Wanna know a secret? I actually kind of like Fred Wilson. I disagree with him on just about every subject under the sun but I can't help but like the guy. I'm not proud of it but its true (I try to dislike VCs in general, its a trick I picked up in the Valley and its served me well thus far).
Because for any fault he might have he at least focuses on issues. Plus when ever I type "Mr Wilson" I think of Dennis the Menace and for some reason that makes me laugh.
Anyway, back on the "disagreeing with everything he says" point, today he said this...
Widgets have made a great contribution to the web in the past four years. They have allowed us to mashup our web pages and create experiences that express dozens of web services on a single page. This blog's front page expresses at least fourteen web services at this point in time. It was a lot more before I went on my recent housecleaning spree.
OK, lets start with the most obvious point: Widgets don't suck.
Widgets can't suck because Widgets are just self contained features that allow people to configure a program such as a blog to their liking. So by definition they can't suck because by definition all software features can't suck. There are certainly software features that do suck but features as a concept can't suck.
People say Widgets suck but what they really mean is "people over doing Widgets suck". In the same way that you'll get a lot of people saying "Flash Sucks" when in fact what they mean is "people who use Flash badly suck". But the reality there is that anything is going to suck if you over use it so there's really nothing that doesn't suck under the criteria set above.
So already we've proven that the problem Mr. Wilson (heh) is trying to address doesn't really exist.
But there's a bigger point here and that point is why I posted on this. Again from the post...
So if widgets suck, then how do we continue to express all of the web services on the pages we create? I think we need to move to a model where the content is all in the same flow. My tumblog is a good example of this. Here's a screenshot of fredwilson.vc for those of you who have never visited.
This idea honestly scares me to the point of sending a chill down my spine.
Look, there are a lot of you out there that enjoy subscribing to 800 different services and spending huge amounts of time populating those various accounts. I have no problem with that. I'm happy for you. Really I am.
But I have a busy life and while I value what you have to say when you are willing to sit down and put some thought into writing a blog post I really don't care about all your other junk. Sorry.
So this whole "lets just mix it all together in one big lump" thing really doesn't work for me.
Maybe if it was something configurable like Friendfeed but I've noticed even those tend to get out of hand because people keep adding the next new thing which means I constantly have to weed out the next new thing to get to what I want.
Beyond that, this idea doesn't really solve the problem Mr. Wilson (heh) outlined in the first place. The issue was that Widgets slow down a page and make it look crowded. So tell me, what's slower? Having one blog post with a bunch of widgets on the side that slow things down or having to click through 6 tumblr pages of junk to actually find the blog post in the first place?
Wouldn't it make more sense if you just didn't use so many widgets?