Top Digg Users Taking PR Payola?

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So, if you don’t pay the people you have working for you, they’ll find ways to pay themselves. Jason Calacanis comments on Top 50 Digg Users accepting money from Public Relations firms:

A PR/marketing firm confirmed with me that they had a number of the top 50 users on digg now on the payroll–and this wasn’t a totally insignificant firm.

The problems that digg is facing now is that a portion–certainly not all–of the top users feel like they should be getting paid for the 3-4 hours they spend on the site each day. Since digg will not pay them for their work they are finding other ways to get compensated.

My prediction is social news sites without a paid staff of editors cleaning the site up will be less trusted than ones with editorial staffs.

So, what works better? Volunteer editors or paid staff? Seems that this argument has been alive in the search directory sector for years. Thinking DMOZ vs. BOTW business model.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Hagrin

    Bingo and I’m glad finally someone other than myself has said it.

    Digg and all these social news/bookmarking sites are going the way of the directory listing and the corruption is following closely behind a site’s growth.

    And what works better? Honestly – neither. Users looking to get the most out of the Internet need to create their own custom search engine, their own OPML file, their own site and their own knowledge base by coming up with a list of authoritative sites that they trust and then only being filled with supplemental links when no results are found.

    At least that’s what I think. 🙂

  • Toivo Lainevool

    I don’t really see this as a paid vs. unpaid issue. If Digg paid their top users (like Netscape does), I (and I’m sure Jason) wouldn’t have a problem with that. The problem is that this basically becomes a marketing/advertising medium without proper disclosure. I think the disclosure issue is what makes this a big deal.

    BOTW is fine because everyone knows its a paid model.

    This is more like the PayPerPost vs. ReviewMe issue, one ReviewMe requires full disclosure, PayPerPost does not.