Digg v. Netscape

The saga continues. Why is it always something versus digg? As I’m sure you’ve already heard, Netscape is attempting to woo away users from digg, reddit, etc., by paying them $1000 a month to post stories to Netscape instead of digg and reddit. The catch? You have to be one of the top users on either of those sites. The other catch? I believe that you have to forsake digg or reddit if you take Netscape up on it’s offer.

The offer is stirring up some controversy at digg with the majority of diggers thinking that you’d be a sellout if you took them up on the offer. Or that the money is somehow “dirty” money. WTF? Dirty money??? I’ve got news for you….all money is dirty. If I take Netscape up on it’s offer, I’d just have a $1000 more dirty dollars a month than you. But I digress. Real life dictates to us that we have to earn money to get along in this world. We have to eat, pay for shelter and clothe ourselves. Last time I checked, we couldn’t barter for most of this stuff and getting it for free is generally considered illegal. That leaves paying for it with cold hard cash.

Holding up the idea that digg is somehow a model of democracy and a protector of freedom is lunacy. Nobody seems to remember the millions of dollars in venture capital that digg received a year ago. How come there weren’t cries of “sell out!” then? Because it was an internet success story. Company starts out with an idea that catches on like wildfire and they in turn, make millions. But somehow, getting paid to do exactly what it is you do on digg, is selling out? Please. Digg’s CEO, Jay Adelson has stated that “monetary compensation is out of the question” and “against the principals of Digg“. I have to ask then, are the principals of digg such that the owners of the site get millions while diggers, who arguably make Digg what it is, get an overall user ranking? How come monetary compensation wasn’t out of the question when the venture capitalists came knocking?

The bottom line is that I believe that the good folks that run Digg deserve monetary compensation because the last time I tried, I couldn’t pay my mortgage with a t-shirt. As I believe that the top Diggers deserve monetary compensation for what they do. It won’t dilute the quality of the stories that they submit. It won’t make Digg any less popular. In fact, Netscapes plan to pay their “anchors”, might indeed make it a force to be reckoned with.