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Author Topic: Really interesting post about new netscape digg-clone and paying bloggers  (Read 5181 times)

mouser

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This is really quite interesting..
In some sense it sounds a little sleazy, but on the other hand it sounds completely reasonable to me.

I basically agree with its general hypothesis that most of these sites are being driven by a very small group of dedicated "experts" who are adding huge amounts of content.  and this content is building traffic and thus generating ad money.  so shouldnt these "bloggers" get paid for creating the content that the site is getting rich off of?  seems reasonable to me, and putting these people on the payroll also sounds reasonable.  (though 150 stories a month seems a bit of a serious workload!)

What do you guys think?

Quote
Talented people's time in our society is primarily engaged with money. As a result we are doubling the staff of DownloadSquad and we've increased the rate we are paying our bloggers to $10 a post on that blog (much more for features). As a result I'm sure our traffic will double over the next three months--in fact I will guarantee that it will happen. Money does change everything.

Talent wins, and talent needs to get paid. I love paying talented people so they can sleep well at night doing what they love. That's my biggest joy in business: gettin' people paid.

Before launching the new Netscape I realized that Reddit, NewsVine, Delicious, and DIGG were all driven by a small number of highly-active users. I wrote a blog post about what drives these folks to do an hour to three hours a day of work for these sites which are not paying them for their time. In other words, they are volunteering their services. The response most of these folks gave back to me were that they enjoyed sharing the links they found and that they got satisfaction out of being an "expert" or "leader" in their communities.
...
We will pay you $1,000 a month for your "social bookmarking" rights. Put in at least 150 stories a month and we'll give you $12,000 a year. (note: most of these folks put in 250-400 stories a month, so that 150 baseline is just that--a baseline).
.
Now, this offer is going to get a big response I know, so we're going to have to limit to a dozen or so folks.
...


http://www.calacanis...or-doing-what-youre/

app103

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A few more blogs posting about it:

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Among the top diggers are people who have submitted over 1000 stories to digg, with a 25-40% success rate in getting those submissions to the digg homepage! If you do some back-of-the-envelope calculations, you quickly see that paying those top diggers $1000 per month is a pittence for what Netscape will reap - hundreds of thousands of extra pageviews per month, maybe millions.
http://www.readwrite.../calacanis_offer.php


Quote
There is the question of whether or not this will fix this. Digg’s Achilles heel is that such a small group of active users drives so much of their success. However, even if those users bail to Netscape, others will certainly take their place at Digg. In my opinion, Netscape may gain some human assets and may get better story submissions, but Digg will probably continue to thrive.
http://www.techcrunc...ed-flag-at-netscape/

mouser

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another quote from techcrunch piece
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At the end of the day, the Netscape product is a soulless reproduction of one of the most interesting cultural experiments occuring on the web right now. It was thrown at millions of mainstream Internet users (previous Netscape portal users) who don’t understand Digg and probably don’t care (yet). If anything, my bet is that total page views at Netscape have dropped since the changeover, possibly substantially. Buying users from Digg won’t change that one bit.


let me take a slightly unpopular contrary position:
i think digg is currently a great site, but i also think that only the netscape model can survive, and is preferable in the long run.

i say this because as digg gets increasingly popular, it becomes an increasingly attractive target for manipulation.
if getting to the top of the digg front page means a $10,000 profit for a company, you can bet that large organized rings of bots and manipulation groups are figuring out ways to artificially bring websites that pay for it up to the front page.  the only real way i think to reliably combat this is to have preferred trusted experts doing the final step of filtering items.  you can try to implement increasingly complex schemes for detecting such manipulation, but i think it's a losing game.

it is my belief that relying on the wisdom of the crowd is doomed when the crown can be an automated swarm of robots being paid to artificially manipulate the results.  this is the same problem that is increasingly coming to light with the pay per click ads.

as for netscape being a souless imitation of digg.. i'm afraid that deep down i believe that momentum and market share explains most of these things.  in other words, most of the dominance of digg NOW at this point is due to the number of people who know about and use digg already, and publicity it has already.  rather than to innate features of the site.  That's not to say that initially it wasn't the innovation of the site that was responsible for it's growth - it's merely a comment on the fact that there are digg clones everywhere now and i don't think digg has a meaningfull advantage over the unnsuccessful immitators other than market share.

thats not to say that digg may have a slightly better feel than netscape or whatever - but it's my belief that you could make an exact clone of digg on another site, make it otherwise identical or better, but name it sdfsdkfh.com, it would fail miserably and never be able to compete with digg.  that's a scary thought..
« Last Edit: July 19, 2006, 09:44:09 AM by mouser »

mouser

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and more discussions of it:

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This offer is open to about a dozen people initially. You've got to hand it to Calacanis, he is a very savvy businessman and this offer will really stir the 'community news' pot. The cynic in me says he's decided to do some 'offensive defence', to try and put the New Netscape troubles behind him. And money talks.

But put this into context of my post yesterday about Digg's stats, where I noted that a select group of digg users are highly influential, and it makes perfect business sense. Among the top diggers are people who have submitted over 1000 stories to digg, with a 25-40% success rate in getting those submissions to the digg homepage! If you do some back-of-the-envelope calculations, you quickly see that paying those top diggers $1000 per month is a pittence for what Netscape will reap - hundreds of thousands of extra pageviews per month, maybe millions. This will come from increased quantity of stories, as well as the 'quality' that Jason talks about at length in his post (unfortunately quantity still rules on the Web though).

http://www.readwrite.../calacanis_offer.php

mouser

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i guess that another important issue is the ethics of *not* paying these small percentage of top bloggers.
a site like digg is making the owners incredibly rich from advertising dollars.  those dollars are created by this small group of bloggers submitting stories.  is this really right to be making so much money from the work of people who aren't getting any of this money?

side/site note:
donationcoder is not going to be paying posters $1000 per month  :huh:
but at the same time we are committed to a simple principle which is that as money comes into the site, it should go back out to the people creating the content on the site.  it's not a complicated concept.  those who create the content on the site should be the ones to receive the money coming into the site from people who like the site content.
the motivation for the donationcredits is to help facilitate this, by making it easier, safer, and more economical for people to specifically direct their donations to people adding content they appreciate.  consider this your reminder to send a few credits to people who are posting things you find informative.  :up:

nudone

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donationcoder is not going to be paying posters $1000 per month

looks like i better take that brand new Porsche back to the garage that i got on credit today.

mouser

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from alex3f:
http://business2.blo...netscapes_love_.html

Quote
"In what is either an act of desperation or genius (only time will tell), Netscape's new leader Jason Calacanis is offering the top users of Digg (those who post more than 150 links a month and drive most of its traffic) $1,000 a month to switch to Netscape.."

housetier

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This is also on slashdot now.

For me, it shows that /. is not really the fastest newsportal thingie, and that I am even less sure now what /. actually is...