Why the Digg community isn’t worth $200 million

Read the latest brouhaha about how Digg is worth $200 million and Kevin Rose is $60 million richer in Businessweek. Amusingly enough, it’s all BS mathematics and Digg hype. Chris Pirillo of Lockergnome fame says that KR and his band are worth more than $200 million due to the Digg community. I would agree that the community is worth more than $200 million but not Kevin Rose and his band.
Sorry Chris, but this is where you and I part in idealogies.


Why don’t I think this? First off, the whole self-serving talk about Digg being democratic. Kevin Rose keeps talking about how this is about community and this is a democratic user base, etc etc. Fine. If he was a technological savior and bringing us the best there was for sake of users, then he wouldn’t have taken venture. The fact that he took venture makes him no different from anyone else that is in it for the business. In the end, community be damned when he sells and the community goes down. If Kevin was truly about the community, then he would have at least wrote something to tell the Digg users that were exploiting to Netscape XSS vulnerability to quit being juvenile. But he didn’t. That’s the life of an entrepeneur. Yes, Kevin. You’re JUST LIKE Jason as much as you hate to admit it.
Second, the whole thing with ForeverGeek proved there wasn’t a purely democratic community. While most have dropped that fiasco, it’s still a dark part of Digg hidden way back in the closet.
Amusingly enough, even TDavid and I have spoken to the fact that Digg since widening the genre perspective, has gone downhill due to dilution of geeks and more YouTube videos showing up on what used to be the first-to-news.
So what’s the story after all of this? The community itself is truly priceless. Look at anything the Internet has created from craigslist to Myspace. But also in the same sense, look at Myspace. Sold for a lot of money, but advertisers still don’t know how to tap a social network as such due to the nature of the community. The same for Digg where the more you branch out into other types of news, the more diluted the users become. Believe me when I tell you that my mom and pop don’t care to click on something to vote if the “news” article was good or not. That’s a geek thing.
In the end, what people fail to realize is the cynical but hard truth that entrepeneurs are out to make money. Everything else is secondary, and for some that secondary column has ethics in it. Remains to be seen if Kevin Rose and the band at Digg actually fall into the better or the worse crowd.