The launch of Google+ has brought former MySpace president Tom Anderson–now one of its most popular beta users–out of the woodwork recently. (You’ll recognize the white t-shirt.) In a guest post on TechCrunch, Mr. Anderson reacts to Kevin Rose’s recent, seemingly-brash decision to migrate his entire blog over to Google+ by posing the ontological question: “What kind of content creator are you? Kevin Rose or Fred Wilson?”
In that equation, Mr. Rose would be the looser blogger, willing to jump in bed with a new technology to attract new readers and Mr. Wilson, who blogs at A VC, the more cautious Carrie, wanting readers to come to him. Even though Union Square Ventures has invested in Tumblr, for example, Mr. Wilson doesn’t use the platform for A VC. “Kevin abandoned his blog in an instant, whereas Fred built up his blog over years and years. What school do you belong to?” asks Mr. Anderson.
But he also notes that the issue isn’t just for bloggers. “It’s about web presence generally,” Mr. Anderson writes, adding:
“Remember TV commercials promoting AOL keywords. Would brands have been smarter to promote their own websites? How about musicians using Myspace as their only website? Bands first used MySpace as an adjunct to their website, but gradually more and more of them found maintaining their own website a pain and shut them down entirely. Even major recording artists printed their MySpace URLs (and not their website URLs) on their CD covers. Visit those MySpace URLs now and they’re ghost towns. How about Youtube video channels. Can you imagine a day when Youtube is no longer the best place to find video?
Phrasing the issue in a new way, and perhaps a better way is: Should a content creator go to his audience, or should he expect his audience to come to him?”
We’re apt to heed Mr. Anderson’s warning. After all, he should know from ghost towns.