Netscape Offers to “Buy” Digg Users

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cap-0089.png It's quite obvious now that the new 'Digg-like' Netscape is having problems. Big problems. The old Netscapees don't support it, the already frequent Digg/Del.icious/Slashdot users are far from giving it a go, its so-called 'killer' concept of having anchors is far from 'killer,' fairly put it hasn't turned out to be what it should have (at least according to Jason Calacanis). So they're doing something about it.

Jason Calacanis announced on his blog that Netscape is willing to pay $1000 monthly for your 'social bookmarking' rights. If you post at least 150 stories per month, they'll give you $12,000 a year. In a way you'll be hired by Netscape, but not really. This sort an employment is certainly an interesting idea that's been never seen before and a good incentive to drag in some crowd, but I'm fairly certain it's not the answer.

Netscape is offering to buy Digg users. That's fine. But I'm pretty sure there's one thing they can't buy: the communities behind those Digg users; the discussions and comments that go on on every Digg post; the people who participate in those discussions and comments. Since when did social bookmarking get a price-tag? The reason Digg is so successful is because there isn't any money involved anywhere, at all. The users don't pay any nor do they get any. It's a 'no-money' place to hangout, make new friends, voice your opinions, read your daily news, amongst so many other things you can do. Netscape can't put a price-tag on this.

To me, Netscape has seemed like an 'artificial' Digg from day one. Every since I heard they had editorial involvement in this kind of a unique model has made me raise an eyebrow and the fact that they're putting a price-tag on something that's supposed to be free; something you're supposed to gain naturally as Digg has been for the past couple of years, only raises the other. As Michael Arrington calls it (and I fully agree with him), it's a 'soulless reproduction of  one of the most interesting cultural experiments occurring on the web right now' and it can't be put any better than that. 


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