03 August 2006

Not Your Father's Netscape Navigator

Web 2.0 sites like Digg are by the people, for the people: so can this quintessentially Diggness be bought? That's what Jason Calcanis is going to find out on the transmogrified Netscape Digg-alike site now that he has apparently snagged some Digg boys and girls to submit stories:

The word is getting out about the first 10 Netscape Navigators (people who took "the offer" to become paid bookmarkers). You can see their photos on the right hand column at www.netscape.com.

Here are the basic details, we hired:

1. Three of the top 12 DIGG users
2. The #1 user on Newsvine
3. The #1 user on Reddit
4. We hired a bunch of folks from Weblogs, Inc. (since we know and love them :-)

But as he himself points out:

It is important to note that this is all an experiment. No one knows for sure if this model of "paying people for work" us gonna work. I mean, it's crazy to think that people could be paid to do a job and do it with integrity--that's just crazy talk. :-)

Well, it's not so much the idea of paying people, Jason, that's the experiment; it's whether Digg's USP lies in the people submitting the stories or the ones doing the Digging.

Personally I think it's the latter - the community that builds up around a site; after all, people often submit the same story multiple times, so removing a few of the top (=fastest) posters will only slow things down slightly. But that's not to say that encouraging some defections to Netscape wasn't a shrewd move. It will certainly give the pages some meatier stories; the big question, though, is whether there are enough of the right people visiting Netscape who will bite.

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