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.

Pligg.com for sale

August 12, 2007

Mashable reports that pligg.com, the site that supports the favorite Social News CMS Pligg, is for sale on Sedo.

The minumum bid is $25,000 at this moment. But bidders beware. The CMS itself is not for sale. Only the domain, the software that runs the pligg.com site and the community behind it (about 10,000 users) is. So what you’re bidding on is a business – or the chance to start one – that gives support to a Open Source CMS.

Would Digg buy it? Doubtful. Why would they need such a thing? Any other popular social news site? Also unlikely. How about the only competitor to Pligg I know of? It doesn’t make sense to me. Some media outlet? Why would they need a developer community site? The most valuable asset of this whole thing is the software itself, precisely the only thing that’s not for sale.

Am I worried that the winning bidder may be someone who actually believe they’re purchasing the software itself? You bet! Hopefully the winning bidder will be someone who knows what they’re doing and with experience running a developer oriented website, but there are many idiots out there loaded with cash and anything could happen.

Jason Calacanis, the man who transformed Netscape into a social news site, recently said that Netscape is bigger than Digg according to Quantcast, and asked at the end “Can anyone get to the bottom of these stats!??!?!
Well, the Social News Insider decided to get to the bottom of this indeed. In particular, to the very bottomg of the source code of Netscape’s pages. What did he find? All Netscape pages include the Quantcast code. Digg, on the other hand, doesn’t.

That might explain why, according to Quantcast, Netscape’s stats are bigger than Digg’s although every other stats/metrics sites claim the opposite. Does that make sense, Jason?