Which is more valuable?

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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This is the personal blog of Kevin Marshall (a.k.a Falicon) where he often digs into side projects he's working on for digdownlabs.com and other random thoughts he's got on his mind.

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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