Pay for Submissions Discussion

Posted on July 26, 2006. Filed under: Opinion |

Well over the last couple of day, 8 actually, there has been a debate in the blogosphere about paying top users, of submission sites, money. Jason Calacanis started this discussion about paying the top 20 users from Digg, Reddit, Flickr, and Newsvine a Thousand dollars a month to submit stories to Netscape in the post Paying the top Digg, Reddit, Flickr, Newsvine users (or “$1,000 a month for doing what you’re already doing.”). Well Kevin Rose of Digg, has started to rebuff Jason’s proposal, with what some people see as personal attacks on his blog and the DiggNation podcast. While
Michael Arrington of TechCrunch thinks it i”s a sign of desperation more than anything” in his Huge Red Flag at Netscape post.

Now I know there are alot of people who have weighed in on this subject such as Leo Laporte and Mark Glaser just to name a few, and all those comments on sites such as Digg and Netscape. I think I will add my 2 cents in.

Lets take Jason’s proposal at face value, he will pay users $1000 a month to submit 150 stories a month. To me right off the bad I think this is a good thing, because who wouldn’t like a grand for doing something they are already doing? I know I’m a cheap bastard too. Will he also pay people like myself who are one of Netscape’s Top Contributors? It doesn’t matter either way, will I take the money? Hell yes!

So I established I would take the deal, what would the effects on my submissions be? I would most likely be submitting more stories, since some part of me thinks I need to do more for the money, and it could change the types of stories I submit. Change the types of stories? Yuppers, think about it, I’m getting paid to submit stories, since that happens I want to have alot of votes on my stories so they get some bang for their buck, and which stories get the best votes? Politics and heated discussions, like this one, I could start surfing the political blogs looking for people bashing Democrats or people bash the Republicans, or posts about how good/bad the war in Iraq is, and I would most likely get a lot of votes and plenty of comments. That just isn’t how I post stories, I find stories that I find interesting, odd, funny, or strange, and submit them. I doubt I would change the types of submissions I would make because I am a bullhead person who doesn’t change much, but there is a possiblity.

Now on the the arguement that some people are making that some how this is going to make Netscape bigger than Digg or better, thats just a side topic that doesn’t have any bearing on the money issue. If Netscape were to take the top 20 poster to the four previously mentions sites, that would be only 80 people among millions. It is not going to hurt any of those sites since most people already know about them, the only thing this would do would be make the submissions better on Netscape, and get those 80 people paid.

As far as the “personal” attacks, I could see where that comes from, Kevin Rose lead the way building Digg to become the monster it is, from the ground up and here comes Jason with AOL money behind him promoting a similiar site. That could explain the “personal” attacks, are they needed no, but hey to each their own. Is it a PR stunt as Kevin states, probably a little one, since it has gotten Netscape’s link out there. Hey you can’t blame the guy, he’s just trying to get his site noticed.

In my opinion, there is room for both Digg and Netscape in the land of news submission, but like two siblings they are sniping at each other. So I will support the paid submissions because who doesn’t need an extra grand a month other than Bill Gates. It will be interesting seeing how this discussion goes on.

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