Now here's an interesting development. Jason Calacanis wants to get some positive PR for the new Netscape site, and also wants to steal some thunder from Digg. He's looking to pay the top users of Digg to switch:
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).
You might wonder how successful that will be - but then again, $12k isn't exactly peanuts either. According to Richard McManus, there's a fairly small number of Digg users who are responsible for a disproportionate number of stories:
A page on digg.com called Top Diggers shows that a select group of digg users are highly influential. These top diggers have a higher chance of getting a story digged to the homepage than other users. Unsurprisingly Kevin Rose is right at the top, with a whopping 119 of his 120 submitted stories making it to the homepage (he has a 99% "Popular Ratio")! What was the single story that *didn't* make it, I wonder?
That small number is no surprise. Go to any USENET newsgroup, and pick any interval of time you care to select - you'll find that a ton of posts are from the same small group of people. At one point in the late 90's, I was posting pretty heavily to comp.lang.smalltalk, for instance. I've since channeled all of that interest here, to my blog. Any social networking site is going to show the same kind of thing - people are people, and the dynamics of this kind of thing don't change that much, even if the destination does.
The question is: can Calacanis pull it off? It's not a lot of money if he limits the buy (and his post explicitly says that he will). It's enough money to raise eyebrows on an individual level - this should be fun to watch.
Update: Mike Arrington thinks that this is evidence of a failure at Netscape, which is now desperately looking for users of their new portal.
web, tagging, digg, netscape, PR