Update: This story has been DUGG (but is not yet ‘Scaped).
Update2: Looks like the story has been killed on DIGG–go figure.
OK, it’s on.
On the latest DIGG Nation (minute 8), Digg co-funder Kevin Rose goes on a massive attack of my plans to hire a dozen top social bookmarkers, but he doesn’t seem to have a point about it. I’d actually be interested in hearing what he thinks about paying folks to do social bookmarking, but instead he just personally attacks me.
This is a serious discussion and I’m saddened that Kevin has reduced it to personal attacks. At the very least he could have a serious discussion about it *AFTER* he attacks me.*
Also, Kevin has some facts wrong:
1. The top DIGG users have not changed that much over time.
2. The top DIGG users are not responsible for 14% of stories–they are responsible for over 50%.
Also, the truth is that DIGG, REDDIT, Newsvine, Delicious, and Netscape will all succed together. There are very few winner-take-all verticals on the Internet. There are 3-5 major players in email, IM, and search–no one owns 80-90% of a market. It really isn’t about Netscape vs. DIGG… in reality the battle is “social news vs. top-down news.” Kevin and I are brothers in arms right now and at some point I hope he will realize that.
The top ~50 members on these services are responsible for over 50% of the top stories–that’s a straight up fact and Kevin knows it. That seems to scare the heck out of him, and it shouldn’t. I’ve created a market for these users, and others are about to jump in and do that same (I know this for a fact). So, if there is gonna be a market for community leaders, why not just join the party Kevin? You raised a ton of money and you can raise more. You’re making money from advertising and you can easily afford to pay the top 12 users $1,000 a month each–share the wealth dude! Why not carve out 10-20% of your revenue for users?
It only makes sense that folks should be paid for community leaders.
Kevin Rose is going to make millions of dollars (perhaps tens of millions) when he sells DIGG to Yahoo (my best guess). When he does sell DIGG–and trust me it will be sold before in the next 12 months–he will have done it on the backs of those top 50 members. Those top 50 members will get exactly… ummm….. nothing. If I was running Netscape as a startup I would create a bonus pool for these users in the case the site gets bought. I can’t do that given our structure, so we’re gonna just pay folks. Kevin should do something similar.
* For those of you entrepreneurs watching make a note: you know you’re winning when the debate when the other side opts out of the logical discussion and moves to personal attacks.
** Update: A considered story on the issue here–I wish Kevin would take this issue seriously and discuss it like Jay does.