So we are heading off for four weeks in Europe this evening. I’m going to start reblogging a lot of older stuff as a way to keep AVC fresh while I’m not posting every day.

So I thought about what posts would be the most worthwhile to dust off and bring back. I went to Google Analytics and looked at data from the past two years to see what posts that are older than that (ie written before August 2012) got the most traffic during that time.

It’s an interesting list. There’s a lot of MBA Mondays content in there, particularly around employee equity and valuation questions. And there are a few really popular guest posts, like this one from Fake Grimlock. And there are a few classics like this one.

I am going to queue up a bunch of them to autopost over the next few days while I figure out what my blogging routine is or isn’t going to be in Europe.

I’m curious to get everyone’s suggestions on this. I’ve written over 6,500 posts at AVC so I can’t just wade through them to find the best ones. I need some sort of algorithm. Another that comes to mind is most commented. I’ll take a look at that later today. Any other ideas for surfacing the best stuff to reblog?


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Curious what happens when you sort by # of comments as a quotient of value and interest.It will break I bet.

    1. fredwilson


    2. LE

      # of comments as a quotient of value and interest.# of comments can spike as a result of:———————————————a) some common interest theme that everyone has an opinion on “gun control”b) because of a food fight between commenters (frequent or not) “I have to disagree with you William”c) when an inbound link (say something is posted on HN etc.) brings in a slew of “new men over the bridge.”I can always tell those days (“c” nmotb’s) because of the appearance of rarely seen avatars and commenters.

  2. Anne Libby

    How about any of the least-trafficked posts?

  3. jason wright

    posts written during the full moon phase.

    1. kidmercury

      definitely. comments here will be a blast.

  4. jason wright

    what about retweet stats?

    1. William Mougayar

      That’s a good one. The challenge will be in going deep enough in history. The new Twitter Analytics goes back only 28 days.

      1. diymanik

        If only there was an for social data

    2. fredwilson

      that’s a good one. i will see if twitter analytics provides that info

  5. takingpitches

    Most linked to posts (most commented is going to catch political posts for better or for worse)

    1. fredwilson

      how would i find that?

      1. William Mougayar

        You need a tool like that will tell you that. Maybe @randfish:disqus can help.

  6. Dan Ramsden

    The Venture Math Problem 2-part series for sure, and the one on Arduino, 3-D Print, Kickstarter and Bitcoin, which is sort of a companion piece from the other side.

    1. fredwilson

      ooh. lots of good suggestions

  7. Sheamus

    I immediately thought Buzzsumo was the answer to your problem, Fred. However, Buzzsumo data only goes back 6 months. However, super-useful if you ever need a quick snapshot of your most-shared/popular posts.This is for over the last 6 months:…(If Buzzsumo read this, a premium version of their product that goes back years would be really valuable, I think.)

    1. William Mougayar

      Buzzsumo is cool! Interesting to see where your content is being shared. I think that should be part of Google (or DDG) Search results. I often want search results ranked by Most shared.

    2. Dan

      The share number are fascinating. Opt out for the kids seems a crazy outlier with few fb/li shares and significantly more twitter. It’s unclear if certain platforms are slower to see the shares (maybe fb shares pic up in future weeks) or if the content of the post drives the platform choice.

  8. pointsnfigures

    Fake Grimlock’s post linked to JLM’s post on the financial crisis. You could have guest bloggers-including associates from USV

  9. Tom Labus

    The Occupy Wall Street Sunday post with 900 ++ comments. Mind boggling day

    1. fredwilson

      yeah. i’m not going there again.

  10. William Mougayar

    5 ideas1/ Publish some guest posts.2/ Find posts based on searching keyword combination of words describing topics that are interesting and current. Eg: Bitcoin unbundling decentralization, OR Bubble Internet Venture Capital, etc.3/ See what popular keywords are being searched from Google and select what posts they lead to. 1. Log in to Google Analytics and choose “Traffic Sources->Keywords” on the left menu.2. Choose a period using the calendar menu at the top right.3. Using the “Show Rows” menu at the bottom right, and choose some number of rows (eg 500). 4. Look at the popular ones & use them to re-search and see what posts come out.4/ Generate a Word Cloud. If you’re inclined send me an export of /3 in CSV and I will generate a word cloud on these keywords using a word cloud generator. 1. Go back to the top and click on the “Export” button at the top left (just above the word “Keywords” above the chart). 2. Click on “CSV for Excel” and download. Email it to me.5/ Do some Tweetstorms if you’re inspired, and republish them here, with replies. Use Storify to quickly pick them out.

    1. awaldstein

      You are my favorite list maker William.

    2. fredwilson

      lots of great suggestions here William. thanks

    3. David A. Frankel

      I agree with William on #1. Peter King does something like this on his MMQB site when he takes a month off during the summer, and it is pretty interesting. You could choose a cross section of colleagues, portfolio company execs, people you like to read, frequent commenters, etc. It’s almost like what you do on your Tumblr with music — discovery of new thought leaders. Have a great trip.

    4. Alex Wolf

      I like the guest posts especially of the list.

  11. John Pepper

    How about posts where you later found out you had been wrong or way off track? Always great learning and perspective…?

    1. Flip

      I like it and maybe some old predictions we can check with 20/20 hindsight

    2. fredwilson

      any idea on how to find them?

      1. LE

        File under “things a summer intern could do”.

  12. LIAD

    I’m partial to posts in which you dropped the F-bomb.I think you’ll find them highly correlated with interesting topics and vibrant discussion.This ranking method hereto referred to as the F-bomb index.

    1. William Mougayar

      Where is Disqus Search when we need it?A Google search on that only reveals the posts’ content.

    2. fredwilson

      i will look for them

    3. JamesHRH

      There should be a PG-13 tag / category?

  13. William Mougayar

    How about flipping it on its head, and re blog a handful of top rated comments, and use that as the post, with a link to the original post.

    1. Alex Wolf

      I like this idea. Community wisdom.

    2. LE

      re blog a handful of top rated commentsI for one don’t like the idea of using ratings of comments to determine what’s important or of interest and to further discussion. For that matter if it was me I’d probably remove display of public ratings of comments (they do this on HN, ntim just for reference).First there is no definition of what a vote means exactly other than that someone agrees or wants to support what someone says. So it becomes a popularity contest of sorts and doesn’t invite the type of discussion that imo makes a community a great place to hang out. Becomes like a high school clic. Anyway , a comment placed early in the day is going to get the most votes when it is seen by the most people. So it then discourages others in different time zones. And there is also the well know effect of people seeing that others voted the comment and then paying more attention to it or lemming along for the ride. So a false positive signal.I always read your comments but when I stopped by it already had 5 votes and it’s hard to remove that “halo” in even my mind knowing it is there. I thought “hey people like what William is saying maybe I should as well”.Lastly people tend to sometimes upvote “happy horseshit” comments that seems like we are all living in a merry world where everyone needs to be nice and just say nice things and not step out and be themselves so they don’t make enemies.

      1. William Mougayar

        true that it will require some additional human curation to discard the sensational comments that get voted-up accordingly.

        1. JamesHRH

          Not much I bet.Maybe to Mods could do the first cut? #ideasthatcreateworkforothers. 😀

      2. Jim Peterson


      3. Chimpwithcans

        Nice comment, upvoted this one.

    3. JamesHRH

      En fuego!!Great idea.

  14. ShanaC

    Most engagementx= alphaOrganicCommunityLift + betaLiftInSocialDisribution +gammaLiftfromlinkbacks + deltaPaidSocialLifty = generic likely conversion rate above one pageview (aka not a bounce)CR = x * yThere you go 🙂

  15. aminTorres

    You should photoblog instead along with a caption…That will freshen things up 😉

    1. fredwilson

      oooooh. such a good idea

      1. JimHirshfield

        Caption contest in the comments section FTW, please!!!

      2. William Mougayar

        it sounds Tumblr-esque.

      3. JamesHRH

        Jealousy meter may break by end of September though….

      4. Alex Wolf

        do you know the emblem books from europe?…A modern digital shorthand version would be sweet!

  16. JamesHRH

    Bon Voyage!My first thought was most commented. My second was that it will skew political, which is the most inflamed set of topics, but not always the most interesting.Algorithms are not really good at this issue, at the moment – whomever can solve that has the Pepsi to GOOG’s Coke.The war stories and transparency of VC posts are my faves.Oh, and the “Marketing is for Products that Suck’ is too.

  17. Anne Libby

    It would be completely valid to take a break! Post a Gone Fishin’ sign…

    1. fredwilson

      not doing that

      1. LE

        We could have a entire discussion on why you shouldn’t.

  18. Emily Merkle

    unique visitors

  19. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    i) Most commented (reverse order…finally the most commented one).ii)Most liked comments (interesting convo). I am not sure whether u can count the number of likes in a post.iii)Most down-voted (again provoking convo).iv)Least commented one for the sake of it :-)v) Most sorriest (number of sorry) by And of course the most F-word used bye fred in a post.

  20. Ali Nawab

    I’d be more interested in current thoughts, even if they are 1-2 liners on what you think about the industry/tech once you’ve stepped away from the day to day activities.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s not reblogging. that’s posting. i may do some of that, but that takes more work than reblogging

      1. Ali Nawab

        fair enough, I’m just saying that when I want to read your old posts, I generally dig them up. Have a good trip

  21. Mac

    The revenue and product ‘hackpad’ discussions from the fall of 2012 were very helpful. Those new to AVC missed that and a refresher would be welcomed.

  22. Emily Merkle

    character count. less > more.

  23. Ana Milicevic

    Let’s use the way back machine. For each week you’re away pick a year; the blog turned 10 so let’s start with content from 5 years ago, 6 years ago, etc. — you get the idea. Since the community has grown (and technology evolves) it would be good to see if some of the old discussions still ring true and if we’d all have different points of view today.

  24. Dave Pinsen

    Why not reblog some of your wife’s posts from this trip (assuming she’s going to be blogging about it)?

    1. fredwilson

      i plan to do that. or photoblog it and link to her post

  25. vruz

    Perhaps Disqus can help to highlight “most commented” posts?Not necessarily the best-written ones, but definitely the best ones in terms of engagement and debate.

  26. Steve Anastos

    # comments / # page viewsproxy for most engaging while controlling for audience growth (not sure how much of a skew audience growth is, but i suspect the curve is up and to the right)

  27. Elia Freedman

    When you re blog, please link to the original. Interesting to go back and read the comments. Personally, I’d pick random ones from over the years. Would be interesting to see what we get.

    1. William Mougayar

      Blog lotto with a random generator 🙂

      1. Elia Freedman


        1. William Mougayar

          so you’d generate 3 numbers: – a month 1-12- a day 1-31- a year 2003-2014it would be a fun exercise, maybe once or twice.

  28. Dorian Benkoil

    How about most-linked, track-back pinged, etc. Especially if that can include links from social media.

  29. LE

    In addition to past columns I’d like to see discussions of current events.(attached)

    1. JamesHRH

      Someone in my FB feed prefaced a link to tho story with: “children are SO irresponsible these days.”HoF set up.

  30. Alex Wolf

    I’d love some hack this ideas for institutions in slow motion train wreck mode.IE the Post Office. My dream is it has a 3D printing and I dow load the file part and have it made while I wait (pay by bitcoin?). The notion we make mountains of things, ship, warehouse and distribute them is so backwards with the tech available now. And so much greener!

    1. awaldstein

      Interesting idea.Honestly, if you ship things, real stuff, the only tech that helps is logistics and below that it’s simply a mess.

      1. Alex Wolf

        Um yeah, we are finding this out. We are not even in a Luli local ship mode, and still USPS, UPS and Fedex are a minefield.Makes licensing look quite appealing for us. However, licensers don’t have great design and production taste, which is the core value of our games. Hence our awesome feature today in Beach Magazine, and last week in KOTUR blog. High end design is harder and harder to find these days….

        1. awaldstein

          Do I see these article links if I search you on Twitter?Shipping with perishable goods is trust me an added layer of stupidity.

          1. Alex Wolf

            The cut sheets aren’t out yet, nor is it on social yet. But I’ll ping you when it is!I understand Amazon’s success now that we ship “stuff”. Thank goodness our games are not seasonal, or perishable!!

    2. Anne Libby

      The post office could be so many different things.Over the years, innovators have come and gone. I saw one of them speak publicly when I was in b-school, and thinking about whether the PO was a place to look for a career path. (Can’t remember who the speaker was.) It was awesome.Unfortunately, this:…(from 2012, and I don’t think that anything has changed.)I view Amazon with lots of different feelings, some not so positive on the people management front. And yet, one of them is hope: maybe they can save the PO.

  31. William Mougayar

    Another idea is to write a controversial Question as a really simple post. And let the comments dissect it. Some ideas:- What do you think of the anonymous Apps (e.g. secret, whisper, etc.)- Android first or iOS first?- Share a business lesson you learned in the past year.- Where is the bitcoin segment going to be, a year from now?- Where are we in the peer-to-peer economy?- What are your favorite blockchain apps?- What’s your favorite healthcare tech app?etc. You can probably think of 8-12 questions at least and tee them up as posts in 15 mins of work.

    1. Emil Sotirov

      Or even just a single word… in the grand tradition of “plastics”.

  32. Bernard Desarnauts

    How about simply re-posting what you wrote on that day 1 Y and 5 Y ago?

  33. Semil Shah

    How about this: Ask your colleagues and former coworkers & close coinvestors to email you their most favorite AVC post with a line why they remembered it, and then repost that blog with their reflection.

  34. Ben Longstaff

    number of comments / page views or number of comments / number of email subscribers at the time of writing depending on which data is easy to export

  35. JamesHRH

    I know it’s not re blogging, but an ongoing set of posts that built Fred’s / USV’s Anti-Portfolio a la Bessemer would be incredibly compelling.It might be cathartic or appropriate ‘marking the end of an era’ reminiscing.I know an AirBnB post exists to get it started.

    1. fredwilson

      all the companies you read about every day are on that listi’m not too proud of it to be honest

      1. JamesHRH

        I can appreciate that.But, given your industry standing and track record, you are being a little tough on yourself.The best part of the BVP Anti Portfolio is learning why they passed (even if they are playing it for laughs a bit).I love the Anti Portfolio, its motivational. Always reminders me that fit is it!

  36. Dan Moore

    I would think of the posts that stick in your mind, or search through the google results of your site and see what has the highest pagerank (just did this for results before 8/1/2012 and the first page was all archives, but the second page had these two:… and… both of which look interesting to reblog )

  37. sigmaalgebra

    Okay, a fast ‘curation’: The Management Team – Guest Post From JLM…January 30, 2012 What Is Strategy?…June 17, 2013 Blogworld Talk Between JLM, William, Arnold & Me…June 16, 2012 Helping others to achieve greatness as I attempt a bit of my own…July 8, 2012 Greed and Fear…January 21, 2011Also relevant to “Greed and Fear” is Warren Buffett Has Some Brilliant Advice For Investors Freaked Out About Geopoliticshttp://www.businessinsider….Aug. 28, 2014with During the darkest days of the financial crisis in 2008, Warren Buffett wrote a brilliant op-ed for The New York Times, reminding us that bad things happen all of the time. Here’s an excerpt: A little history here: During the Depression, the Dow hit its low, 41, on July 8, 1932. Economic conditions, though, kept deteriorating until Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in March 1933. By that time, the market had already advanced 30 percent. Or think back to the early days of World War II, when things were going badly for the United States in Europe and the Pacific. The market hit bottom in April 1942, well before Allied fortunes turned. Again, in the early 1980s, the time to buy stocks was when inflation raged and the economy was in the tank. In short, bad news is an investor’s best friend. It lets you buy a slice of America’s future at a marked-down price.Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497. Buffett made a similar statement in his 1994 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders: We will continue to ignore political and economic forecasts, which are an expensive distraction for many investors and businessmen. Thirty years ago, no one could have foreseen the huge expansion of the Vietnam War, wage and price controls, two oil shocks, the resignation of a president, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a one-day drop in the Dow of 508 points, or treasury bill yields fluctuating between 2.8% and 17.4%.But, surprise — none of these blockbuster events made the slightest dent in Ben Graham’s investment principles. Nor did they render unsound the negotiated purchases of fine businesses at sensible prices. Imagine the cost to us, then, if we had let a fear of unknowns cause us to defer or alter the deployment of capital. Indeed, we have usually made our best purchases when apprehensions about some macro event were at a peak. Fear is the foe of the faddist, but the friend of the fundamentalist. There I really like the last sentence! But a “faddist” is not the only possible alternative to a “fundamentalist”! Retooling Stale Businesses…August 4, 2010 Understanding Twitter 31, 2012 Moleskins, Commonplace Books, and Blogs…September 23, 2010 Takers and Makers…October 6, 2010Ah, that’s enough curation for today!Wonder if it might be possible to automate generating some such curations, hopefully ones better than the one I just did here mostly just manually?Last night I fixed the last bug I know of in my software. So, back to more testing and, hopefully, some first-cut polishing of the UI/UX.

  38. de la Mothe

    Future of Media, 2006!

    1. fredwilson

      that is one of my favorites

  39. Mac

    Two delicious ‘Fun Friday’ ideas!1. Everyone comment on their favorite restaurant: why and what dish. 2. Submit your favorite recipe. The Gotham Gal can work with her favorite chefs and publish the first AVC Cookbook.Designate the proceeds to go to one of your causes.

  40. Nick Devane

    It’s interesting you mention the Employee Equity thing. I was researching the topic last year and I googled ‘Employee Equity.’ AVC posts came up something like 3rd, 4th and 5th.I clicked through as a regular reader, but I wonder if those MBA Monday posts that address less covered topics in tech have higher hit rates because they are one of a limited resource.A sizable handful of these are created in response to or continuing of an avant garde topic another blogger has brought up (Sam Altman in the case of at least one employee equity post). Perhaps reblogging some of those may be a nice fix.I wonder though if you did a comment poll on the ‘topics’ the community would most like to hear about, it would allow you to pull many posts from the AVC catalogue and perhaps float some underappreciated/useful stuff.

    1. fredwilson

      i’ve got pretty good google juice on a lot of thingsi should run a google analytics search on the posts that get the most google trafficit’s pretty crazy

  41. RichardF

    I seem to remember an interesting post on marketing……….

  42. baba12

    What topic(s) that you wrote got the most visceral responses/reactions would be something to repost…Now how does one do a search for that, ah can’t find a algorithm to do that I am guessing or maybe USV may have invested in a startup that has figured that out as well…

  43. Mario Cantin

    1) The ones you recall off the top as being the most significant or relevant today. 2) failing that, the ones with the most comments.Keep it simple.

  44. kidmercury

    how about re-posting the best beefs that made people really angry or uncomfortable that would be a lot of fun

  45. Sean Hull

    I find myself doing the same thing, asking “What does my audience value most?”Articles with most page views? Most visitors? Longest average time on page? Perhaps one article was wildly popular but only for a shorter period of time, so doesn’t have much long tail?Perhaps we need a virtual librarian? An algorithmic curator for the interwebs. Sounds like an opportunity for a startup idea.

  46. Mariah Lichtenstern

    Consider reblogging this one:…Good zeitgeist for it and I’m sure many would be curious if that offer still stands.On a side note, an alternative name consideration for a spinoff or reinvention of Y Combinator would simply be “X Combinator.” Combine with X or Y to produce brain child.

  47. fredwilson

    and how do i find the “shop talk” posts?

  48. William Mougayar

    via your tags/categories.