What a bizarre way of celebrating the two-year anniversary of this blog: my last post was eleven days ago, and I have not found the time since then to blog or comment on anything – I have been heads down on a couple of projects that I can’t talk about, met a few very interesting stealth companies and have held a number of private meetings. Not much material to blog unfortunately .
Anyway, looking back at the past two years, I have published close to 500 posts, had an average of 2 comments per posts, one trackback and interestingly – for each comment I get, I receive 2 or 3 private emails. It is not surprising since many of the things my readers discuss with me are the confidential kind. Ever since my FeedBurner feed sees all subscribers, the number of subscription has raised to more than 14,000, with Rojo being the most popular RSS reader for my feed – a very unusual case.
I decided a long time ago not to blog about my blogging, but I went through multiple phases, on both the read and the write side:
- Three to four years ago (when I was still a General Partner at a venture firm), I started following a few blogs as bookmarks I would visit every now and then, and then as RSS subscriptions (in Newzcrawler initially). It took me some time to comment.
- The first three months of the blog, following that initial post, were essentially an experiment: finding my style, themes, rhythm, length of posts, etc. What became clear after a while is that what seemed to “work” for my audience was a mix of financing tips and news, comments on the consumer Internet market – both trends, companies and M&As, and every now and then a bit of rants and thoughts. Also very popular are the reports of the numerous events and conferences I have been attending over the past couple of years.
- January 2005 is when I decided to seriously invest in blogging, both reading and writing. This coincided with the decision I made to focus the activities of my firm on investing and helping build early stage consumer Internet services. One of the key drivers of success of any investment firm is the depth, and of course quality, of its deal flow. This blog has been fantastic in that regard, enabling tens if not hundreds of interesting online and offline discussions – a handful leading to some of my 15 startup investments, or involvements, in the past couple of years.
- In 2005 and early 2006, I spent an average of two to three hours a day reading 200 to 300 feeds, commenting, and posting 5 to 7 times a week. I was hooked on Memeorandum (now TechMeme), and really tracked what happened through the blogs. During that phase, I would almost make a point to scan through all my feeds multiple times a day, going through all unread posts as much I could. And I would have difficulties to write short posts – less than 200 to 300 words.
- Then a couple of months ago, around April/May, I decided to be much more selective on my feed reading, switched aggregators to support that, and started spending less than one hour per day reading blogs – using TechMeme and Wikio (I am an investor) to track developing news and conversations, and switched from MyYahoo to Netvibes (I am an advisor) after 7 years to track the blogs that matter to me. At the eBay developer conference, Anil Dash – who had impromptuously joined our panel – made the comment that he had almost quit reading feeds because “he did not want to spend all this time unbolding headlines”. And I realized I was getting to the same position, as a result of having way too much to read and way too little time.
What’s next for Software Only, and its French little sibling – Sans Accent ? A few more posts before hitting a well deserved break during which I will most likely go quiet. And when I return, more of the same content, with maybe less posts written at 4am . I also hope to overcome that tendency of mine of not posting short summaries or comments when I only have a few minutes – because I never ever have time to come back to these ideas and express them more fully. Sort of a “Blogge Diem” notion.
And of course, I am – as always – interested in your feedback on what works on this blog, what doesn’t, and what else you would like to hear about.