More on Digg v. NYT

7 Jul ’06

The Digg v. NYT meme rears its head again today as LeAnn Prescott of Hitwise crunches the numbers. Om isn’t so sure this matters, noting:

What I have to say about Digg is that it doesn’t cost as much to make, it doesn’t win Pulitzers, but it is still a lot of fun. Surely, you can’t go grab a brew with Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. But Kevin Rose, now that’s a whole different story.

More importantly, there is that other thing which the raw numbers miss: Digg is the new king maker. If that was not the case, then why else with big media outlets including BBC put the little “digg it” button next to their important stories. Sure, The Times at one time decided the fate of presidential candidates or in some cases Presidents, but in these harsher times, when page views have an impact on the bottom-line, Digg is the new king maker.

OK, fine. But as far as I’m concerned, the new “king-makers” of the ‘net are all replaceable in a heartbeat, and have audiences that will instantly vanish as soon as the next best thing comes along. Didn’t we learn anything in Bubble 1.0 about the true economics of build-or-buy ? There is absolutely nothing holding their feet to the ground. And the NYT will be the NYT – attracting massive audiences to very hard to duplicate content – for a long, long time. Finally, while I can have ‘fun’ with Digg for about 3 minutes, I can spend all day with the NYT. That’s why Digg and so many others send the NYT all of that traffic they can’t hold on to themselves. All day, spent slowly absorbing all of that advertising ….

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