Digg.com – former hub of the online red/green/green axis – sold for a pittance!

by 1389 on July 13, 2012

in 1389 (blog admin), California, Digg, enemy propaganda, littlegreenfootballs, red-green-green (leftist/eco-radical/pro-jihadi) axis, tech industry

Who are the ‘red/green/green axis’?

They are the hard-left/eco-freak/pro-jihadi power elite who control the mainstream media and who do all can to attack Judaeo-Christian civilization.

What does that have to do with Digg.com?

Digg.com has done all it can to slant the site in favor of the hard-left/eco-freak/pro-jihadi agenda.

The management and admins of Digg.com have consistently suppressed would-be Digg contributors who held any other point of view. I was banned from Digg three times before I decided to stop wasting time on Digg and to start 1389 Blog instead. We blogged about Digg for awhile, but our interest waned along with Digg’s market share.

Technorati: How the Mighty Have Fallen – Digg Sold for $500,000

Watch out for falling Diggs

A few years ago Digg was the undoubted darling of the web world.  It was valued at over $160 million and such was the traffic impact of gaining a front page listing on the site that it became known as the Digg Effectas it would so often break a websites server with the surge in visits.

Those heady days however are long gone.  They have struggled ever since a number of changes to the site were met unfavorably by a core of the sites users, and reports yesterday are that the site was sold for a paltry $500,000.

The buyer of the site is a New York based technology firm called Betaworks.  They plan to merge the Digg site into its own news-sharing website.

It marks an incredible fall from grace for a site that has previously raised $45 million in venture funding during its history.

Betaworks is acquiring a website that still has a well known brand and sizable audience of more than 7 million visitors per month as of May, according to comScore but is far below its peak.

The site launched in 2004, offering users a means of sharing interesting news and online content, thus removing the need to rely on newspapers to curate news for them.

Digg users would post links on the site’s home page, then others would vote on their choices, determining the prominence of the stories they posted.

“They were one of the first social media sites,” says Kristina Lerman, an assistant research professor at the University of Southern California who has studied Digg and other social-news sharing sites. “They introduced social components like having friends and followers.”

Their rapid rise peaked in 2008 when they raised $29 million in venture funding, but users started to drift away as sites like Facebook and Twitter gained in popularity.

The final nail came in 2010 when a site relaunch was slammed by regular users of the site, and by the end of the year traffic to the site had halved, with rival site Reddit overtaking them for the first time.

Comments and feedback here.

Says Urban Infidel:

Remember when Chunkster [failed turncoat blogger Charles Foster Johnson] wanted to establish a beachhead on Digg?
Snarky, sarcastic hardy-har-har smiley
Well, it just got sold for peanuts.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304373804577523181002565776.html

Once a Social Media Star, Digg Sells for $500,000

By JOSEPH WALKER And SPENCER E. ANTE
Digg Inc., a social-media pioneer once valued at more than $160 million, is selling for the deeply discounted price of about $500,000, three people familiar with the matter said.

The buyer is New York technology development firm Betaworks, which is attempting to revive a news-sharing site that was outmaneuvered by Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc.

Digg confirmed Thursday it sold its brand, website and technology to Betaworks. The price is a pittance for a company that raised $45 million from prominent investors including Facebook investor Greylock Partners, LinkedIn, Inc. founder Reid Hoffman, and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.

Digg received higher offers from bidders that included technology and publishing companies and start-ups but ultimately decided Betaworks had the best plan for reviving its brand, these people said. In May, Washington Post Co. hired 15 members of Digg’s engineering team—more than half of the company’s overall staff—for its SocialCode digital media subsidiary.

Betaworks is acquiring a website that still has a well known brand and sizable audience of more than 7 million visitors per month as of May, according to comScore.

Digg was once one of the most promising start-ups in Silicon Valley. The website was founded in 2004 as a way for consumers to put together their own collections of news and other Internet content, rather than relying on the choices made by newspaper editors.

Digg users would post links on the site’s home page, then others would vote on their choices, determining the prominence of the stories they posted.

“They were one of the first social media sites,” says Kristina Lerman, an assistant research professor at the University of Southern California who has studied Digg and other social-news sharing sites. “They introduced social components like having friends and followers.”

The site quickly rose to prominence, in part due to telegenic founder Kevin Rose, a former cable television talk show host. In 2006, Mr. Rose landed on the cover of BusinessWeek with the now infamous cover line, “How This Kid Made $60 Million in 18 Months,” referring to the company’s valuation at the time.

In the fall of 2008, Digg raised nearly $29 million in venture capital from Greylock Partners, Highland Capital Partners and other financiers in an investment valuing the company at around $164 million, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.

Over the years, the company was rumored to be in negotiations to sell itself several times, including to Google Inc. in 2008 for a reported $200 million. The deal was never completed.

For early employees with equity stakes in the company like Owen Byrne, the site’s first lead engineer, the failure to sell the company was a huge disappointment. Mr. Byrne, who left the company in 2007, said in an interview he never got to “cash out and go live on the Riviera.”

But the audience started to drift away in early 2010 when services such as Facebook and Twitter exploded in popularity, as users preferred getting article recommendations from their friends or people they followed.

A series of redesigns, some of which weren’t well-received by users, also hurt the company. A site relaunch in the summer of 2010 triggered a backlash, with most users saying they preferred the old Digg. By the end of 2010, Digg’s audience had fallen by more than half, according to ComScore.

Newer social-news website Reddit Inc. also stole some of Digg’s thunder. Last December, Reddit drew more visitors than Digg for the first time, according to comScore, and since then it has maintained that lead.

In March of last year, Mr. Rose, the founder, resigned from the company. He is now a venture capitalist with Google Ventures.

Betaworks intends to fold Digg into News.me Inc., a digital media start-up that Betaworks launched in April 2011. News.me sends users links to news articles that their connections on Twitter and Facebook are reading and talking about. News.me, which uses an iPad and iPhone app and daily email newsletter, has about 10 employees.

Digg shareholders also received a very small amount of warrants in the combined Digg and News.me company worth a few percent of the new entity, said a person familiar with the matter. Digg investors are not receiving any equity in Betaworks, said the person.

The new combined company is very young and unproven and hard to value, but internally Betaworks values it around $5 million to $10 million, making the warrants worth a few hundred thousand dollars on paper.

None of Digg’s remaining employees will join Betaworks as part of the acquisition. Chief Executive Matt Williams will join venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz as an entrepreneur-in-residence.

Betaworks CEO John Borthwick will become Digg’s new chief.

Photos and more here.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of people!


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