Fred Wilson: Don’t Store Your Personality on a Company’s Platform, Use the Open Web

Be your own bitch!

“Don’t ever abdicate your personal presence on the web to some fucking company, put it on the open web,” Fred Wilson declared today at Smash Summit. Mr. Wilson was debating which platforms on the web are important to brands and marketers, but went on an amazing tangent about the danger of trusting a firm like Google, Facebook or Twitter with your online identity.

“These companies are making choices about what’s best for themselves. Like I’ve said, don’t be Twitter’s bitch, don’t be Google’s bitch, don’t be Facebook’s bitch, be your own bitch.”

In terms of which platforms are important for brands, Mr. Wilson had a very clear hierarchy. “Quora’s irrelevant,” he told Mr. Scoble. “Nielsen had a study to look at amount of attention people pay to different sites on the web. Based on that, the brands and marketers should care about Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr.”

Outside the U.S., Mr. Wilson pointed out, things are very different. “A Twitter clone in China is roughly the size of Twitter itself, which give you a sense of the scale in that market.”

YouTube is a big platform, but does a poor job, said Mr. Wilson. “I really feel like they haven’t done much to help people with large audiences and brands to develop followings there.”

Apple still hasn’t figured out this social layer. “This is an enormous problem. iOS developers are getting a thousand downloads a day, but can’t ramp that up. They go to Tapjoy or Flurry to buy low quality downloads, there is no good way to do social discovery on iOS. It’s identical to the way they run the music business, which is a hits-based business. If you get on the leaderboard you get a shitload of hits,but otherwise its very tough.”

The same holds true for Google’s mobile OS, with an important difference. “There is no social layer in Android, but I can share natively from inside my app to dozens of other apps like Facebook, Twitter or Kik. I think every market should be at least a duopoly, or we’re screwed.”

If you tune in to the livesteam right this second, you can hear Mr. Wilson discuss pseudonymity. “I think ‘real names’ is bullshit.”

Fred Wilson: Don’t Store Your Personality on a Company’s Platform, Use the Open Web