So there’s noise that Google’s going to buy Digg. Is this breaking news? Not really, unless you consider “breaking news” anything as old as March. But the rumor part seems to be becoming less of a rumor according to TechCrunch . A few days ago, news about a signed letter of intent started to circulate: Google will aquire for $200 million-ish . Like most engines, acquiring is part of Google’s big plan. Monetizing these services with ads typically follows. With Digg, this might be the biggest purchase yet in terms of mindshare (the previous winner being YouTube, but this was a bit befor YouTube was the bohemeth it is now). Google bought Picasa, Blogger, Writely, and several others.
Digg uses Microsoft now for ads. I’m not sure if they’re still using Federated Media in conjunction. Obviously, MSN gets pushed out of the plan when Google steps in. Plus, Google will likely start importing its other products and technology into Digg. My question is, on the heels of my last post about Google’s social interface (that’s now testing), how much of Digg will go into Google’s search engine? Is there technology that Google can leverage, or is it just simpler for Google’s engineers to develop it themsleves than shape to fit? Maybe the Digg brand is the real driver. When you think of social in any sense, you think of Digg (definitely not Orkut).
I think it all sounds pretty, well, normal, but I hate to see the purity of Digg disappear. It’s a little like a big business swallowing up a pioneer, like record labels did with the Sex Pistols, or Wawa did with my favorite corner store. No matter what good comes from the big, new, shiny neighbors, some of the charm is gone in this independent social-space neighborhood.
A little bittersweet for me, I guess.
Image from web connoisseur.com