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Jason Calacanis has announced the hiring of more Netscape ‘Navigators’, and revealed he may spend up to $2.4m a year on more user-generated content for the bookmarking site.
Netscape now employs 23 of these navigators on what Calacanis calls a ‘very part-time’ basis, paying them $12,000 a year each to submit stories, lead discussions and generally do housekeeping tasks, such as closing down duplicate stories and eliminating spam comments.
He hopes to prove the benefits of his paid model over Digg's way of doing things, and couldn’t resist taking a couple of pot-shots at his rival, suggesting that Digg may become a 'farm league' for Netscape – a reference to his tactic of offering jobs to some of Digg’s best contributors.
And then there’s this gem:
“Digg is the Burning Man of social bookmarking: no one gets paid (except the founders), there is no money involved (except for the millions in advertising), and it's all for the common good of the people (with the exception of the founders who are looking at a $200M exit).”
The only problem for Netscape is that Digg is hardly a farm league, with the likes of Rupert Murdoch reportedly expressing interest in the site.
Nevertheless, as previously covered in this blog, all this bitching makes great PR..