Fred Wilson’s Talk is Del.icio.us

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post, “Social Tagging, What to Think?” Since then I’ve begin to come around to believe its power and potential importance in how information and content will be stored and retrieved on the web in the future. What I am still uncertain about is how exactly this notion is going to manifest itself from a geek buzz item into a service that my mother can and would use. And how a company or companies are going to make money off of it.

Today “A-list” blogger VC Fred Wilson posted his reasoning for his investment in del.icio.us, the now famous collective bookmarking site. I think that his fundamental premise is sound: “We believe tagging is important, its here to stay, del.icio.us is a very important participant in the tagging phenomenon, and we are really excited to be part of its development.”

The portion of his post that I think is more interesting reads as follows: “The question everyone asks is ‘what is the business model’. To be completely and totally honest, we don’t yet know. This was a seed investment and none of the investors put up very much capital. Joshua retained complete control of the service and is going to focus on making it better. That is all anyone wants to see happen right now. In time it will become clear what the business model should be. And there are a number of them to choose from for sure.”

Hmm… does this sound reminiscent of talk from the last bubble? Are these Bubble 2.0 words? To be honest, I am still conflicted on the how big this social tagging / social bookmarking / folksonomies “phenomenon” will be and what the right way to approach it is from an investor standpoint. BUT, Fred is indeed a true visionary in the digital media space, and is placing his chips in something that he believes in. That, I can agree with.

David Beisel

David Beisel is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures. He has been focused on early stage Internet startups his entire career, both as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. As an investor in the digital media space, David was most recently a Vice President at Venrock and previously a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, David co-founded Sombasa Media, an e-mail marketing company best known for its flagship product BargainDog. Sombasa was successfully acquired by About.com where David served as Vice President of Marketing. David holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an AB in Economics, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Duke University. He also founded and leads the Boston Innovators Group, an organization which holds quarterly entrepreneur events drawing a thousand attendees.

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