The Social News Insider has got some very solid tips claiming that Digg is in serious talks with both coRank and Meneame, with a possible acquisition in mind.

coRank is a site where anyone can create their own social news site. Kind of like a Blogger for creating Digg-like sites instead of blogs. Well, you can also create sites that have little to do with Digg, but the Digg-cloning feature seems to be one of the most widely used.

Meneame is the most popular Digg clone in the Spanish speaking world, with many stories reaching hundreds of meneos (the Meneame equivalent to diggs), something unusual for 99.9% of all Digg-like sites out there. Also, it was released as Open Source, which in fact was the foundation of a project you may be more familiar with: Pligg. In other words, Pligg originally used Meneame’s open source.

Both stories came from the same source, backed up by some solid facts that unfortunately have to be kept under the rug. Regardless, after some further investigation, where my High School Spanish came in very helpful by the way (I asked for help from my friend Pablo anyway) there were some more indications that the tip was right on the money.

Regarding Meneame, it has been publicly, but not officially, confirmed by their founders that they’re having talks with Digg. Ricardo Galli, co-founder of Meneame, was caugh here saying (in Spanish, loose translation follows):

… we are trying to find a collaboration point with Digg. Martin has already met twice with them. So far it seems there is mutual interest but there are some long and hard meetings pending.

Benjami Villoslada (the other Meneame co-founder) leaves no doubt when he later goes (again in Spanish):

Early September they already told us they were interested in Meneame

Thanks guys! That’s all we needed to know! Acquiring Meneame would be the first known international attempt by Digg to reach a non-English audience, and it’s clear that Digg is thinking about moving in that direction.

As for coRank, we were not able to catch any loose comment from them as straight forward as those from the Meneame guys, and an email sent to them went unanswered, but we did find this (again, original is in Spanish) from coRank founder RBA:

Today I had a chance to chat with Kevin Rose. I don’t think is prudent to comment what we talked regarding Digg’s future plans, but if I could put it in one word, that would be “holy shiiiit!”

Now, that statement proves nothing other than RBA and Kevin had a chance to chat, something they could do in the hallways of a conference, and we don’t know if that “holy shit” was because RBA was so excited from the prospect of being acquired, because what he and Kevin talked about scared the shit out of him, or because he simply loved Digg’s future plans.

However, this also makes a lot of sense, especially considering the recent Jay Aldelson’s declarations to The Guardian regarding the possibility of a Digg white-labeling. Despite Jay tried hard to be as vague as possible, it’s clear that Digg is definitely looking into this space, and right now the only company allowing people to do their own “Diggs” is coRank (there is Pligg, but that’s an Open Source package, not a service being offered by a company).

Now if I were coRank I would be careful. While an acquisition does make sense, it also seems logical that Digg attempts getting into this space going solo, in which case Digg might just be learning from coRank’s experience.

Bottom line: Companies talk to each other all the time, and Digg might be talking to another 10 or 20 companies at this time. So what? The main reason we believe this is significant is not by speculating that Digg might acquire such or such company, but because these talks do confirm that Digg is interested both, in going international and in getting into the white label arena. And that is significant.

Will DigPicz survive?

September 5, 2007

TechCrunch (and others) wonders if the recently launched DigPicz will be receiving a C&D letter from Digg’s lawyers.

This is an area nobody can know the answer for sure – you know, lawyers are lawyers – but from what we know, the math seems quite simple:

Since Digg will be rolling out their own pictures section, chances are that legal action won’t be happening at this time.

After Digg rolls out their pictures feature, chances are no C&D letter will still be sent… yet.

If, after the feature is rolled out DigPicz becomes a nuisance to Digg’s own pictures feature (unlikely), then Digg will most definitely take action. It may or may not be via a C&D letter, but some action from Digg will be expected.

Again, nobody from Digg has officially confirmed this (what are they nuts?), but it makes sense. The shorter version of the story is that at this point Digg doesn’t give a damn and they’re confident their own pictures feature will “bury” DigPicz as if it never existed.

Several blogs and forums have been posting a screenshot of the announced integration of videos and news at Digg (screenshot below). Nothing really exciting here.

Noticed Kevin Rose’s sencenteOther cool stuff coming as well“? That’s the bigger bomb, which we estimate it should drop towards the end of the year. As more details come to us, we’ll try to keep you updated.

UPDATE: The new interface is live.

Digg is reaching out

August 26, 2007

Coming from someone at the source itself, we confirm something that may not come as a surprise to many… Digg is talking to some big – really big – media companies. And while we promised our source not to give out more details (and we respect that), at least let me make clear that they’re not talking about acquisitions, nor about having these media companies adding “Digg this” buttons. You’ll have to figure out the rest…

Pligg.com is asking $150k

August 26, 2007

Remember Pligg – the site – went up for sale not long ago? Well, despite its bumpy road towards a sale, after the listing received amost 5,000 views, only 8 bids have been made, and apparently, none of them has been good enough for the current owners of the site, because one bidder told us that they are sending a counter-offer, asking for $150,000.

Overpriced? A steal? The point is, what’s for sale here is mainly a domain and a community of 10,000 users (no word about how many of them can be considered “active users”). Say the domain itself has a value of no more than $5,000 (and we feel that’s already generous), asking for $150k is pricing each member of the Pligg community just below $15 per user.

That’s not cheap.

Today was the day the blogosphere – well, at least a small part of it – talked about Publish2, a site that has not launched yet (why do people keep doing that?) but that, in the words Scott Karp (the founder), it “will create the ultimate consumer news service by networking journalists’ news intelligence“.

You cannot blame Scott for making such statement. What would you want him to say? We’re going to give it a shot and see what happens? Well, perhaps. Yours truly is a believer that the hype that really works is the one that comes from the consumers. But that’s not really important.

What caught my attention was that at some point Scott is presenting his project as yet another “solution” to the “problems” surrounding Digg. Does that ring the bell? Thoof, coRank, Spotplex, to-be-launched Streamy and a ton of other sites have, at some point or another put on the table the same proposition

Scott ‘s had some sour grapes with Digg, or better said, with Digg’s hype. And he’s not alone. But what’s wrong with Digg anyway that everyone’s trying to “fix” the model? I’ll tell you. There’s nothing wrong with it. It serves its community quite well. Yes, people cry about a pictures section and what not, but we’re talking about the model here, not bells and whistles.

Now, if you’re not part of that community bu would love to get your wonderful story or project in the front page, then you struggle and start to see “problems”. But you see? Those are your problems, not those of the people who genuinely use and enjoy Digg every day.

Anyway, let’s talk some more about that some other day. Back to Scott’s words, he claims that Publish2 will extend the “social news” model to “every topic and every niche“. Somehow I don’t think it will (bear in mind I’m only going for what’s been written about it). The only models that I see doing that are Topix.net and the likes of Drupal, Pligg and coRank.

Why? First, Topix brings the news and let people democratize them, at any imaginable level. Just look at this. If that doesn’t cover topics and niches, I don’t know what does!

And coRank/Pligg/Drupal, although geeks tend to talk them down as stupid Digg clones, they let people create their own social news space about, quoting Scott, “every topic and every niche”. Now, to me, that’s social.

Will Publish2 succeed? It might, why not? Will it deliver on the promises being made now. Unlikely. Not only it needs to attract enough quality journalists, it then needs to appeal to the masses. Two hurdles that aren’t easy to overcome. We’ll be watching.

It seems that many people are not very clear about what’s for sale and not in the sale of Pligg.com.

Of course, those familiar with the Pligg history shouldn’t wonder, but it seems that the majority of people aren’t.

Let’s see.

Pligg is a fork of the original open source CMS Meneame. Meneame was released under the Affero license.

The Affero license is a modified version of the GNU General Public License. Whether you’re familiar with any of these licenses or not, the basic premise that affects this deal is that you must release your own derivative works under the original license.

In short, this means that regardless of what the Pligg team includes in the package, you will not be able to own the Pligg code, make it proprietary or hold copyright rights over the code.

Is that a bad thing? Well, that depends on what you want. Becoming the controller of an open source project is not a bad thing. In fact, it could be a very good thing. My fear is that many people simply don’t understand a thing about the license, or what they’re bidding on (as this comment proves) and the code might end up in the hands of some clueless deep-pockets ignorant that could do more damage to the project than anything else.

Let’s hope that’s not the case.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.