I’m still working on the RAMP program that I talked about last week, but I’ve put it on hold for a couple of days.  I won’t actually need the codebase for my own purposes for at least a month or two, so my self imposed deadline hasn’t reached the procrastination point that truly causes motivated programming, yet.

I have, however, stumbled upon a real winner of a site idea after reading this month’s Wired Magazine.

There was an article in there about ‘gaming digg’ that really caught my attention. Kevin Rose really hasn’t done much for me lately, and since he’s gotten so big for his britches he doesn’t respond to me or even his former friend’s emails, I feel like I can fly sufficiently under the radar with this idea.

Other social networking sites have created structures so that the users can be compensated for their participation, as have many of the video post sites as well. Digg, in a very Cimmarian-esque move, decided that all it’s userbase should do it ‘for the love of the story’ or some sort of thing. Granted, I believe that should be a highly mitigating factor in one’s motivation to be online, but you’ll develop high levels of burn-out eventually, if you’re the average user. Newsjunkies burn out – I know this from personal experience, and fluctuating levels of digg’s popularity will probably show this to be true.

There are a number of really good stories and really good things to promote that are out of reach for the average digger because they don’t have a community of 52–125 (the concensus of the ‘magical number’ to make it to the front page of Digg) of their closest friends to help promote their ideas. That’s where this new idea comes in.

Essentially, as a digg user, the site will deliver to you either via email or personalized RSS feed a series of digg stories to digg up on the site. You can either do so for monetary reward or points in the system. If you accrue enough points, you can submit your own stories to be dugg up by the community, or simply digg stories for monetary reward.

Really, this project comes from the growing frustration I have with Digg itself in that I enjoy spending small amounts of time on there reading and digging stories, but I’m quite tired of creating articles for Digg and having it noticed by about ten or fifteen users max. Digg is of sufficient size that the user experience need not extend further than the front page for enjoyment to occur, and to even be noticed by the community, you need the boost to front page or near front page status to get readers.

This isn’t intended to be a marketing tool for the “Buy Vi@gr@” people or anything – for this to work as a marketing tool, the articles submitted to this mini-community to digg up need to be at least interesting. I think it’s worth a try.

I’ve got about 40% of the programming done on it already, and I expect it to be done by the end of the week, and then I expect there to be about a ramp up period of getting users and submitters on board, and the project should flourish on its own.

I know that once I post this, the naysayers will come forth and talk about how I’m destroying New Media.  For New Media to flourish, though, there has to be money to grease the wheels, and Kevin and company are holding all the money to themselves, while at the same time ignoring a large portion of middle of the road stories that deserve attention. The system isn’t broken as of current, but it definitely bent.

I’m not without my scruples, either.  When BlipMedia became something other than what I had envisioned, I took it down and sold it for scrap, despite it’s popularity.  If this simply becomes a tool for scammers and spammers, I’m obviously not going to want to be a party to that, despite how much money it may or may not be bringing in.

Or it could be a complete flop and not do anything.  But its something to do in the intervening days between projects, and definitely worth a shot.


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