A few venture capitalists known for their prolific tweets and posts have developed quite a big online following. But until recently, it was difficult to discern who wielded the most influence.
Now, a venture-backed company is making it easier. Three-year-old Klout—the developer of a social media reach measurement tool—offers a ranking of 1 to 100 to measure someone’s influence online. The company, recently known for declaring pop singer Justin Bieber more influential online than Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama, raised $8.5 million in a new funding round in January that was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.
Klout analyzes a bunch of social media variables—such as replies, retweets, comments and clicks from your friends and followers—to determine what a user’s influence is online.
Intrigued by how simple it is to plug in anyone’s Twitter handle to gauge their influence, VCJ typed in the names of some of the more prolific bloggers and tweeters in the venture world.
Topping the list was Fred Wilson, of Union Square Ventures, whose Klout ranking of 75 made him tied, at the time, with Sarah Palin.
Just below Wilson was Paul Kedrosky, author of the popular Infectious Greed blog and senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation, with a Klout score of 74.
You don’t need to be a VC investor to wield some online influence. Super Angel and 500 Startups guy Dave McClure boasts a Klout score of 73.
What about the people funding Klout? They’re ranking a little lower in the social media clout department. John Doerr, KPCB’s best-known partner, has a Klout score of 53. Meanwhile, Bing Gordon—who lead’s the firm’s $250 million sFund that’s focused on social media deals and who joined the board of Klout following the new funding round—comes in with a Klout score of 31.
VC Blog Ranks VC BloggersLarry Cheng appears to have carved out a specific niche: blogging about VCs who blog.
Last month, the Volition Capital managing partner published the fourth edition of the “Venture Capital Blog Directory,” a list of the most widely read venture bloggers ranked according to the number of average monthly unique visitors in the fourth quarter. The top three on his list, which is based on Compete traffic data, include the following:
Paul Graham, of Y Combinator, tops the list with 97,227 monthly unique views, despite having just five short essays during the whole of the fourth quarter, looking at his site archives.
Fred Wilson, of Union Square Ventures, came in second. Wilson, whose blog, A VC, is a perennial favorite for comment posters, had 81,000 uniques.
Mark Suster, of GRP Partners, came in third, with 53,655 uniques. Suster, who focuses on early stage technology companies, writes the blog Both Sides of the Table, which can include some rough advice for entrepreneurs. One of the things he recently suggested to entrepreneurs who can’t get funded might consider: “You might just suck. That happens, too.”
Rounding out the rest of the top 10 VC bloggers are: Brad Feld of Foundry Group, Chris Dixon of Founder Collective, David Skok of Matrix Partners, Charlie O’Donnell of First Round Capital, Cheng himself, David McClure at 500 Startups and Ben Horowitz at Andreessen Horowitz.
Venture Is Harder These Days, Says Industry Sage Bill DavidowWilliam Davidow is an author, a big thinker and perhaps the world’s expert on how Internet connectivity has accelerated the cadence of global business.
Last month, Davidow, co-founder of Mohr Davidow Ventures several decades ago, published his fourth book: “Overconnected: The Promise And Threat of the Internet,” a treatise on how the “positive feedback” loop of the Internet accelerates the pace of change and communications. The impact is felt most everywhere, from the melt down of Iceland’s banking system to the subprime mortgage crisis and the spectacular fall of the U.S. stock market, according to Davidow.
He says that he has mostly received positive reactions to the book.
“I hope the book helps provide people insight into how to deal with things in the world,” says Davidow, 75, who keeps a hand in venture and remains listed as a partner emeritus at MDV.
“Venture is harder now than when I was an active investor. The reason is there is less margin for error,” he says.
Late last month, the Entrepreneur Center @NVTC, a resource for technology-focused startups and entrepreneurs in Herndon, Va., honored Don Rainey of Grotech Ventures. At a reception on Jan. 27, the Entrepreneur Center presented a Lifetime Navigator Award to Rainey, recognizing him for his work in the local entrepreneur community. As a GP at Grotech, Rainey serves on the boards of SnappCloud, Clarabridge, LivingSocial and Zenoss and is also an organizing board member of the MindShare forum. …
William Draper has written a book. The 83-year-old pioneer of the VC industry is on a book tour promoting “The Startup Game,” which covers 40 years and three generations of the Draper family’s insights into how the worlds of VC and entrepreneurship work. Draper last month spoke at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco and is due in February to participate in an exclusive book signing at the Rosewood Hotel in Menlo Park, Calif. In his foreword to the book, Eric Schmidt, who until last month was CEO of Google, says that the book’s chronicles of the Draper family are a huge favor “for those of us who are passionate about technology and innovation.”