Which is more valuable? The content or the connections within a social network?
I think in a general social network like Twitter or Facebook, you would argue the connections are where the real value sits…but I wonder if this is also the case in a vertical social network?
If you look at a blog like AVC from a 10,000 foot view I would argue that it’s really a vertical social network (the vertical being Fred Wilson’s brain on a given day)…and at least in that case, I think the content is where the majority of the value sits (at least to start, over time some active members can probably argue that the connections became more valuable/important to them).
Though many people point to AVC as an outlier, I suspect that this situation holds true for almost all vertical social networks…and if that’s the case, then I also suspect that a subscription model works well within a social network vertical (assuming you can build the initial core, valuable, content to warrant a subscription price).
But do you know of any social network verticals taking the subscription route? How successful have they been and how defensible are they really?
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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