If Kevin Rose won't pay Diggers, someone else will

If Kevin Rose won't pay Diggers, someone else will

Summary: According to Tony Hung at Deep Jive Interests, top Diggers are routinely approached by PR types to help promote the companies they represent.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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According to Tony Hung at Deep Jive Interests, top Diggers are routinely approached by PR types to help promote the companies they represent. As many of you will remember, Jason Calacanis first proposed paying the top users of social bookmarking sites when he started his notorious Netscape experiment. Digg founder Kevin Rose responded by saying that he would never pay top Diggers because it would contaminate the open and 'democratic' nature of the site.

From Deep Jive Interests:

... in talks with some Diggers, I have learned that some of themare routinely being... emailed with unsolicited requests from private companies to help them submit and promote their own stories., in exchange for money. The frequency is in around once a week or perhaps even more frequently...

Payment is either offered via a retainer or per submission, with bonuses given if the story makes Digg's front page. Mathew Ingram says that this is "more underhanded" than PayPerPost, which offers to pay bloggers to write reviews without requiring disclosure - and in theory I agree. The problem is that Digg is already a deeply troubled democracy, as all users are far from equal. It's a known secret that if a story is submitted by a top Digger it stands a far greater chance of making it to the front page, compared to a lower ranked user who submits the same story.

As Hung notes:

The irony, of course, is that there is already a fundamental sense of inequity between diggers, and this was shown by the simple ranking of Diggers - and the fact that top diggers’s submissions and votes are worth more than Diggers who just joined up. Changes in the algorithm has changed this somewhat, but the principle is still the same.
Update: Donna Bogatin has more.

Topic: Tech Industry

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4 comments
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  • Greed and Evil seep into every crevice

    For crying out loud, can't anything remain innocent?
    ejhonda
  • Why not making money?

    See my small cartoon:
    http://geekandpoke.typepad.com/geekandpoke/2006/12/la_traviata.html

    Bye,
    Oliver
    owidder
    • Fantastic

      Very good cartoon!
      Steve O'Hear
  • Converse - auto "burying...."

    Interesting take, but what of the reverse? Where "diggers" are perhaps (I have no knowledge, but only a inkling...) paid to "bury" material that a company or companies find uncomfortable. In this case, rather than an active, productive role being rewarded with cash - a "search & destroy" mentality is used - much as negative ads in political campaigns are derided, but as they work they are used. I have witnessed folks that automatically "bury" topics in the "Tech" section from a particular source regardless of the data in an article. They even go so far as to create bogus / returning ids to continue this practice.

    In this way the democracy of "digg" more closely approximates our own beloved democracy... including its warts and bullies. But then I do not think that digg explains that in what it thinks its mission is or is not.
    Jim888