Netscape boss Jason Calacanis has offered to essentially buy out the top users on Digg, Delicious, Flickr, MySpace, and Reddit for $1000 per month:
"We will pay you $1,000 a month for your "social bookmarking" rights. Put in at least 150 stories a month and we'll give you $12,000 a year. (note: most of these folks put in 250-400 stories a month, so that 150 baseline is just that--a baseline)."
This offer is open to about a dozen people initially. You've got to hand it to Calacanis, he is a very savvy businessman and this offer will really stir the 'community news' pot. The cynic in me says he's decided to do some 'offensive defence', to try and put the New Netscape troubles behind him. And money talks.
But put this into context of my post yesterday about Digg's stats, where I noted that a select group of digg users are highly influential, and it makes perfect business sense. Among the top diggers are people who have submitted over 1000 stories to digg, with a 25-40% success rate in getting those submissions to the digg homepage! If you do some back-of-the-envelope calculations, you quickly see that paying those top diggers $1000 per month is a pittence for what Netscape will reap - hundreds of thousands of extra pageviews per month, maybe millions. This will come from increased quantity of stories, as well as the 'quality' that Jason talks about at length in his post (unfortunately quantity still rules on the Web though).
Not to mention the fact that those ex-digg users will bring across probably a good proportion of their friends to the Netscape system, which will put a huge dent in digg's page views too.
The big question though is: what is the price of a top digg user? Everybody has a price. How many of those top digg users will accept $1000 per month? It'll be very interesting to find out... oh and although Jason Calacanis mentions Flickr, MySpace, etc - it's pretty obvious who he really wants! BloodJunkie, gwjc, digitalgopher, dirtyfratboy (some top digg users) - what's your price?