When VC’s disappoint, or why I’m happy Fred Wilson didn’t invest in b5media

October 12, 2006

You know, sometimes by reading a persons blog you think you get a fairly good picture of the person, and until today I had a pretty good impression of Fred Wilson. Admitedly, the guy isn’t in my Bloglines subs, but I do fairly regularly visit his blog. I’ve always thought of him as being an upfront sort of guy, totally honest and fair, totally into disclosure and discourse.

And then I made the mistake of commenting on his blog.

You see, I read this post where Fred talks about the issue with tracking statistics on sites. It’s a topic I’ve been following for years, so naturally it was of interest to me. He also mentioned that he’d put his money behind comScores stats over Alexa’s. Well personally I think both a flawed to be honest, and indeed I used an entire column at The Blogging Times to say so. At this stage, having read a number of other comments on the post, including a number of comments from comScore representatives/ employees defending their product I thought I might chime in, again, only because it’s a topic that I’ve had a long standing interest in, and one I’ve actually researched fairly heavily as well.


It turns out that Fred is not only a comScore chearleader, he’s also an investor and a director in the company.

Mind you, not that you’d find it in this post. Maybe I should have known from past posts, but even Mike Arrington would have disclosed in a post such as this if he was a shareholder, investor, or even god bless, a director as well.

Suffice to say, I’ve received an email from Fred tonight that reads as follows (warning, unedited language ahead):

That is a bullshit assertion

Comscore is no way malware

It’s opt in for one, and its easy to remove.

That would be like calling the nielsen people meter spyware.

I replied on both your blog and my blog


Now take another look at my Blogging Times article. I’m didn’t make this stuff up, reputable leaders in the field including symantic and CA (computer associates) have labelled comScores “internet accelerator” as being Spyware and Trackware in that order. There’s also other sites out there that say similar and even worse things about the program. Indeed, PC World itself talks about how this software in bundled in with other programs.

A guess the lesson learned is you can’t really judge a persons character by their blog…most of the time…and I won’t be reading Fred Wilsons blog again in the future.



10 responses to When VC’s disappoint, or why I’m happy Fred Wilson didn’t invest in b5media

  1. Damn, that’s crazy. Maybe now you’ll get banned from commenting over there like Arrington did to me when we disagreed haha.

  2. Gotta be careful, Duncan – Howie, co-owner of The Blogging Times simply fawms all over Fred. 🙂

    And Wow! If a post ever deserved a disclosure of personal interest then this one did.

  3. Well whaddya know, his post now includes a parenthetical mention that he is an investor and board member. Hm…wonder when that was added…

  4. For the record, Duncan can say whatever he wants about anyone he wants.

    That’s how we roll at TBT. 🙂

  5. Who knows, maybe Fred was just having a thin skinned day. We all get them.

    For the record, we can ALL say anything we want about anyone…….but should we?


  6. I was talking about on The Blogging Times. Sorry I didn’t make myself clear.

    Maybe I should just shut up….

  7. Not a problem. I knew what you meant. I was just thinking about how different personalities can clash when someone is misunderstood.

    I’ve also been there when I commented and gave a negative opinion on something, and the very creator of “that thang” is reading along.

    I don’t trash anything very often now unless I really know what I’m talking about.


  8. Dunc’s approach maybe a little hard but fair.

    the blogging world (to outsiders) prides itself on being an open, fair and honest communication medium that is rarely (not always the case) slanted by people with alterior motives when commenting.

    this appears to be a case where fred is clearly in the wrong, despite dunc’s delivery.

  9. provokeit
    To be fair he didn’t disclose upfront that he held these positions (although I believe he’s since amended the post), honestly I was just participating in a conversation, and reflecting what I’d found out based on what other, respected organisations had written. This post is simply a reflect by me on what happened, I’m not sure there’s anything particularly wrong in the delivery as it’s based on fact: ie my observations following the interaction, and indeed I’m not sure how I could have softened it, after all, I’m not the one who sent the email that started this.

  10. What happened to this infamous post on The Blogging Times? The link(s) keeps pulling up an error and I couldn’t find it in the archives? Has it been censored?