Home Digg CEO Jay Adelson responds to Netscape challenge

Digg CEO Jay Adelson responds to Netscape challenge

Digg CEO Jay Adelson took time out of his busy
schedule to email me some thoughts about Netscape’s
digg-inspired community news site. Jay’s thoughts below, but first some context.
I’ve written two posts about the new Netscape site. In the Read/WriteWeb post
I had two main points:

1) I think introducing paid editors into a community site may end up being as
problematic as the ‘hive mind’ that it aims to prevent – because it introduces potential
bias and favoritism.

2) The prominence of internal links and editors influencing discussions with
“commentaries”, IMO deflects attention away from the actual articles – which leads me to
think Netscape wants to keep people onsite, in order to expose them to more advertising
(which there is a lot of on the new Netscape site). This of course is an old-style portal

I followed that up with a ZDNet
which suggested that the paid editors now hold the balance of power – and
how appropriate is that for a community site? I also pointed out that because Netscape
has released a working version of non-tech categories before Digg, that this could spell
trouble for Digg as it attempts to expand beyond tech.

Jay Adelson’s response

In his email to me, Digg CEO Jay Adelson questioned how active Netscape’s users
will be
. He suggested that to achieve true interactivity, you need minimum
intervention – i.e. no editors! He told me:

“A significant amount of our visitors are active (meaning they participate, not lurk).
I’m curious how many interactive users Time Warner will have on their site. That was one
of our greatest challenges, building that base.

Digg is extremely focused on transparency and absolutely no editors/intervention. We
will never have a small group of people provide oversight.”

Jay also questioned how scalable Netscape’s site will be, with Netscape putting
so much emphasis on manual editing:

“Another question I have is about scalability. We feel that there is a technical scale
issue with user submissions, in that if you have thousands, or tens of thousands, of
submissions a day, how does a few editors parse them? Ultimately, we need the users to
both digg and bury stories, provide the editorial, in order to keep up with the real-time
world of Internet-based content.”

Jay ends by effectively announcing that it’s Game On!

“Finally, we are very proud of the fact that there have been thousands of clones of
digg. Keep them coming! (Time Warner is the first billion dollar company to do it, but
bring it on. Surprised they went for the look and feel too, though.)

Stay tuned for v3! (Should be fun.)”

My thanks to Jay Adelson for sending me his thoughts. I’m going to email Netscape CEO
Jason Calacanis to see if he wants to respond, because I’m sure he’ll have some good
points in return.

NB: I’m publishing this post to both Read/WriteWeb and ZDNet, because I can’t decide
on which site it belongs more! But no they’re not clones of each other 🙂

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