a bit like facebook or twitter deciding and getting it wrong, usually about what I want to see in my timeline) but I can see the value to a blog owner as a way of extracting the value that they perceive out of the comments.More to the point I commend Disqus at the rate of improvement and features that they are finally rolling out.

  48. Eddie Wharton

    I think one of the coolest use cases for a featured comment is to highlight the most thoughtful / articulate critique.

    1. fredwilson


  49. Donna Brewington White

    I love it! You’re actually legitimizing our random commenting. We do it anyway.

  50. Donna Brewington White

    I’m trying to get my mind around the true value of this.Also seems as though there should be a way to follow the comment to where it falls in the thread to interact with it or read the interaction that occurs around the comment.

  51. Peter Fleckenstein

    It would be great if we could comment on the Featured Comment. That way, there’s one more chance for us to be the Featured Comment. Disqus could called it the “F*ck Yeah Featured Comment!”.

  52. ff


  53. JimHirshfield

    Means a lot coming from you, Charlie…thanks.

  54. JimHirshfield

    Should be dynamic, I believe.