We’ve twice reported about Jason Calacanis’s offer to social website contributors (Digg, etc) for $1,000 to post stories at Netscape.
Now the fray has expanded as Digg’s Kevin Rose has a few things to say over at his blog:
Clever PR stunt, but man, in the end I believe it’s going to do more damage for Netscape than good. Ya see users like Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit and Flickr because they are contributing to true, free, democratic social platforms devoid of monetary motivations. All users on these sites are treated equally, there aren’t anchors, navigators, explorers, opera-ers, or editors. Jason, I know AOL has given you access to their war-chest, but honestly, take that money and invest it into site development….
Calacanis, of course, responds at his own blog:
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.
The sad thing here is that Rose has gone on the personal attack instead of addressing the real issue here – Digg is a great site but has made it’s way on the backs of its users. Calacanis is offering to pay them. Perhaps it’s time for Digg to reconsider its model.
A more serious discussion of this can be found over at PBS.org.
More interestingly, of course, is going to be to see in six months how the traffic and contributions have shifted…