Some Thoughts On Tweeting Vs Blogging

I thought for a second on April 1st about writing a post that said I was giving up blogging in favor of tweeting. I held back because its closer to the truth than I want to admit. And one should not dance too close to the truth on April 1st.

Tweeting is easier than blogging. It was that single insight that led me to email Evan Williams back in the spring/summer of 2007 and ask him if he’d allow USV to invest in Twitter. Thankfully he responded to that email and Ev and Jack did allow us to do that.

I had been blogging for almost four years at that point and was completely sold on the huge benefits that come from publicly sharing your insights, opinions, and decisions. I would advocate blogging to everyone. And folks would try it. And that vast majority of them (way greater than 90%) would not be able to sustain it. So when tweeting showed up, I thought “well this has most of the benefits of blogging but is at least 10x easier”. And then I wrote the email. Most good investment decisions are not more complicated than that.

So why have I continued to blog every day when plenty of people have moved to tweeting and get similar benefits? Well for one, I am a creature of habit and routine and hate breaking things that are working for me. And second, I like to work things out on the page. It’s a puzzle to me. 140 characters is a challenge but ten paragraphs is a bigger challenge. And finally, because you can express yourself more fully in a blog post than a tweet (or a tweet stream).

I see blogging as fodder for my twitter activity. I write the post, tweet it out, and, just like the comments at the end of this post, stuff comes back at me. Like these from the past week:





I really like feedback and discussion. When I give a talk, the first thing I do after the talk  is look at the tweetstream to see what resonated with the audience. It’s like a comedian working out her best material. You get immediate feedback on what was good. I always assume the rest was not.

So I could move from blogging to tweeting. And god knows I’ve been tempted many times over the years. But I don’t think I will, at least anytime soon. I’ve come up with a mechanism to make both work for me, together, and I think that combination is more powerful than using either of them solo.


Comments (Archived):

    1. JamesHRH

      I ‘rediscovered’ this tune in the truck about 5 years ago. I would have hated this group, on looks alone, when this tune first came out.They are long hair philosophy wizards: play it @ 11, it does not sound right unless it is full blast.

  1. Dave Pinsen

    Default female pronoun for comedians now too? I think the pioneer at that was Marty Shafiroff. He did that in his classic book on cold calling (… ), if memory serves: all the execs were women with male phone screeners.

    1. fredwilson

      i am trying to train myself to do it all the timei have two girls and i think of them all the time i default to the male pronouni hate doing that and want to stop

      1. JimHirshfield

        I have a boy and a girl. I think of them all the time too (full stop).#justsayin

        1. fredwilson

          that’s not what i am saying. if every time you use a pronoun it is a male pronoun, then that is sending a powerful messageand that is what many in our society dowhen i try to stop biting my nails, i try to go cold turkey, not cut back on it

          1. JimHirshfield

            I know what you meant. I was just sharing a father’s heartwarming sentiment.You really bite your nails?

          2. fredwilson

            yeah. i’ve done it since childhood. its a nervous habit.

          3. David Semeria

            Don’t worry, pretty soon you’ll have a robot to bite them for you.

          4. Anne Libby

            Or to get you to stop biting them!

          5. JamesHRH

            He will be able to fund those guys from his own personal experience. Shouldn’t the robot stop him from biting his nail though?

          6. Matt A. Myers

            You should find a good Innerchild Regression therapist. A good one will help you explore through your body the patterns you have come to using as coping mechanisms, and the process helps you release them; That’s not how they’ll likely explain it to you though. Fairly sure you’ll eventually figure out the source of the emotional stresses that moved into that coping mechanism instead of allowing the emotion to process (e.g. cry it out or let yourself get angry over it, feel it)

          7. Matt A. Myers

            @fredwilson:disqus To add to this, make sure you’re maintaining a regular yoga practice if you start this therapy – because it’s like you unplug a cork from a hole, and there will be a trickle effect (potential flood) as the emotion processes through everything else in life — huge growth opportunity occurs. Regular yoga helps accelerate that and helps limit you from getting stuck from strong emotions being released.

          8. andyswan

            this real?

          9. Matt A. Myers

            Innerchild Regression therapy? If that’s what you’re asking, yes. Though I imagine it’s hard to find a good one, and I’m not sure they practice all the same way. You have to be comfortable with the person and trust them and be able to trust the process, else your guard will be up / stay up. A good practitioner will only go as when you’re ready to work on something.

          10. andyswan

            for nail-biting?

          11. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            .You are implying holding an opinion equates to a need for therapy and therapy is by definition treatment of sicknessIn my view Fred is not sick (only occasionally off colour)so at some bizarre PC level I could argue that you are being indulgent of the simply puerile lust for ad-hominem (both self-referential) attacks.Not girlish, nor to the woman but puerile and ad-hominem respectively – as most PC attacks aresometimes things mean exactly what they mean – this is one such instance.

          12. Matt A. Myers

            I was referencing solely his nail biting?I never referenced him being sick. Biting nails, as a “nervous habit since childhood” that he said he does is a state of dis-ease to most.It’s simply a signal/sign that energy is being directed there – that energy pattern is holding – when it doesn’t need to be. And from my experience the less energy stuck in a pattern the more room it allows for everything else to flourish, grow.

          13. pointsnfigures

            “Looks like this is the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.”

          14. LE

            Holy crap. My daughter does that also. And I was perfectly happy thinking she would grow out of it.You might want to try substituting another tic for that. One that you can do in private that would serve the same purpose.The only way to get rid of an addiction is to get another addiction. So you trade in for something less problematic.Vocal tics are a good start [1] and way more satisfying that bitting your nails.[1] Some might call them “stupid man noises”.

          15. Anne Libby

            Thanks, Fred.

          16. jason wright

            then the language needs a new word that slots in there to both highlight and cure that prejudice. think of one and start using it. this blog is so popular that it might catch on, and then engineers everywhere will default to it as they tweet.

          17. JamesHRH

            no, it does not.It needs more women in more prominent roles in society using the pronoun that comes naturally to their minds.

          18. Matt A. Myers

            So is the purpose to find equilibrium or to solve for a deeper foundational problem? If every time you read “she” and you’d resonate better with a “him” – are you absorbing that information in the same way? What if it was structure as “They” or “That person” (etc) — then you’re humanizing and putting everyone into a single group, and reenforcing that we’re all the same — and not re-enforcing the dichotomy of “him” and “her.”

          19. JamesHRH

            We are not the same.Writing that is written not to offend, sucks, completely and without exception.

          20. andyswan

            we find your comment doubleplusgood

          21. Matt A. Myers

            No one person is the same.I am not saying it can never be used, just being aware of when it is, and using more general language when it allows for it – then why not?

          22. JamesHRH

            Time / value benefit.That Fred spends any of his mental cycles on this topic is a waste of a precious resource.

          23. jason wright

            chicken and egg

          24. JamesHRH

            We are not going to bet more chickens around here by having the roosters walking around the barn thinking about the right pronoun to use, when talking about chicks (oh, the irony of that word just naturally popping into your analogy, I love it ;-)We get that by having the cocks walk the talk, not obsess about the talk.

          25. jason wright

            chick and ego

          26. JamesHRH

            That’s great.I think ego comes into play……but I think the PC folks play to the ego of powerful males by telling them that what they say mattes soooooooo much, that they need to be really careful.Some words are loaded with negative connotations & watching what you say just makes sense.But, I am pretty sure the ‘he’ will not, one day, be referred to as ‘the H word”.

          27. LE

            then engineers everywhere will default to it as they tweet.If engineers are the way they are it is also because women in high school and at the early formative ages aren’t particularly accepting of those types of men. They want a different type of man than the pimply unkempt engineer and as a result the engineer ends up with a certain disdain for women that I’m guessing carries through to when they are in a position of power. But read on before you think I am saying “it’s the women’s fault” because I’m not.Of course there are exceptions but the norm is as a result of the dominant part of the group.I wasn’t part of any group like that in high school (literally no group at all) and had 2 sisters and wasn’t raised at all to think that there were differences between the sexes. (I was however raised with other prejudices..) So later when I was in Silicon Valley a bit and heard a comment about a women as such “I lifted her skirt and there was a dick” it was a bit surprising. (Rasterops and Supermac if anyone cares..)Or before that when I ran into men in business who said “LE they are all stupid”. And this happened fairly frequently.At the NY Gift show I remember seeing other men oogling at women. But my father never did that. Never saw him look at another woman at all or ever make a disparaging comment about women. Not my mother really not anyone female (for being female). (And it’s not like he had such a great relationship with her or anything..)

          28. Matt A. Myers

            “My children” is a good alternate – instead of re-enforcing the dichotomy of sex.

          29. JamesHRH

            Yes Matt, because men / women & boys / girls are so alike.I disagree, obviously

          30. Matt A. Myers

            You’re talking about apples when I’m talking about oranges.You’re ignoring the point of solving for the problems associated with labelling, such as the “powerful message” message mentioned that is sent when one sex is used over another in common language. This includes with those who don’t identify specifically with Male or Female – as it really is a spectrum based on behaviours, characteristics, etc..

          31. JamesHRH

            Its politically correct horseshit.If you think I judge people based on the pronoun I use, your filter is set to Superficial, not mine.

          32. Matt A. Myers

            I’m not thinking about you, I’m thinking about those who end up learning and negatively being affected by the dichotomy – mainly children (or those who are older and stuck in a superficial place) who do only see the world in its visual form, at least until they develop higher thinking.If you have a better solution for mass education (aside from adjusting our mass media and content people consume), and in a system that lives in cycles as new people are born and learn from their environment around them – then I’d love to hear it.

          33. JamesHRH

            Its called parenting.If @fredwilson:disqus think his girls are strong people, who do not see their gender placing limitations on them (just choices), he has, mostly, the GothamGal to thank for that situation.Don’t get me wrong, he could’ve screwed it up pretty good, but they look to her for real messages about what a woman is and does.

          34. Matt A. Myers

            “It takes a community to raise a child”I’m sure you’ll agree many people aren’t going to be as capable to raise a child properly – there have been too many unhealthy cycles that have already occurred, and too many time pressures on most people to spend adequate time being and raising family — so then the influence that family time would have is determined by whatever media people hope to find connection with or distraction from from lack of deeper connection.

          35. LE

            I’m thinking about those who end up learning and negatively being affected by the dichotomy – mainly childrenWhile there is a point to what you are saying the truth is that this is also a matter of parents putting things into perspective for the children. Which they don’t always do.Perspective and framing matters a great deal vs. what is really being said.Let me give you an example.Let’s say you have a meeting with a VC and that VC’s name is “DICK” and he acts like one.You might walk away from the meeting feeling you are a horses ass and did something wrong. Next thing you know you are drinking with Andy Swan.Now let’s say prior to that meeting you had had lunch with Fred Wilson who was nice to you.And the day before a mentor of yours told you that most VC’s are “Richards”.So because the behavior was framed, you would then not be as bothered by the meeting with the VC and wouldn’t feel anywhere near as bad.Make sense? That’s a parents job. That’s a mentors job. To put things in perspective so your brain can be happy with the situation. And you don’t take it personally.

          36. Matt A. Myers

            Framing is setting expectations, yes. It’s important for holding space, etc.. It is an important early lesson to learn if possible as well, though it’s not one most have I don’t think.

          37. JamesHRH

            Pronouns do not send a powerful message. Although spending time thinking about pronouns does.How does Josh feel about you thinking about the girls feelings so much?This kind of superficial BS gives equality issues a bad name. Spend the time doing actual things that give women who wish to have professional impact on society that chance to do so.God knows, Sheryl Sandberg is going around using ‘he’.Great line from Flash Boys about Brad Katsyama (CDNs are doing so many good thing in America!).RBC pulls him into a Minority Sensitivity meeting ( or some such thing ) and starts asking everyone about things the bank has done that made him feel different.His answer is, basically, ‘right up until you called me into this meeting, I never felt singled out because of my heritage, only my performance.’To his credit, he never went to anymore of those meetings.Hilarious / scary book that gives a very detailed view of a very unflattering aspect of American culture.

          38. Ana Milicevic

            I disagree. The fact that we all noticed the suspect pronoun, that I liked Fred’s comment, that we’re here now discussing is testament that this is, in fact a big deal.If the CEO, doctor, attorney, executive, artist, God are all he, what’s a girl to do, you guys?

          39. JamesHRH

            Sorry Ana, people talk a lot about Justin Beiber & Dancing with the Stars, Neither of those are important topics nor do they have any real impact on society as a whole.Here’s my argument: I just took my daughter to see an orthopaedic surgeon this afternoon (not a major issue it appears), for a consult, at a teaching hospital (student in tow).4 people in exam room; only one Y chromosome.A girl should get doing stuff and not worry about the words that other people use too much.

          40. Ana Milicevic

            I’d like to think that AVC is a refuge from the Biebers and the Dancings of the world but I agree — however, I don’t think it applies to our pronoun conversation.Girls do stuff. They do a lot of stuff – we don’t sit around and worry about words. But having been on the recipient end of ‘should you really be here?’, ‘I thought girls didn’t do math’ and multiple similar variations (as I’m sure your daughter will sadly encounter no matter what you may try to do to ensure she doesn’t) I propose that doing something as trivial as using a female pronoun instead of a male one can make a hell of a difference. I tried this with my largely male dev team a few years back: after an initial dose of grump they quickly understood that not being acknowledged (via trivial pronouns) tends to be an odd experience. If it is indeed trivial then let’s all try female pronouns for a change.

          41. JamesHRH

            Its not the triviality, its the unnatural nature of it. I have 0% issue with you saying she as a 3P pronoun in front of your all male dev team.You are a woman. She is natural.When a man makes a point of saying she, its forced, unnatural and an obvious political statement. Kind of like Brendan Eich getting flogged @ Mozilla.Its preaching to the choir while annoying the people standing in the doorway of the church, wondering if they should step inside and listen harder.

          42. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            And where do you stand on Actors and Actresses ? Or on the race issue – what is the current polite form of reference ?If generic usage of mankind (womenkind ? ) human (huwomen ? ) is properly homo sapiens – ( wise man from latin) are wise females also to be included ?I believe in terms of colour it is the racist intent that creates the slur not the term used. A London council changed all the rubbish ( trash ) bins from black to green fifteen years ago because they considered a black trash can a racial slur (I for one had never associated the colour of the container with the value of the content !)Such problems are truly only skin deep and drawing attention to them exacerbates the superficial.So is it perhaps only the true mysogenist who can conceive that “he” a boss does not properly and graciously include “she” the boss?It only takes one then we must follow like unimaginative sheep (or should I say ewes and rams) ?

          43. Mac

            James, we simplified all that rubbish in South Carolina. We just refer to everyone as ‘Bubba’. It smooths things and there are no hurt feelings. 🙂

          44. Mac

            Alas, we are a complicated people. (albeit somewhat confused)

          45. LE

            “then that is sending a powerful message”Are you saying to your children or to the world?I remember being in college and complaining to an adviser (who belonged to my synagogue) that we didn’t have off on a jewish holiday. He said in so many worlds “it’s a christian world so you might as well get used to it”.That “life isn’t always fair” has really been the basis for not giving a shit about the fact that things are rarely to your liking. And you do the best with what you have and don’t spend time tilting at windmills and complaining about things that you aren’t going to be able to change easily. (Because it will detract from things you can do.)We all lose sleep over different things. This just isn’t one of those things for me.Besides, my wife still makes me pay for date night. And do all those things that men are supposed to do.

      2. andyswan

        Then everyone gets pissed and wants to be called the same thing. “flight attendant” “office assistant” “server”, etc.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Oh, Andie, lighten up.

          1. Matt A. Myers

            Go fly a kite!

        2. Dave Pinsen

          True in general, though I think Fred’s example may be an exception, with some ladies still preferring “comedienne”.The funny thing is it won’t end with the default female pronoun. If the default male pronoun is considered sexist now, in a few years, the default female pronoun will be considered ‘cis-normative’. See the recent court decision on gender in Australia:…Concede ground to PC language police and they will demand more.

          1. andyswan

            lol cis. even in my 36’s I can tell you I’m too old for this shit.

      3. Dave Pinsen

        I found it distracting and forced in the Shafiroff book, because 100% of the execs I cold called at the time were men with female call screeners.

    2. andyswan

      Can be very useful when choosing between unknown acts.

    3. JamesHRH

      The choice of comedian is particularly offensive to reality.Standups are primarily men, not because they actively exclude women, but because women actively do not choose working roles that combine both isolation & self employment.Not that women are not funny (Elaine Boosler, Roseanne, Nora Ephron, Rosie, Ellen, Tina Fey, etc) its that they don’t choose to be road warrior comedians @ age 17 or 21.

      1. andyswan

        It also doesn’t help that women, generally speaking, are not as funny as men.

        1. JamesHRH

          That is a tougher statement to support. Certain personality types tend funny, intelligence tends funny. Gender – ahhhhhhh, probably not.You could argue that societal norms have told women not to be funny and you would be correct.My wife is funny, but she is too busy to relax enough to be funny a lot. My sister in law is really funny and is funny all the time – its the basis of her personality / life view.

          1. andyswan

            maybe you’re right but either way the result is less funny and that’s what gets you on stage.

  2. andyswan

    Blog dead long live blog

  3. Jorge M. Torres

    Please don’t stop blogging. AVC is a destination. It’d be like when they closed CBGB or tore down Ebbets.

    1. Ronan Perceval

      Yes please don’t stop blogging. I look forward to my daily dose every day.

    2. ShanaC


  4. Rohan

    Easy != Better

    1. Nathan

      Thats true.

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      Ture “Easy != Better”butlike “better it” begs the question”Easy/Better” for what purpose?

      1. Rohan

        Communicating ideas

    3. Susan Rubinsky

      So, for example, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” is better than reading Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina?

      1. Rohan

        My point is that it isn’t. 🙂

  5. mikenolan99

    “If I Had More Time, I Would Have Written a Shorter Letter”And… the link to a long blog post giving credit where credit is due.

    1. andyswan

      shoot you beat me to the punch

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Looks like you won the upvote battle.

        1. andyswan

          aesthetics lol j/k mike

          1. Matt A. Myers

            If re: formatting of the quote, I’d agree.Plus you have two quotes, so double the chances of someone liking one quote, and then there’s the amplifying effect potentially at work.

          2. mikenolan99

            Beauty before age, apparently…:)

  6. TamiMForman

    Please don’t stop blogging! I’ve been reading AVC almost since it’s inception. (Actually, I was on a plane with Matt Blumberg when you published what I believe was the second post on “Your Only a First-time CEO Once” which inspired me to start reading.) It’s been really fun watching it evolve and watching your writing get so much crisper and sharper.

  7. andyswan

    “If I had more time I would have written you a shorter letter” — Winston Churchill”I have made this letter longer than usual,because I lack the time to make it short”– Blaise Pascal, ‘Letters Provinciales’ (1657)

    1. JamesHRH


    2. Matt A. Myers

      Many people really don’t appreciate the time and mental energy it takes to summarize something into fewer words – while maintaining accuracy.

      1. andyswan


    3. mikenolan99

      My dad taught me a great speakers story – seams that event organizers realized that though Winston Churchil, the greatest orator of his generation, had been invited to the event, they had not asked him to speak.They quickly hurried to his table and asked him to speak for a few minutes. his reply was “Gentleman, at this time I am prepared to speak for 45 minutes. Anything shorter in duration would have required preparation.”I use it all the time when asked to speak at a moments notice.

      1. andyswan

        stealing that. amazing.

        1. mikenolan99

          First you beat me in the up-vote, then steal my dad’s story?Jeez… You’ll have to say yes again the next time I ask you to speak in my class…

          1. andyswan

            That’s not your dad’s story. That’s my dad’s story.

      2. Ana Milicevic

        + 1 on the stealing & great story.The Spartan voice in rhetoric is often overlooked — but wouldn’t it be perfect for Twitter? 🙂

      3. Vasudev Ram

        Though not similar, this reminds me of a story about Einstein and his driver :-)…There are many versions of it on the Net, but the above link also has some other good stories about him.

      4. JamesHRH

        Churchill should be some sort of required class to graduate HS.Great story Mike.

      5. ShanaC

        that man probably was the world’s best conversationalist based on the amount of quotes about him involved with him in a conversation

    4. SubstrateUndertow

      Summary with informational fidelity.Now thats and art !Yes. . . Yes. . . I do realize by that standard I’ve not and artistic bone in my body.

    5. Nikhil Sukumar

      True we can all write and talk more than needed easily! However shorter lines are the ones that hit the brains fast and unfortunately the harder to build quickly too.

  8. Henry Yates

    IMHO I would say this blog is an important part of USV/Fred Wilson’s competitive advantage when it comes to getting first look/option to invest in great start ups. It could be argued that the brand has now been established, however, there must be a constant flow of new emerging talent, particularly outside the US where this forum must help your reach.

  9. 3agonists

    Tweeting is a convenience food and blogging is a cooked meal: both are needed and many people do both, just different tastes, different pleasures

    1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      Yes but look at the size of the guys who drink coke and eat pizza and donuts all day – which would you rather be?.

      1. 3agonists

        I prefer cooked meals 🙂 But every convenience food is not necessarily fast food.

        1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

          I think we agree – Best fast food I ever had was a mango that fell from a tree right in front of me in Zambia – it was so convenient that drunken monkeys (the eat the fermenting fruit) were having food fights with the excess!

          1. Guest

            100%! Natural healthy foods can be even medicine. Thanks for the comments.

          2. 3agonists

            100%! Natural healthy foods can be even medicine. Thanks for the comments!

  10. William Mougayar

    Of course the combination of Tweeting/Blogging is powerful…unless you’re one of those celebrities with millions of followers, but who can’t put more one sentence together.

      1. William Mougayar

        right. just like a 5th grader would have written it.

  11. Tom Labus

    The Blog has become your Brand where most others things flow from. It be like selling your house to live all the time in your summer place (which may not be a bad idea)

  12. Niv Dror

    The lifetime of a blog post is as long as the information remains relevant. The lifetime of a tweet is about a week. To relate several concepts you mentioned with an example that just happened:-I’m putting together a blog post summarizing @pmarca’s talk at GSB last month-Marc mentions Technological Revolutions, so I Google “Carlota Perez” -One of the first search results is:…Your wisdom is far more valuable in the form of a blog; you never know when something will become relevant.

  13. thebigmix

    This highlights to me how well Fred uses the net as a creative tool, rather than as a funnel for consuming content. I think most people are default consumers. For me, Twitter always treads the fine line of becoming one long line of dribble as a consumer….but can be an invaluable tool as a creator. I guess you need an agenda when you login? Aimless surfing is wasteful.

  14. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    fredwilsonI have consumed your blogs avidly and gained value from your insights and those of your commentators. I fear I have hardly reciprocated (though I write a humble blog where I I give back some value).I could list a few blog entries of yours that made me think, or moved me or taught me something new. However, I do not even know if I follow you on twitter. If I do I have not noted anything important. So it is worth asking – why?Perhaps the following tweetables are a fragment of the whole (and there’s the rub)A tweet is no more that an hors d’eouvre where a blog is a wholesome mealA tweet does not by implication invite my participation – #disqus demands exactly thatPerhaps I have not learned how to extract value from Twitter as I am no power user.Of one thing I am sure – I am not alone in preferring a blog over a tweet

    1. James Ferguson @kWIQly Of one thing I am sure – I am not alone in preferring a blog over a tweet— James Ferguson (@kWIQly) April 3, 2014

    2. ShanaC

      Yes. Tweets are sometimes too pithy to really invite yourself into a conversation

    3. Donna Brewington White

      Well said James In way more than 140 characters.

  15. Richard

    Before the implementation of the hashtag, I launched a MVP called tradeshowtweets. The idea was that attending a tradeshow was too often hit or miss for both the attendee and the exhibitor. So I went to the natural food expo and asked the exhibitors to send a tweet about their new products @ tradeshowtweets. The problem: no one knew what I was talking about.PS Twitter needs a hash function and use the algorithm to stack duplicate tweets( a hash algorithm maps data of arbitrary length to data of a fixed length. The values returned by a hash function are called hash values, hash codes, hash sums, checksums etc.)

  16. Sebastian Wain

    I can’t live without blogs but I can live without Twitter.

  17. Bruce Warila

    I read this blog (via RSS) every day, and I often read the comments. I don’t follow you on Twitter.I have gotten really busy over the last couple of months. Unconsciously, the first thing I gave up was Twitter. RSS gives me exactly what I want: quality information; with Twitter, I have to sift through all this other stuff (hype, self-promotion, insider jokes, burnt toast, etc).Twitter desperately needs noise filters that enable users to filter out / in “stuff”. Moreover the follow/follower vanity metrics are terrible indicators of a user’s worth, and it encourages behaviour that devalues the platform.

  18. Brandon G. Donnelly

    Yes, I agree with the crowd: please don’t stop blogging. Also, one of the things that makes twitter (indirectly) 10x better is also what makes blogging so powerful: most people can’t keep it up, as you say. So if you can, well, that’s special.

  19. Matt A. Myers

    It depends who you want your target audience to be. It’s a quality vs. quantity thing.If you’re going for quantity then you’re competing with everyone elses’ tweets.If you’re going for quality then it takes time to build up a quality following of substantial numbers – which you’ve already done a good job of having celebrated AVC’s 10th anniversary in September and have all of us lovely regulars commenting.And as you’ve touched on there are many other factors relating to the ecosystem of having a blog you post content that people pay attention to.

    1. Amanda Hamilton

      But what do you do if you are savvy low and time low and inclination low? Find someone else I guess! I can’t work out how people have time to do it all 🙂

  20. My Wife Reads these Comments

    Thanksgiving with my extended family is like blogging. One person has the floor for a few minutes to make their point while everyone listens (or not). Then we take turns sharing shorter comments around the table.Thanksgiving with my wife’s family is like twitter. Everyone talks at the same time in sentence fragments, making liberal use of code words. The points wend through and around each other in a way that an outsider is unlikely to comprehend.Blogging and twitter… different.

  21. awaldstein

    The community is the thing.Not something that the short form platforms in my opinion.

    1. Pat Clark

      Couldn’t agree more. Just posted a very similar comment.

    2. Mac

      I agree, Arnold.

  22. Pat Clark

    I think the value of a great blog includes the community that builds around, and within, it (e.g. A VC). Very few can get there but when they do, the value of that community exceeds the Reply/Favorite/RT circle by 100x or more. I love Twitter, but there are huge differences for my personal preferences of learning.

    1. pointsnfigures

      In finance, no community can form. FINRA. the real pros are limited as to what they can say and tweet.

  23. thebigmix

    @fredwilson:disqus how long does it normally take you to write a blog post? And do you have multiple drafts on the go at the same time? And what program do you use to edit your words with? Thanks.

  24. Mike Chan

    I agree with all of your points and think about this issue the same way. Another key factor of why I continue to blog is that there is a permanency to blog posts as opposed to tweets. Sure, there are tools where you can refer to a past Twitter conversation but it just isn’t the same as reading a post, getting the context of it, then going through the comments.

  25. PhilipSugar

    Just me, but I read all your blog posts and never a tweet. Must be a flaw in the way my brain works, but I see a mountain of tweets or hundreds of emails and just feel overwhelmed. Spending a minute reading a blog post or typing out a comment is just the opposite. Like many here I few it as a smoke break without the cigarette.

    1. LE

      Why is that a flaw? Why do you even see it as a flaw?Is it a flaw to not be good at sports or an advantage?Is it a flaw to not be a tall handsome man or an advantage?Is it a flaw to be a 7 as a women (vs. a 10) or an advantage?I don’t ever read anything on twitter. How much infotainment does a person need?

  26. Aaron Klein

    Seems dangerous, until Twitter installs Disqus.

    1. JimHirshfield

      I think Dave Winer did something like that a few years ago.Not hard to do. Throw a tweet on a page that has Disqus on it.Would it add value?

      1. Aaron Klein

        I guess my sarcasm didn’t come through.Fred is the best bartender known to tech, but this place is nothing without Disqus. I don’t think Twitter conversations are rich enough.The AVC community wouldn’t be the AVC community if it went Twitter only.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Ain’t that the truth.

        2. Donna Brewington White


    2. ShanaC


    3. Scott Barnett

      I had a similar thought (I think) – that the way Fred described Twitter in this post, I found it more like Disqus than I did blogging. Disqus and Twitter are a *reaction* to a blog post, not a replacement? Without the initial blog/article, would their much conversation?

  27. Francois Royer Mireault

    Keep on bloggin’ in the free world, Neil Young would say.

    1. awaldstein

      Conversations on Twitter are invariably stilted.Not a criticism it is simply not what the platform is about.This is not a matter of engagement or not, of boredom or not. Just different. And different groups as well.

      1. William Mougayar

        It is different, but it works for some. Not everybody wants to have close relationships with their followers and interact with them deeply over blog comments. Twitter allows that distanced type of interaction, with the luck of the draw as to who you strike a cord with or not.

  28. Kirsten Lambertsen

    “It’s like a comedian working out her best material.” I see what you did there 🙂

    1. Ana Milicevic

      On a somewhat related note I’ve always appreciated Peter Serafinowitz’s Twitter bio in which he identifies himself as a ‘male actress and comedienne’ (… ). Helps that he’s consistently funny too.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Great share! I *love* his “True Detective Epilogue”.

  29. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Not sure where Twitter would be if there weren’t blogs…

    1. LE

      Actually I would say I’m not sure where Twitter would be the traditional media and celebrities hadn’t made it what it is.Twitter has received tremendous widespread mainstream media recognition as well as attention grabbing adoption from celebrities. Take that away and you have nothing.Same thing with the Internet for that matter. If traditional media hadn’t done so much with mention of the Internet it wouldn’t be where it is today. That ink brought people in. Good or bad. [1]This is now happening a bit with bitcoin. All the negatives and security problems and potential for problems are bringing bitcoin front page media attention in major venues and on network news. Your aunt even knows about bitcoin possibly.If bitcoin makes it through this phase it may very well find a market and succeed.[1] My saying “dead body parts on ebay”.

  30. pointsnfigures

    VCs need to have several paths to enter their domain. Twitter is the greatest listening device in the world. But, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Email and other forms of social media are all ways for a good VC to get deal flow. Deal flow is opportunity.How’d you find out about Twitter?

  31. Davealevine

    It is worth spending time on @medium.They now let you embed posts on your domain if you care to center the the content around an existing brand.But if your goal is to really work through ideas, share and generate discussion, it is a much more powerful platform than a blog.And as a writer, the experience is night and day.

    1. fredwilson

      i want to blog at not

      1. LE

        Medium. Use that. Right.This is really what I call “new people get hatched everyday on the internet”.And those new people simply pick up and mimic what they see others doing and assume it’s the way to go (because they haven’t been around long enough or been exposed to other alternatives).You know all those cutesy “about us” pages that you see with the dogs and people’s hobbies?Well that never happened before the first person did it. And then everyone else followed. (It’s quite ridiculous when you think about it..)And now all the people getting hatched on the internet see it and assume “yeah so that’s what you do ok I’ll use that as a template and put a dog on my about us page”.Anyway obviously, as you know, the fact that this is the way it is is a opportunity but bad for legacy things.(But you already know that and it keeps you up at night..)

      2. Davealevine

        I get the desire to use one’s own domain.I struggled with this at first also.But the platform is just so much better for content creation.If you want to embed the content at your domain, they’ve now added that functionality. In fact, way more easily than just embedding tweets like you do above.Here’s the directions:…By eliminating the “author” and “following individuals” from the content creation, they’ve elevated the content to the center of the experience.But more than that – the UX. Is. Just. Better.Like most new technologies, you really have to experience it to appreciate the difference.They have brilliantly fixed even small things I never realized were broken about writing on screen.Try it.As a writer, you will love it.And as a personal brand, they’re adapting it in many ways that will make it easier to achieve other goals you want.In fact, they’re ahead of Twitter in that regard, and I’d imagine they will continue to make strides in this area if smart writers ask for it.

    2. awaldstein

      This is really about community, not writing.Medium is interesting and beautiful. It’s not a community platform though

      1. Davealevine

        I agree that the community aspect of Medium isn’t as straightforward as something like a Discuss-plug-in at the bottom of a URL-centered blog.However, my experience is that I’m developing closer and deeper relationships by sharing on Medium than I ever have on Twitter or through blogging than in the 7 years I’ve been using both.The concept of “community” that is built there is broader and extends beyond the platform itself.Hard to explain, but I think what it enables is really connecting and getting to know a broader group in a more genuine and meaningful way.

        1. awaldstein

          Fair enough.I’ve blogged a lot about cross network communities:–>Flash community as the new normal–that is not what this is about. It all depend on your intent.My intent is community. There is nothing like a blog platform if you have the chutzpah to do it and the good fortune to collect one.Writing–I thought that is what Wattpad was for?

          1. Davealevine

            Fascinating stuff.One of the prerequisites for that kind of connecting is “identifying” / “seeing” others.That is what Medium is so good at.By unleashing the content, it illuminates the idea, and thusly, the author.My experience is it actually helps with self-discovery and in so doing, it increases self-expression and vice-versa.Here’s just one angle of what I mean, on *why* writing is powerful:

          2. awaldstein

            I’ll take a look.But I’m not sold that Medium as a ‘medium’ does more for me.If you are selling this–which you are spending your time to–you will need to not tell me why Medium is interesting and great. It may be.But your asking this customer to change. It needs to be way more than that.Old selling truth still holds.

          3. Davealevine

            I’m more sharing because I think it is awesome.Different than selling.But I hear you.Biggest challenge with new paradigms is you can’t convey the value until you’ve experienced them.Twitter takes months to appreciate. And I don’ think the value can truly can’t be conveyed until experiencing.Could be that I struggle with articulating the value. That is probably part of it.But part of it is some things just must be experienced to be understood.Wrote about that on Medium also if you have interest:

    3. ShanaC

      I’m still confused how medium became a thing

      1. Davealevine

        Try it for awhile and you will understand.Many people say the same thing about Twitter at first.

  32. Susan Rubinsky

    I don’t think this is an either/or proposition. Twitter is a shorthand way for getting the word out whereas blogging allows you to more thoroughly explore ideas. Both have their benefits, but when utilized in conjunction the benefit is compounded.

  33. Wells Baum

    “Blogging is a means by which to rediscover your voice, to learn to share your thoughts with others, and by doing so to help us all get smarter faster.”Euan Semple

  34. Philip Smith

    I am also a fan of the blog and hope that it continues. Perhaps mypreference relates to the fact that I tend to follow certain blogs related toventure capital and the startup community from people who make me think about/considerthings related to those areas. Even if the concept being discussed is notnovel and I am in complete agreement with the author, I generally find afew comments that offer an opposing viewpoint that are worth considering.Several critical popints for me (general in nature):Most of my favorite blog posts have required more then the 140 word tweetlimit.I suspect that many people spend more time/thought when writing a blog thenwhen they tweet.I have come to view blog vs tweet in a way that is similar to phone call vs. IM. If its important and needs more discussion, I tend to pick up the phone. If its short, then an IM is usually sufficient . . . assuming the other party IMs.From my perspective, tweets tend to be much more social in nature (at times). Perhaps more importantly, I find myself overwhelmed with the absolute volume of tweets such that I could spend an entire day reading what is received . . . much of it completelyunimportant. Even the things that I consider important are frequently lost in the mass of tweets I received. Therefore, I find the time I spend on twitter declining through time.I need an AI to filter out everything I find unimportant.

  35. Mac

    The “tweetstream” doesn’t give me the depth and saturation that my brain needs and receives from this blogstream. Sorry, Jack.

  36. Tim O'Neil

    Blogs are a fixed statement. The original author gets a soapbox to set the context and elaborate their position to their own satisfaction. It’s a 1-many broadcast concept that mirrors traditional publishing (available to anyone with a url). Yes, comment systems allow for narrow-band discussion to occur after the fact but they’re more of an addendum to the published material.Twitter on the other hand is always a many-to-many discussion – even if people are trying to use it as a 1-way publishing device, it really isn’t. The length constraints break up conversation into atomic units and every one of them is essentially a peer. It creates an ability for whole groups of people to engage in N-dimensional conversations that simply has not existed before. It can be messy and loud and geeky and off-putting to people who don’t grok the paradigm, but I think its a misnomer to call it a simpler blogging platform because ‘blogging’ is one of the use cases that the platform handles so poorly.To the original point – I definitely concur that the mixed approach is definitely better – if you have the inspiration and method to sustain it.

    1. awaldstein

      Disagree.Twitter is one to many by definition.Blog community are just the opposite, many to many in the comments.One is a broadcast medium, the other a community platform.Both rock. Both I use every day. Uniquely different.

      1. Tim O'Neil

        Yes, we do disagree. Blogs are not a community platform in and of themselves. Without the author publishing content (Fred Wilson in the case of this thread) there would be nothing for people to collect around. If Fred stops posting, there is no community left (for AVC). While he publishes, we come back to read and then offer feedback and converse along whatever threads are spawned – but it is all an attachment to the root broadcast (his blog post). The post is primary and then small groups take up conversation that is by nature subservient to the published piece (blog > comment > reply).Each tweet is one to many, yes – but every tweet is a peer of each other. No single tweet has dominion over the rest. Everything everyone says goes out into the commons. The lack of authority is what makes it many-to-many.

        1. awaldstein

          Different ways to slice the world.You think of the world as platforms, I think of it as people and behaviors.How they act is what they are. Likewise my view on this.There are certainly different ones but this is the one I build on.

          1. Tim O'Neil

            Indeed – your description makes sense. Different lenses, both reasonable.

  37. jason wright

    blog and tweet, but do not bleat.

  38. lisa hickey

    When I come to this blog it is because I am looking for Fred Wilson. I love the comments and the community, but every time I come here it is because I want to know what Fred has to say about a topic first. When I go to Twitter, I am going to hear what Twitter has to say. When I’m jumping on Twitter, Fred Wilson is the last person I’m thinking about. (No offense Fred). I’m going because there are new people I want to meet and new topics that I didn’t even know I cared about. To me, they are both an communications ecosystem that feed off of each other and make each other stronger. It’s a both/and, not either/or.

  39. Guillermo Ramos

    Let’s do some math.This blog is curated 5% by Fred and 95% by aVC regulars&others.Question: what would happen to this blog if comments wouldn’t exist? Would it be like visiting a great restaurant with excellent food but eating alone?For me blogging sits between a snack (twitter) and a long lunch (books).Conclusion: regulars at aVC need both the 5+95% and twitter&books fill other needs so please Keep on blogging!! #food4thought

  40. Brandon Burns

    I enjoy the thought that goes into longer form writing. Sometimes even when writing a comment on AVC, when I start its with a thought, but by the time I finish its a full-on thesis. Working things out in words can do that.That said, I’m horrible with keeping up with blogging and, really, most things that are best done on a routine. For better or worse, the most regular “writing” I do is probably commenting on AVC (I literally *just* now realized that, and I’m not sure how that makes me feel…). I never really thought about Twitter as a way to “blog” in a smaller, easier way. But I’m going to see if that’s the tipping point that kills both the “I should blog more” and “I should tweet more” birds with one stone.

  41. Matt Zagaja

    Twitter is the bar and the blog is inviting people back to your house.

    1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      Does that mean – social media is the new “getting pissed” with someone ?

  42. ac287149

    I find Twitter to be a lot of fun, mostly because I can lighten up and also talk to people I would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. I use it very specifically. My greatest challenge is to say something meaningful in 140 characters; but it’s a great challenge. I would love to meet at Twitter and then bring everyone over to the world of deeper thought, conversation, sharing, and expression. Now, I’m prioritizing the conversation and sharing.I can write paragraphs upon paragraphs, but Twitter is teaching me to use the paragraphs more effectively, which actually reduces the amount of space and time I need to make my point. Win, win… and win for readers!My ideas, ‘ah-ha!’ moments, and thoughts have to be worked out concretely in the line of sight-then they become part of me and become reality. The struggle to think and then express is one of the most liberating I’ve ever experienced. I am sorry that more people don’t see the value in such experience.

  43. Steve Poppe

    A great many Tweets today point to other people’s content. I blog to share original content. Bloggers are trypically “Posters” not “Pasters.” Tweeting on the other hand, for me at least, is to share stream of consciousness thoughts, personality stuff, editorial bytes. Keep posting — don’t leave us brudah!

  44. Tracey Jackson

    I’m too late to comments today to add much that has not been said. But I am yet to see any real communities form on Twitter. I don’t think relationships are made, that dialogues of any real value take place or that one can really( outside of a link) put much content up. All my blogs go on Twitter as well and I have never had any back and forth or real connection made through anyone through that medium.I think there are people who excel at long form and those who are much better reduced to 140 characters. I think you are a long form guy Fred and your blogs have proved that. Keep em coming.

    1. Dave Pinsen

      I disagree about relationships not being made on Twitter.

  45. William Mougayar

    But it’s interesting to note that most of your replies on Disqus are under 140 characters. So, you write in blog style, but you comment in Twitter style.

  46. Ben Spiegelman

    Tweeting is WAY easier than blogging…BUT is Twitter better?My problems with Twitter:1. Content: 140 characters is enough to share a link, or short bits of information, but not capable of expressing a feeling or an opinion. 2. Conversation: Replies on twitter do not come close to the relationships formed through blogging comments. 3. Visual: Twitter feed plain and simple is not enjoyable to look at. On the other hand, Tumblr’s feed is big and beautiful! Similar to the visual appeal of Instagram.4. Effort: Unless you are viewing your Twitter feed every 15 minutes you miss way too much information. Nothing I hate more than seeing “view more tweets”. It makes me feel behind and I lose interest.I am incredibly new to blogging, so hopefully I am the exception to the rule and can sustain it. Twitter is here to stay, blogging is here to stay, print media may not.

  47. Phil Nguyen

    I think, like you said, the ability to express yourself fully on a blog post is an important one. Sometimes the inability to express yourself fully can also be extremely detrimental as recently seen by the whole #CancelColbert campaign.Twitter has different pressures than writing a blog post, such as the need for brevity and the urge to write something easily RT-able. Those pressures affect your writing and message, and I feel like your goal or purpose of whatever you’re sharing should influence the medium, not the other way around.

  48. Fake Sensei

    To tweet is to play, to blog is to think.One’s a game of thrones, the other’s a legacy.

  49. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    The benefits of blogging are clear and in combination with twitter are very powerful. It is on my project list to blog more but to be honest Twitter has proven to be very successful to me. I have discovered lots of interesting content and by re-tweeting, favouring, tweeting – I have met some terrific people and this relationship has gone beyond twitter.

  50. Semil Shah

    I struggle with this. Peoples’ attention is fixated on Twitter, which encourages people to tweet more (and blog less, as a result). Everyone reads your blog daily because it’s an industry standard, but most others get drowned out. That said, constantly tweeting in a broadcast mode can clog the network. (I’ve tweeted a lot, but mostly to be responsive to other peoples’ tweets.)

    1. Amanda Hamilton

      I really struggle with all of it. I teach yoga in Herefordshire and that is my life, but I am also fantastically lucky to have a home in Spain that I NEED to rent out. So how do you do it? Blogging, tweeting, pinning? It’s utterly disheartening to know where, how, when …. I read blogs often and think “I should post a link to my website here it’s a perfect meld” but it gets spammed. Groan. Wants someone to wave a magic wand and do it for me!!

      1. Semil Shah

        I can see that. I’m pretty locked into blogging + tweeting, more lamenting the balance between those two.

    2. Nikhil Sukumar

      Tweets are fast and reading the blog post takes a lil bit longer I guess! So perhaps people react to shorter contents i guess more faster coz its like a chat or small conversation.

  51. Teren Botham

    Going through the comments here, it makes me believe twitter is quite unfavorable to many, which explains why twitter is scrambling these days

  52. @thinkB1G

    100% agree. The synergy is more powerful than the solo media.

  53. Andrew Wong

    More power to you Fred. Blogging is hard. Blogging everyday is extremely hard. Don’t stop.

  54. Sean Hull

    I like your point that on twitter “You get immediate feedback on what was good.”Andrew Chen ( recommended using twitter as a sort of testing ground. Post title ideas on twitter, and watch which ones get retweeted most, and have the most engagement. Then use that to inform which titles, angles or themes to post more lengthy blog posts about.The other thing I learned may be hard for us to admit. It was from the villain of the internet, Ryan Holiday:…His point? Since the internet & analytics drive us to obsess only over traffic, it is a sort of tyranny of the click. That means *MORE* blog posts is better, and shorter sound bites too. Long indepth pieces are detrimental. Short, not too complicated. When in doubt use a buzzfeed or Business Insider slideshow.

  55. Jon Michael Miles

    A day late to this conversation, and it seems my general sentiment is shared. Blogging… actually I’m not even going to call it that, WRITING, your writing, has guided this discussion for years, taught us all a great deal, and acts as a touch stone for those inside and outside the VC startup community. Whenever I post a written piece it never ceases to amazing me when two years later someone says to me in an elevator ‘hey i read that thing about your dad’ – they never comment about tweets, just about things with guts and thought. Twitter is not a community, it’s a swarm of quarks flitting in and out of consciousness. AVC is a community. If I get a vote, it’s to keep it that way.

  56. bsoist

    I’ve been away for a while dealing with something, but I had to comment on this post. I think you are absolutely right that the combination of the two is much better than one without the other. I am a huge fan of blogging. I’m sure you have to stop someday, but not any time soon.

  57. Dan Goldin

    As with most things, there’s a use case for everything. I personally like blogs for heavier content that I can consume asynchronously and Twitter for the “real time” element. At the same time if something is truly relevant it somehow finds its way to me.I think in your case you’re also building a brand and I suspect dropping the blog would be a bit hit.

  58. Jeff Gates

    Both as a long-time blogger and social media wonk I’ve been ask many times, “What’s the difference between tweeting and blogging. My reply: you tweet to react but you blog to reflect.

  59. paramendra

    I guess Seinfeld went off air at some point. But I don’t think you could quit your daily blogging. This is such a large part of your identity as a VC (pun). I think you have just the right combo of tweeting and blogging.

  60. andyswan

    Hahhaha I’m all for equal I just need to know when equal applies and when it doesn’t. Stewardess bad, comedienne good. Equal combat roles good, equal fitness tests bad.Gets confusing for a dumb male guy like me 🙂

  61. jason wright

    is ‘guy’ masculine?

  62. andyswan

    Depends on how it’s used. “Hey guys” could mean any genders. “That guy” means a guy.

  63. andyswan

    Agree completely.

  64. andyswan

    Around here “hey guys” always works. My wife says it to her groups of all female friends.Awesomely, “y’all” always works as well.I still go with “Waiter” and “Waitress”, but not stewardess. Broads don’t like that.

  65. andyswan

    pure prose my man

  66. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Charlie Crystle I think you mean strictly` as in “signed off on” “ like `is correctly (not properly (which implies moral judgement)) and preferably (subjectively) confined to metaphorical `likening ‘ and not extended to exemplars.To give an example “as if there were to be no tomorrow” rather than “like a worn out metaphor”

  67. LE

    the chicks in my women’s studies classes (almost minored in itMy “women’s studies” were reading my sisters magazines to try to get insight into how women thought or what propaganda they were being exposed to. Know and defeat the enemy so to speak.It was helpful in the sense that I also picked up the pattern that they used to sell the magazines by basically repeating the same things over and over again repackaged a different way.”10 things that will drive him crazy””Sure ways to eat what you want and loose weight”.”10 guys to stay away from”

  68. JimHirshfield

    Oh, you’ve worked abroad?

  69. RichardF


  70. andyswan

    many of them

  71. JamesHRH

    sans the backwards hat I hope.