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Social News Sites Pay Top Submitters

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the we-pay-you-in-puppy-laughter-and-kitten-smiles dept.

95

prostoalex writes "With the proliferation of social news sites relying on users to submit and vote for content, quite a few of newcomers to the industry face the need to pay top submitters or hire people away from other social news sites, the Washington Post reports. The phenomenon has also led to the appearance of the surfing jobs, where people are paid mostly to surf the Web and find out new links." From the article: "The system depends on a steady stream of contributors like Spring. Last month, Netscape said it would be the first to pay the most active contributors -- $1,000 a month to post at least 150 stories during that time to its newly redesigned Web site. The job qualifications are rather fuzzy, but an executive said active 'navigators' or 'social bookmarkers' provide a valuable service because they keep the site's content varied and fresh."

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Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (4, Funny)

pipingguy (566974) | about 8 years ago | (#15988983)

Cue the replies in 1, 2, ...

Re:Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (4, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 8 years ago | (#15989041)

Why wait, why not write your own like Roland Piqupaille does. IE Flood slashdot with stories, but instead of linking to the original stories, link to a butchered summary on your ad-laden blog. Seems to work like a charm.

Re:Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (4, Interesting)

anticypher (48312) | about 8 years ago | (#15989165)

I came here looking for a post like this.

A system like this elsewhere might draw the Roland Piquepaille's away from /., leaving us with a slightly improved level of content.

I really expect the only "quasi-journalists" to be SEO scum who just pollute systems now with even more of their junk, because they can get paid for it. I'd much rather see a reward system for policing sites such as /. and digg to keep the link farmers out. Slashdot still has the occasional good article, but digg is completely awash in bogus links that scraped content from another site and changed the title and summary. Throwing money at the problem rather than a solution sounds like trouble.

the AC

Roll on Web 3.0 (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 8 years ago | (#15990639)

I really expect the only "quasi-journalists" to be SEO scum who just pollute systems now with even more of their junk, because they can get paid for it. I'd much rather see a reward system for policing sites such as /. and digg to keep the link farmers out.

Indeed. I think this phenomenon is a natural reaction to the social networking trends of the past couple of years.

In the beginning, there was Web 1.0. The best content, for the most part, was provided by people who had a genuine interest in their field and a desire to share their knowledge. At first, much content was found through following hyperlinks on related sites, though search engines soon evolved to allow content to be found more easily.

With today's "Web 2.0", we have two related but (IMHO) quite distinct phenomena providing a lot of the new material: blogging/social networking, and "open contribution" sites like Wikipedia and Digg. In each case, the key distinction is that it becomes viable not just for anyone to put their content on-line, but for significant numbers of other people to find it. Good content tends to be noticed somewhere in the blogosphere, and soon gets spread by word-of-blog. The speed with which information can spread is staggering.

The problem with this, as is starting to become obvious, is that when anyone can contribute, not everyone will be an expert. Take a look at Digg, and count the number of highly-dugg posts that are reported as possibly inaccurate. Worse, just as anyone can contribute good content, anyone can also contribute corrupt it or deliberately contribute bad information. Take a look at Wikipedia, and the number of articles that get locked or otherwise flagged as controversial. How do you defeat this? You need someone to be elevated above the average contributor, to an editorial role. Here on Slashdot, we have CmdrTaco and gang reviewing submitted stories, and for all that some posters mock them, they generally do a pretty good job. Likewise on Wikipedia, you or I can't just go in and lock an article that's being repeatedly edited, but some of the admins can, and procedures have been established for dealing with common problems.

I expect that Web 3.0 will arrive rather quickly, and in a sense will come full circle. The dominant source of valuable information will be hybrid sites, where a certain degree of automation and public participation keep the content flowing in a way that a small number of editors never could, yet there is always some oversight by those responsible for the site. Perhaps ironically, perhaps predictably, many of the sites that pioneered open contributions of various kinds -- Slashdot and Wikipedia among them -- seem likely to lead the way in the new order as well. Bloggers will carry on, at least for now, but the really important underlying thing about the blogosphere is that it represents a web of trust: if you find a couple of blogs on a particular subject that you like, and those are accurate/interesting/credible, then those bloggers will often link to others whose related content they trust/respect/enjoy. As long as you start from good sources, you'll find more.

The problem of course, is where you find those good sources. In this, I think there will always be a role for mainstream sites to establish their credibility, probably through mechanisms other than just the claims they make (e.g., being verifiably written by experts in an academic field, or blogs on software products written by the guys who actually work on those products). But how do those sites know where to link to? Surely their experts will be busy enough either writing their own content or doing whatever they do in real life to become experts, and won't have time to browse the entire web themselves. Thus we come to what we see in this article: we may see a new role becoming established, for "content middlemen" who know enough about about a field to select plausible content for linking, and refer it up to the high-ranking editors who run big name sites for approval. If you've got a world full of enthusiastic contributors -- and in many fields, clearly we have that today -- then it makes sense to incentivise some of these people to keep the sources coming in, while letting your site's real experts/full-time editors focus on evaluating good leads and updating their own site, not just trawling the not-so-small-world-wide-web. At the same time, the editors can easily dismiss content from the kind of SEO wizard link-farmers who are taking advantage of the Web 2.0 world today.

Everyone an editor Re: Roll on Web 3.0 (1)

Randym (25779) | more than 7 years ago | (#16031971)

Thus we come to what we see in this article: we may see a new role becoming established, for "content middlemen" who know enough about about a field to select plausible content for linking, and refer it up to the high-ranking editors who run big name sites for approval.

There are two ways to go about this. One -- yours -- is to *increase* heirarchalization by, in essence, creating a level of 'middle management'. That is last century thinking.

A better way is to *increase* the number of potential editors and ensure that moderation and meta-moderation extend *all the way up*, so to speak. Good editors -- ones whose selections get large numbers of eyeballs, thus indicating that they are in tune with the Zeitgeist -- are taken more seriously, while bad editors fall by the wayside. Editor moderation is based not on "quality of content" (like comment moderation), but "quality of form" -- as indicated by the correlative effect of 'number of eyeballs'. This way of looking at the situation leverages decentralization and participation -- the networking "value" of the Web -- for a higher-quality experience all around.

Re:Everyone an editor Re: Roll on Web 3.0 (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16032514)

There are two ways to go about this. One -- yours -- is to *increase* heirarchalization by, in essence, creating a level of 'middle management'. That is last century thinking.

I prefer "tried and tested". YMMV.

A better way is to *increase* the number of potential editors and ensure that moderation and meta-moderation extend *all the way up*, so to speak. Good editors -- ones whose selections get large numbers of eyeballs, thus indicating that they are in tune with the Zeitgeist -- are taken more seriously, while bad editors fall by the wayside.

The thing is, you claim this approach is better, but I don't think having editors who are promoted purely for supporting the status quo is necessarily a good thing.

On the one hand, if you're talking about selecting articles relevant to the audience, it might be a good thing. On the other hand, take a look at Slashdot's moderation system. It works reasonably well, but it does have a tendency to promote groupthink, where insightful but anti-concensus comments get moderated (-1, Overrated), and incorrect but what-you-want-to-hear comments get moderated (+1, Informative). I don't, personally, think that's in the best interests of any forum that's intended for open discussion. To an extent, such a system actively works against original thinking, and each additional layer (meta-moderation, for example) strengthens this tendency.

Of course, there is also the problem with deliberate abuse. One need only look at recent trends over on Digg to see the number of articles submitted that are subsequently reported as probably in accurate. Link farmers are starting to take over at some of the big social networking sites already. Once the vultures get wise to their newly-provided equal status, I can only see this getting worse until the community finds a way to deal with this new form of spam.

As I said in my original post, I think the future probably lies in a hybrid approach, where much of the time you do rely on the community at large to provide content, but there is also a directing influence of some sort to allow for the two big problems I've mentioned.

Re:Everyone an editor Re: Roll on Web 3.0 (1)

Randym (25779) | more than 7 years ago | (#16057250)

The thing is, you claim this approach is better, but I don't think having editors who are promoted purely for supporting the status quo is necessarily a good thing.

You make a good point here. It will quickly become clear to the editors *which kinds of stories get read a lot*, and so you get competition between editors to get those kinds of stories up there. Certain editors (let's call them "rolands") will always get large numbers of eyeballs for their stories. However, there might still be niches for *unusual* editors -- ones who post rarely and from obscure sources, but the *quality* of whose contributions always get noticed. It might make sense, then, to base the moderation of editors not *solely* upon numerical scores, but allow people to create a *whitelist* of editors whose work they want to see *regardless* of their scores: "cult" editors, if you will. Perhaps this mechanism would constitute a form of the "directing influence of some sort" that you reference.

I agree, with your criticism of the *content* moderation system; there is quite a lot of groupthink and "me-too"ism, and, of course, as you point out, ostracism of insightful but anti-consensus comments. But I think that that is a side effect of human nature, and will be found in *any* moderation system. That is why, I think, that you have to ultimately push the "power to decide" all the way down to the grassroots: to, in this case, individual whitelists (and, of course, blacklists too).

Re:Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (3, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | about 8 years ago | (#15989232)

While he definitely did do that for a while, he appears to have stopped [slashdot.org] .

Almost as though he were listening to us - or perhpaps, he really was being paid or otherwise favoured by the editors...

Re:Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (1)

iced_773 (857608) | about 8 years ago | (#15989268)

Either that or the editors were listening and changed the link in his summary to the story linked in the blog.

Re:Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (2, Informative)

dorkygeek (898295) | about 8 years ago | (#15989336)

Nope, it's the same as always. Look at the second link ("for more pictures and information, yadda yadda"), it still points to his blog, containing copy-pasted stuff from other sites.

Re:Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 8 years ago | (#15989385)

...he appears to have stopped.

I guess you missed the last sentence and link to his blog in that summary: "Read more for additional details and pictures about this mystery."

Re:Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (3, Informative)

Quixote (154172) | about 8 years ago | (#15990785)

Roland has not stopped; he has two [slashdot.org] stories [slashdot.org] on the front page today!

How much does Roland get paid? (1)

Animats (122034) | about 8 years ago | (#15989962)

Does Slashdot pay Roland the Plogger, or does Roland the Plogger pay Slashdot and then get paid by click-through to his website? Inquiring minds want to know.

Re:Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (3, Insightful)

aurb (674003) | about 8 years ago | (#15989049)

On Slashdot, the comment-posters should get paid. The stories here are posted just to organize the comments.

Re:Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (1)

antic (29198) | about 8 years ago | (#15991459)

Story approvals should be weighted to favour those that contribute quality comments too. Comments are what, IMO, would bring people back more than anything else.

Re:Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15989070)

They sent it to **Beatles-Beatles

Re:Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (1)

legoburner (702695) | about 8 years ago | (#15989083)

You mean you have not gotten your cheque yet? Geez, you should follow that up!

Re:Slashdot Pokes Fun at "social news site" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15989086)

It's funny that slashdot, usually very good about reporting stories, put such a obvious title up to hate on digg.com. Netscape is the only site paying users, yet you mention that "social news sites" are faced with the delima. Why not mention digg.com? They do not pay anyone for the stories. They have thought about giving prizes out to the top contributors to show their thanks, but this was long after digg was popular.

Digg.com now not at 100 on Alexia with Slashdot at 165. If you look at visitor graphs compared, slashdot is going down almost point for point, that Digg.com popularity is rising.

Yet you seem to have purpose wrote the story to make "social news sites" look bad, or just decided it would be convenient not to mention the most popular one....

Usually slashdot does a good job reporting stories, but this one seemed to "skip" over the most important details...

Re:Slashdot Pokes Fun at "social news site" (1)

isorox (205688) | about 8 years ago | (#15989123)

Digg.com now not at 100 on Alexia with Slashdot at 165.

So the average digg user is more likely to have spyware on their machine than the average slashdot user?

Re:Slashdot Pokes Fun at "social news site" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15989154)

Exactly how does digg.com give you spyware? I visit slashdot.org and digg.com on a daily basis and I've never had spyware. Or if your trying to say that people who post to Digg.com are dumb, then I would reply that your comment is just as stupid.

The majority of the people who submit to digg.com news stories are people who are journalist by nature, however I would agree that the comments on digg, are nearly as bad as the comments on slashdot.

That said digg's features allow you to make the experience exactly how you want it, and block out stories you don't want, even filter by the person submitting, not to mention their commenting system is nearly perfect allowing you to quickly balance out all comments and get rid of the ones you don't like for yourself.

It's a self ruled system, similar to slashdot, only digg uses web features from 2006 and isn't built around code, and a comment system that isn't from the 90's (aka slashdot)

You can hate me all you want, but my point was the article by slashdot writer deliberately left out any mention of digg.com, when the netscape social news site has like 1/1000 the visitors of slashdot and digg combined.

Re:Slashdot Pokes Fun at "social news site" (4, Informative)

isorox (205688) | about 8 years ago | (#15989229)

Exactly how does digg.com give you spyware?

It doesn't, Alexa get their stats from the Alexa Toolbar, which is spyware (and IE only). All a higher ranking for digg tells you that more digg users have this spyware installed, and run IE, than slashdot users

Re:Slashdot Pokes Fun at "social news site" (2, Informative)

chrismcdirty (677039) | about 8 years ago | (#15989246)

Alexa's tracking software is usually considered to be spyware. And don't tell me that the submitters to digg are journalists by nature when I find stories like this [digg.com] , this [digg.com] , and this [digg.com] as a few of the most popular stories in their respective categories. I go to digg to see a barrage of news stories and read the comments because I have nothing better to do sometimes. I go to slashdot to read (usually) insightful conversations. I've never seen a comment on /. that read 'LOL' or 'agreed'. And don't tell me their comment system is perfect if you can only have a conversation which goes one thread deep. It makes for some fairly confusing conversations and retards who don't know how to hit a 'reply' button. And, finally, I believe digg wasn't mentioned because digg is not currently paying their top submitters, and that is what this article is about.

Re:Slashdot Pokes Fun at "social news site" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15989274)

LOL, I agree(d).

Re:Slashdot Pokes Fun at "social news site" (2, Funny)

Millenniumman (924859) | about 8 years ago | (#15990565)

agreed

Re:Slashdot Pokes Fun at "social news site" (1)

generic-man (33649) | about 8 years ago | (#15990141)

I remember Digg the first time around, when it was called Kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org] .

I visited Digg a while back. It offered nothing I hadn't seen on Slashdot or Fark, and furthermore there's no filter for me to ignore the sensationalist pseudo-political bullshit [slashdot.org] on Digg like there is on Slashdot.

Have fun with the Alexa rankings, though. As MySpace has proven, if something is more popular it must be better.

</sourgrapes>

Re:Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (3, Insightful)

niceone (992278) | about 8 years ago | (#15989100)

Hmmm on slashdot you pay them to be a top contributer.

Isn't that what being a subscriber is all about?

Re:Where's My Cheque from Slashdot (1)

cammoblammo (774120) | about 8 years ago | (#15991264)

Hmmm on slashdot you pay them to be a top contributer.

Perhaps this story would be more appropriately entitled...

In Soviet Cyberspace, Slashdot pays you!

whoa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15988987)

Sign me up!

well, that's better (1)

macadamia_harold (947445) | about 8 years ago | (#15988988)

Social News Sites Pay Top Submitters

As opposed to the Socialist News Sites that eschew the capitalist system.

so? (1)

Weh (219305) | about 8 years ago | (#15988990)

How much will /. pay?

Re:so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15988997)

quite a few of newcomers to the industry face the need to pay top submitters

Re:so? (1)

FinchWorld (845331) | about 8 years ago | (#15989115)

Judging from the amount of people submitting stories, and as such, dupes, I can only assume its a fair amount.

Or, how much does /. get paid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15990734)

Because that sure would explain a lot of things, like Zonk's coverage in the games section.....

Journalism 2.0? (4, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | about 8 years ago | (#15988991)

Is this the start of a new type of journalism?

I don't think simply submitting stories is enough. A good journalist needs to find stories that interest the readers, that drive up hits, and generate advertising revenue.

Perhaps if people got a share of the ad revenue from the stories they posted, it'd work better.

Re:Journalism 2.0? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15989009)

A good journalist needs to find stories that interest the readers, that drive up hits, and generate advertising revenue.

Around here we call that trolling. And we do it for free!

Re:Journalism 2.0? (3, Informative)

wfberg (24378) | about 8 years ago | (#15989019)

Is this the start of a new type of journalism?

No. It's much the same as it ever was since the newswires popped up. Your average daily newspaper is composed of hundreds of stories straight of the AP. The news editor's job is to fill up the pages with both original content contributed by the newspaper's own writing staff, as well as to place the newswire stuff to fill the blanks. Newspaper editors also get to paraphrase newswire articles (much the same as doing a writeup for a blog) when the article itself is deemed to long and boring; but they can also edit down (or fluff up) AP pieces. The latter is not an option for blogs, since they don't have a license to distribute altered content - the newspaper have licenses from the newswires to cut up pieces.

So, no, these people would ordinarily be called 'editors' in journalism, though of the chimpy, intern-like status where they can't be trusted to actually edit pieces, just pick them out.

Re:Journalism 2.0? (2, Interesting)

Albanach (527650) | about 8 years ago | (#15989118)

No. It's much the same as it ever was since the newswires popped up. Your average daily newspaper is composed of hundreds of stories straight of the AP

Actually this is a very US phenomenon as far as I can tell. In the States there tends to be one newspaper per city - even for small cities, usually owned by a conglomerate and employing a tiny handful of journalists backed up by ad sales staff.

In Europe the tendency is more towards papers with national coverage with much larger numbers of journalists required to differentiate their content.

Walk into a shop in the US and you'll likely see the local paper plus, maybe, a Washington Post, NYT or another _big_ paper. Walk into a shop in the UK and you'll have more than a dozen papers to select from, all of varying styles and political slants.

Journalism 2.0?-Newspapers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15989258)

"Walk into a shop in the US and you'll likely see the local paper plus, maybe, a Washington Post, NYT or another _big_ paper."

Depends on the shop. The shops in medium to large cities have a large selection. Even a grocery store near me carries international papers.

Re:Journalism 2.0? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 8 years ago | (#15989401)

I don't think that's US-specific, looks pretty much the same here in Germany.

Re:Journalism 2.0? (1)

wfberg (24378) | about 8 years ago | (#15989576)

No. It's much the same as it ever was since the newswires popped up. Your average daily newspaper is composed of hundreds of stories straight of the AP

Actually this is a very US phenomenon as far as I can tell. In the States there tends to be one newspaper per city - even for small cities, usually owned by a conglomerate and employing a tiny handful of journalists backed up by ad sales staff.


In the myriad of local, regional and national papers that appear in Europe, still most of the content is from newswires. Every European country tends to have its own newswire that covers both national stories and international ones. AFP (Agence France Press), one of the bigger national bureaus, competes with the likes of AP and Reuters.

It's not uncommon to find "RTR", "AFP", "DPA". "AP" etc. in the bylines of European papers - and, if lacking, telltale signs like a byline that says "(LONDON)", even though it reports on a story from India. Really, unless the byline specifies a reporter's name or employment by the paper, it's a syndicated story.

Rest asured that most of the paper is filled with syndicated content - the expensive homemade stuff gets top billing of course, but you wouldn't send out your journalists to report on 3-headed poodles born in Ohio - that's what the wires are for.

Television news of course is even more syndicated; a lot of feeds from the AP, CNN, BBC, Reuters, and ITN, amongst others.

Re:Journalism 2.0? (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 8 years ago | (#15990683)

In Europe the tendency is more towards papers with national coverage with much larger numbers of journalists required to differentiate their content.

Ah, don't you believe it!

I had the misfortune of being the publicity officer for a large local club when one of the big news wires picked up some offhand comment someone in the club probably made about one of our competitive teams. The story was entirely inaccurate, wouldn't have been particularly significant even if it had been true, and certainly didn't come from anyone in the club's administration who would have had access to the required information at that time. Nevertheless, we hit two of the four big broadsheets and the BBC within a matter of hours, and several local news media during the following week.

Re:Journalism 2.0? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 8 years ago | (#15989438)

Newspaper editors also get to paraphrase newswire articles (much the same as doing a writeup for a blog) when the article itself is deemed to long and boring; but they can also edit down (or fluff up) AP pieces. The latter is not an option for blogs, since they don't have a license to distribute altered content - the newspaper have licenses from the newswires to cut up pieces.

(Most) blogs don't have any right to distribute any content at all. They may be able to summarise, under "fair use". Actually, if they "fluffed up" a story with their own additions it would be more legitimate than a straight copy.

Re:Journalism 2.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15989167)

Seen http://shunya.in/ [shunya.in] ? Allows sharing ad revenue between submiters. Also supports numerous Indian languages. New blogging systems like "soulcast" also support such schemes.

Re:Journalism 2.0? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | about 8 years ago | (#15989376)

Perhaps if people got a share of the ad revenue from the stories they posted, it'd work better.

That's exactly the model that Newsvine [newsvine.com] uses. It's a good combination of the AP wire feed with user-submitted content from elsewhere on the web.

Re:Journalism 2.0? (1)

falconwolf (725481) | about 8 years ago | (#15990114)

I don't think simply submitting stories is enough. A good journalist needs to find stories that interest the readers, that drive up hits, and generate advertising revenue.

You left out one thing a journalist whether a good one or not has to do, write.

Falcon

paid submittions != social network (4, Insightful)

a_greer2005 (863926) | about 8 years ago | (#15988993)

The whole point of social news/bookmarking is having a huge community of users interested in a similar subject submit tons of data about it, then the community weeds out the junk, and the cream rises. Pay a handfull of folks to do the submitting and you have nothing more than an "interesting stories" list compiled by staff members.

Re:paid submittions != social network (1)

texaport (600120) | about 8 years ago | (#15989389)

Pay a handfull of folks to do the submitting and you have nothing more than an "interesting stories" list compiled by staff members.

Outside of searches, that's how MSN, Yahoo! and AOL envisioned themselves becoming major portals in early 1998.

Aren't these.... employees (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 8 years ago | (#15989003)

or subcontractors. How is this different from any other journalist/columnist paid news site or magazine? Oh... They're pretending to be social news sites. That's called marketing.

 

Re:Aren't these.... employees (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 8 years ago | (#15989455)

How is this different from any other journalist/columnist paid news site or magazine?

Well, they're only paying "up to" $1000/month for 250 stories. Reporters don't get much, but that's pretty pathetic.

Key word: Community (1)

interiot (50685) | about 8 years ago | (#15989011)

As Digg's Kevin Rose pointed out, these are community sites with many many contributors. No single contributor has a very large influence compared to the rest of the community.

Wouldn't the sites do better spending their money to draw in larger groups of people? Like giving away prizes to every 1000th new visitor, or something like that?

Re:Key word: Community (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15989038)

With something like a banner that flashes "You are visitor number 1000! Click here to claim your prize!"? Because nobody's ever seen anything like THAT before.

Re:Key word: Community (2, Interesting)

coolgeek (140561) | about 8 years ago | (#15990390)

Just because they do it for free does nothing to prevent "significant hierarchies", as digg's Adelson suggests they must avoid:

"What's important to the community is not to favor anyone," Adelson said. "If we betray that and start compensating users one way or another, you create significant hierarchies where individuals are motivated based on compensation."

I've read several threads on digg about 20-30 users submitting most of the front page stories. If you actually pay attention, you can easily spot this by looking at the front page there. There are also several completely buried threads I've run across that suggest there is an automated system where a story submitted by one of the top diggers is automatically "dugg" by a bevy of co-conspirators. None of the 10 or so I submitted to digg were ever promoted; instead someone else made a later posting to the same link, and they made it because they were one of the "chosen few". Compare that to 3 of the 5 stories I've ever submitted to /. getting posted. Just because a cabal works for free does not make them superior nor does it make them more "social". It's still a cabal.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with Netscape paying people to work for them. It's no surprise to me that the "other" social news sites are launching ad hominem attacks to attempt to smear them. The idea of paying someone for effort (instead of leaching it from them like a slumlord) only serves to cut into their profits.

In closing, I'd like to say I've not always agreed with Slashdot editors, nor have I liked all of their choices, but I can say this for them, they have never lied to us. Integrity is the essential foundation of a functional community.

Re:Key word: Community (1)

interiot (50685) | about 8 years ago | (#15991985)

It doesn't surprise me, I just think there might be a more effective way to spend money. Building a community is hard, and certainly companies will spend money on advertising. But advertising money into to build the next Digg is compeltely different from advertising a bottle of coke, because of the marketing effects. Certainly there are more effective ways to do that, and less effective ways.

I don't know if Digg intentionally makes a group of contributors more prominent. Certainly for every successful story, there are many duplicates, and it seems sort of random chance (or just more outrageous wording) that decides whose will get promoted.

Internally, Digg is pretty complicated though. They have an internal karma system [howstuffworks.com] to keep spammers out, so maybe the same thing works in reverse to build a cabal, but maybe it's just that once you gain enough karma, there might be places where Digg makes it easier for your story to get promoted?

odd question, but... (2, Interesting)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about 8 years ago | (#15989027)

Odd question, but... does anyone know where a guy might apply/acquire one (or two or three) such jobs?

I could greatly use supplimental income. Especially since it's basically something I already do...

blogging (2, Informative)

falconwolf (725481) | about 8 years ago | (#15990188)

Odd question, but... does anyone know where a guy might apply/acquire one (or two or three) such jobs?

I could greatly use supplimental income. Especially since it's basically something I already do...

If you're really interested then you should check an article in the current, Sept 2006, issue of "Business 2.0 [cnn.com] magazine. In the print edition the title is "Blogging For Dollars" but the online one is titled Blogging for Big Bucks [cnn.com] .

Falcon

Insightful response. (5, Funny)

telchine (719345) | about 8 years ago | (#15989050)

I have an insigtful response to this Slashdot article. However, I'm not responding until someone stumps up the cash.

Re:Insightful response. (1)

coolgeek (140561) | about 8 years ago | (#15990400)

I'll buy you half a latte...anyone else wanna kick in for the second half?

Re:Insightful response. (1)

BarlowBrad (940854) | about 8 years ago | (#15990978)

So in the meantime you post a Funny one for free?

Re:Insightful response. (1)

enrgeeman (867240) | about 8 years ago | (#15997188)

Well, sure. It's not like he'll get any karma out of it.

Awesome, new revenu (3, Interesting)

Acid-Duck (228035) | about 8 years ago | (#15989075)

I think this is great. Anyone who's self-motivated and wants to startup an online business, knows that you have to running not one or two, but four, five and six websites to be profitable. This type of business is just another addition to your arsenal. Don't have time to do this y9ourself? No problem! If you've got marketting skills, or know where to get great such ressources, you can run a posting team, kinda like running an auction to see what's the cheapest submitter is willing to pay and they'll try to match it up to a site with that specific type of content submitter is interested in who's pay-out is obviously way more then what submitter requests to write the article.

So myself, I welcome this.

Erik

How things change (5, Funny)

chemindefer (707238) | about 8 years ago | (#15989105)

Netscape is hiring Navigators...and they used to give them away.

Slashdot should do it (5, Insightful)

isorox (205688) | about 8 years ago | (#15989111)

I wonder if the submitter "prostoalex", was thinking slashdot would do the same. Now, lets see, who has submitted [slashdot.org] the most number of stories?


Most Active Submitters
496 prostoalex


Ahh

Re:Slashdot should do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15990768)

To be fair, since he's the most prolific submitter, he's also the most likely to submit any given story, including this one.

Re:Slashdot should do it (1)

yusing (216625) | about 8 years ago | (#15990956)

Many "social" sites rake in the bucks and pay contributors with bupkiss. Yahoo's "answers" pays with -wallpaper with an embedded Yahoo ad-. WOW!

It's obvious, but ... communities with longevity have always found ways to reward quality contributors substantially. Ego strokes don't spend.

"Jay Adelson ... said his Web site will not pay contributors ..." ??? Not THIS month, maybe.

Information warfare... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15989143)

Webmaster, there are PR turds in your newsfeed.

No, you are mistaken. With the failure of astroturfing, we are paid to screen for community contributors that will be sympathetic to certain companies PR.

Do you pay your contributors?

Yes, that's the beauty of it. If these contributors were directly on the payroll of a corporate PR firm, people would see through it. The truth is that our community contributors don't even realize they're shills.

What about the opposing, unfunded point of view?

Not as unfunded as you may think. Controlled bias allows us to manipulate the corporates and grow our business.

I don't believe you're telling me this.

Nobody else will believe you either. The manipulation of the collective subconcious is the true currency of westernized industrial society, things have always been like this. To our public you would be presented as a conspiracy nut or another cynic with an agenda.

I feel really depressed now.

Clinical depression is just a way of manipulating the disenfranchised. Besides, it takes more effort to suffer depression than to propogate the lie.

What about suicide?

I'm sure that your statistical contribution could be used to market anti-depressants with great success.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15989153)

SOO... everybody is dying to know... How much do you pay Roland Piquepallie, Slashdot? We always thought it was the other way around.

As Predicted? (1)

Bazman (4849) | about 8 years ago | (#15989166)

Didnt some pundit predict this would happen? I cant find the article about it now, but he'd predicted this and a fwe other things about the internet. If I could find it, I'd start betting on the other things mentioned in the article...

Reporting while Jewish (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15989267)

The percentage of Jews in the media is far, far beyond what probability would predict. But what about the news in particular? http://home.comcast.net/~plutarch/jews.html [comcast.net]

Would be great for submitters if Slashdot did this (1)

dwalsh (87765) | about 8 years ago | (#15989295)

Think about it - most of the time, they would get paid atleast twice :-)

I get paid to add links to a site (4, Interesting)

ylikone (589264) | about 8 years ago | (#15989343)

For about half an hour every weekday morning I add links to a certain website (can't name it). I get paid about $350/month for this simple task.

Re:I get paid to add links to a site (1)

slack_prad (942084) | about 8 years ago | (#15989608)

is that your sig http://desktoplinuxathome.com/ [desktoplinuxathome.com] ? Since ads seem to be all over the place :P

Re:I get paid to add links to a site (1)

ylikone (589264) | about 8 years ago | (#15989952)

Nope. That is my site, but I get hardly any cash from it. I do the link gathering job for somebody else, completely unrelated, non-techie, web site.

Nothing new, IMHO. (4, Insightful)

Chatmag (646500) | about 8 years ago | (#15989399)

That works out to five articles a day. Most journalists spend days or weeks on one article, doing research and interviews, if needed. A person banging out five a day won't have time to do anything else (kiss the marriage goodbye, if applicable).

I don't see how a person can do five a day, and have some semblance of quality content, unless they are very knowledgeable and can produce fresh articles every time, in which case they could most likely get a position with one of the print publications. The people being hired are 'bloggers, and most 'bloggers are not professional journalists. I know, I 'blog :) A very small percentage of 'bloggers are what I would consider professional, IMHO.

Another aspect is the pay. A person submits 150 articles a month, for $1000.00. That works out to $6.66 an article. What is the salary for a writer over at the Post, or Times? At that pay rate, dinner will either be beans and rice, or rice and beans, every night.

Most topics of discussion are news driven. I can check the referring search terms in Chatmag, and tell what's hot by the number of hits to a particular term. Keeping up with the hot topics is not an easy task, and in some cases, it takes some guesswork to determine what will be hot in order to provide links to those discussions. They can pay for articles, but will they be something people want to see, or just take up server HD space?

According to Alexa, news.netscape.com has 1% of total viewers to Netscape.com Still a large amount of eyeballs on pages, but will it work in the long run, I doubt it.

This whole thing is another example of Web 2.0 mania. What is it they are trying to do? Create an article and open it for discussion. That is being done now, in hundreds of thousands of discussion forums. The format is slightly changed, rather than posting a topic and commenting, a short article is created, and discussed. There is little difference between the two, and in the end produces the same result. Nothing new has been invented.

Re:Nothing new, IMHO. (1)

symbolic (11752) | about 8 years ago | (#15989926)

This whole thing is another example of Web 2.0 mania. What is it they are trying to do?

I get the impression that they're trying to short-circuit the process by attempting to *buy* user participation. There are, however, two sides to this equation. First, are those who post articles. The other half includes whose who actually *use* the site, and deem it worth their while to participate. I'd say the quality of user can have every bit as much influence on the overall success as the articles themselves. It became very tiring for example, wading through post after post on Digg complaining about duplicate submissions or whether or not a particular article was related to technology. Suffice it to say, at least for me, the articles themselves aren't enough for me to spend my time participating...if I don't see a level of quality in terms of what the community-at-large is willing to offer, I'll probably find something else to do with my time.

Re:Nothing new, IMHO. (1)

Quixote (154172) | about 8 years ago | (#15989928)

I think you misread the article.
The idea is not to submit 5 original stories a day, but to submit 5 interesting links per day. These submitters won't be writing original content; just identifiying interesting content on the web and submitting links to it.

Churning out 5 new (quality) articles per day is exceedingly difficult; but 5 new links/day is quite manageable, if you surf the web a lot.

Re:Nothing new, IMHO. (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | about 8 years ago | (#15991096)

Go take another look at digg.com.

An "article" includes:

Red-Hot and Filthy Library Smut
Library pics like you've never seen before...


I'd say $6.66 for that isn't too bad.

I would comment on this story... (0, Redundant)

JumperCable (673155) | about 8 years ago | (#15989452)

...but I am not getting paid to do it.

Looks like they missed the comedy name in TFA (2, Funny)

Badfysh (761833) | about 8 years ago | (#15989453)

>wrote someone with the screen name Wayne Kerr

I bet he's pleased with himself for getting a mention. Bart Simpson would be proud.

Re:Looks like they missed the comedy name in TFA (1)

coolgeek (140561) | about 8 years ago | (#15990417)

Netscape's top submitters do it for the money.
Digg's top submitters do it to get their ego stroked.

Which do you think is healthier?

Blog whores? Not all of them! (1)

Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) | about 8 years ago | (#15989461)

There are companies, such as Blogitive, who pay bloggers to blog about their clients ... it's easy to spot because most of them just barf out the company press release.

But sometimes the blogger gets the money and the Last laugh. [writingup.com] Mitch says that Blogitive paid him for that snarky tirade AGAINST the law firm.

Do you Have to Specifically Sign up? (1)

Iria (998172) | about 8 years ago | (#15989557)

Do you need to sign up someplace special to get paid? Or is it just ANY registered Netscape users who submit? Heck, I've submitted 100 stories in ONE day before at DriverHeaven.

Mr A. Coward? (1)

Winckle (870180) | about 8 years ago | (#15989603)

Sure Taco owes him money, he posts way more than everyone else!

Re:Mr A. Coward? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15991951)

Smells like a lawsuit to me!

Meh (1)

sulli (195030) | about 8 years ago | (#15989657)

this is just Netscape wasting Time Warner's cash on a stupid idea. I doubt very much this will last more than 6 months.

Old news (1)

rijit (992822) | about 8 years ago | (#15989722)

This is old news ;) Netscape is not the first to pay for this. There are several sites out there that have been paying for a couple of months now. I will post the names of those sites here, for about $50 a link.

Reminds me of snowcrash (1)

icedcool (446975) | about 8 years ago | (#15989863)

This reminds me of those datacollectors that video everything and are constantly selling data to news/corp companies.

Speaking as a Digg native... (2, Insightful)

Hosiah (849792) | about 8 years ago | (#15989914)

This whole thing started when one - ONE - person came to Digg offering to buy away it's top contributers. That was the guy running Netscape, it's not a new industry if one clown has the stupid idea that it will make money. Digg nearly unanimously made fun of him and it hasn't popped up again since. The details are "kind of vague" because it's kind of stupid.

Using common sense, we can see that this would in no way be feasible. How could you make $1000 a month profit out of simply acquiring links? Even if you could, all you'd have to do is set up a bot that scrapes popurls, digg, reddit, daily rotation, etc., and compares the links with the list from last hour's scrape, submitting the new links. We're talking twenty lines in Bash using wget, sed, and grep; I wrote one myself for my own use, and it filters out dupes as well. That's pretty much all you see the results of these days anyway; a story will pop up on Digg, and then two days later on Slashdot, and then it will run down the LXer feed for a couple days and then head over to Mad Penguin...

The craze for RSS and social bookmarking have produced an over-inflated information economy where the same story gets blabbed on every blog just like the same story shows up on all the TV news channels at once. Compounded by the link to a blog that links to a blog that links to a blog, etc. ad maximus infinitum, that links to the same damn story you read two weeks ago.

There's too many linkers out there and not enough original reporters. And let's face it, when the entire world becomes bloggers, the only way you're going to have originality is if everybody blogs only about what's going on from their own view out the window by their computer. And won't that be FUN?

Re:Speaking as a Digg native... (1)

willabr (684561) | about 8 years ago | (#15990277)

Life imitates art.

EPIC 2014
http://www.robinsloan.com/epic/ [robinsloan.com]

Re:Speaking as a Digg native... (2, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | about 8 years ago | (#15990434)

I think having 'linkers' as opposed to 'original reporters' might be the saving grace, in a way, of the internet and social networking. I was an election hotline volunteer in Ohio in the presidential election 2004. What everyone in Ohio saw, and what even the 'original reporters' in Ohio reported, was one thing; what was actually reported by the "original reporters" from the mainstream media was something quite different. It was quite evident to all of us who had been there that there was a concerted effort by the mainstream media to create an image did not comport with reality, and since they are the main image makers, they succeeded. The "linkers" on the internet took the factual material gathered by amateurs: videotapes, hearing testimony, voting records, litigation documents, etc., and made it available to others. Yes their work was not "original", but when looking for news I'm looking for truth, not creativity, facts rather than originality. The mainstream media was original all right, its reportage was fiction masquerading as news.

Bottom line I'm thankful to have linkers in the news field, because I'm more interested in facts than in writing style. As far as investigative journalism is concerned, yes I would like to see more digging than just weakly tapping into 3rd hand reports, but overall I saw more investigative work by the internet linkers than I did from any mainstream reporter.

In the old days (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | about 8 years ago | (#15991380)

They called people who helped manage content in a publication - EDITORS.

News Flash! - Wheel invented again! Link at 11.

Everyone gets paid at HubPages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15991972)

HubPages [hubpages.com]
  • 60% of revenue to author.
  • 10% of revenue for each author you refer (on content they create for life)
  • 8-30% of revenue for all traffic you refer.

So, does this mean ... (2, Interesting)

mjtg (173905) | about 8 years ago | (#15992124)

According to the article, Netscape paid someone for an article that ended up causing huge embarressment to AOL, and forced the resignation of AOL's CIO:

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/21/21 7203 [slashdot.org]
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/22/13 7226 [slashdot.org]

Isn't Netscape a subsidiary of AOL ?

Or is this a different story ?

Lawsuit incoming (1)

Pearson (953531) | about 8 years ago | (#15998582)

I know I'm a bit late to the party, but I wanted to point out that MMO games used to use paid volunteers like this. Then there was a lawsuit which ruled that because they were being paid (even if only with free game time), they were actually employees and had to be granted all the mandated perks true employees got. That was the end of using volunteers.

Sign me up (1)

LRBenson (984351) | about 8 years ago | (#16003754)

A grand a week to post articles that other /.'s can bitch about; what more could I ask for.
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