The kerfluffle started by Jason Calacanis over paying top aggregator editors is back again, with posts from Kevin Rose of Digg and Jason. If you can make it past the ego, the issue is actually a live one, and a fairly interesting one at that, and quite rightly studies the fact that the site operators (the Diggs and Reddits, etc. of the world) are looking for a payday on the unpaid contributions of other people. The site operators and their fans suggest that this is because of the community-minded ethos of the sites, an ethos of sharing that doubtless will not extend to the paydays they themselves are looking for at the end of their particular rainbows. Calacanis’ point is that editing is like any other value contribution, and can be fairly compensated.
Mark Glaser has an extensive and thoughtful post on the topic that has some nice quotes from operators trying hard to spin what they ask editors to do as purely civic-minded work. Nice work, if you can get it. I think Jason is dead-on with this one, and think the aggregators are due for a shake-up. Having said that, it seems awfully late in the day to be taking a run at the Diggs of the world, and I’d be surprised if Netscape had enough gas in the tank to do it.