Should Digg Pay Its Users?

I am pretty ambivalent too, but I mostly agree with Mathew about paying Web 2.0 users.

While I don’t like Digg, because I find getting my news via popularity contest unsatisfying, when I wonder over there, I want to see content that people thought was interesting, not content tossed up in the name of making a half cent or two.

Additionally, if Digg or its Web 2.0 brethren do start paying users, the only people who will add content just for the money will do it wrong- either by gaming the system or by adding a bunch of unworthy stuff.

Remember Newsome’s Rule: add the prospect of money to any equation and things get very complicated.

Rob Hyndman (in a comment to Mathew’s post) says “The type of work may be new, but it’s work nonetheless. And it strikes me that advocates of the view that it shouldn’t be compensated are either (A) waxing nostalgically and lyrically about a time when the ‘sphere was pure as the driven snow, and motivated only by benevolence and the kindness of pixies (so long as it means only other people should work for free), or (B) hoping to keep using the labour of others for free, at least until after the liquidity event.”

I think that’s probably true- I’m certainly interested in protecting at least part of the blogosphere from the insanity that ensues when every single act is about chasing the almighty dollar. But if we’re going to look at Digg the way Rob suggest, we have to look at the rest of the ‘sphere too.

Sure, Kevin got filthy rich off of content provided by others. But most of Web 2.0 and Google are all walking down the same path.

Add a link, look at an add- it’s all the same thing.

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