November 1, 2007
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.