Digg is reportedly up for sale, with Microsoft, Google and two unnamed media companies putting the social news site through due diligence. The price tag being somewhere in the 200+ million ball park, offering co-founders Rose and Adelson the exit strategy many suspect they've craved for months.
However, perhaps the most intriguing thing about a possible Digg sale isn't how much its co-founders may pocket or even who will be the site's new owner, but rather how a sale will impact on the community and, more importantly, page views.
Looking through comments left over at Digg, where TechCrunch's scoop inevitably got promoted to the front page, the message is clear. "Don't sell Digg Kevin!", writes Bobnote. While Hobbes24 writes, "I've got a bad feeling about this...".
Allen Stern, over at CenterNetworks, predicts that if Microsoft or Google were to acquire Digg, "the mass exodus will begin swiftly." The comments above, if taken at face value, would seem to back this up. The point is, whoever becomes Digg's new custodian will have to spend a lot of energy managing the transition in terms of the community's expectations and fears or risk devaluing Digg dramatically before the ink has dried on any such deal.
Also see: Larry Dignan's take on which company would be the best fit for Digg.