Is Digg in play? News Corp. sniffs around
$5 million or $150 million? That's the question the blogosphere woke up to this morning. TechCrunch reports that Digg, the red-hot social news site, is either looking to sell itself for $150 million-plus, or will land a $5 million round of financing led by Greylock Partners. Rupert Murdoch's reportedly sniffing around, but Digg's sale price is a turnoff. The big unknown? Traffic numbers. Digg claims 20 million unique visitors, but ComScore says it's closer to 1 million.
Ahh, where would Web 2.0 be without the juicy fisticuffs over traffic estimates and company valuations. Michael Arrington of TechCrunch calls Comscore "notoriously flaky," and argues that its number is "almost certainly significantly under-reporting Digg traffic." Of course, Digg users are up in arm, arguing that $150 million short-changes the site. "That number seems so low compared to Facebook's 1 billion dollar request doesn't it?" asks one, while many others simply get worked up over the hypothetical prospect of Fox censoring the site. "Keep Digg real," pleads another Digger.
Meanwhile, Search Engine Journal anoints Google - which recently struck a deal with News Corp. to supply ads to MySpace - is the better company to buy Digg: "If Fox Interactive were to acquire Digg and somehow spin it into a MySpace partnered news site (no, not Fox News) which is monetized in part by Google AdSense…wouldn't it make much more sense for Google to acquire the company, bring Kevin Rose [Digg's founder] into Google… and have Digg and YouTube sit right across from each other in some really groovy Google 2.0 IncubatorPlex?"
Did you follow that? OK, just to reiterate: no money has actually changed hands - yet.
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