Bring Your Questions for the CEO of Digg

Jay Adelson

Digg was launched as an experiment in 2004. Now the site claims 26 million visitors per month. It’s called one of the top alternative search engines, and most online articles and videos have a Digg link at the bottom, which lets people Digg (yes it’s become a verb) their favorites and potentially propel them into the strato-blogosphere.

According to “If your submission rocks and receives enough Diggs, it is promoted to the front page …” This can create the well-known “Digg effect,” a sudden traffic increase to the site in question — a phenomenon that has given rise to front-page survival guides.

Jay Adelson, Digg’s CEO, is also chairman of the board of the internet television network Revision3; the founder of Equinix, Inc.; a co-founder of Digital Equipment Corporation’s Palo Alto Internet Exchange; and a founding employee of Netcom On-Line Communications, Inc., one of the first ISPs in the U.S.

He has agreed to take your questions, so bring him your best on Digging, online businesses, social networking, and Google rumors. As with our past Q&A’s, we will post Adelson’s answers here in short time.

Addendum: Adelson answers your questions here.



How successful is the ad-based revenue model at Digg? If you don't want to give me specifics, can you ballpark us here? How much ad revenue is Digg bringing in per month? Same thing for Rev 3. How much does it cost to advertise on Diggnation.

Further, as a long time Diggnation fan, I sometimes wonder if some of the hilarious things they say on the show have caused you any trouble. Has it ever been a problem for you when talking with advertisers and something like this happens:

Jay: "We are one of the most visited sites on the internet. Advertise with us."

Advertiser: "Shucks, Jay. We'd love to, but in the last Diggnation, Kevin Rose, the founder of your company, said Jodie Sweeten looked like she could...[if I finish the quote, the NYT PTB might not approve my comment]."

Zach Harlow

Do you really think that Digg can last forever? What changes are you making to ensure that Digg stays fresh and interesting?


What does Kevin Rose do all day?


I have (like most strangers who talk to you) a website in the works that has great potential, but I don't have the resources to make it big. How do you go from "a guy with an idea" to "a guy with money to produce his idea"?


Why won't you let any posts from get submitted to Digg?


What are some of the best lessons you can share in your time with digg?

Is there anything you would change in terms of your management decisions when you look back?


The internet has now become very saturated with "add this to Digg(Service A, Service Z)" links on every news article on every site.

I find that this has enabled a "flood" of not-quite-interesting stories to hit Digg, just because it is "easy" for users to click these links.

Digg still has great news/articles, but the "gems" seem to be buried in a pile of "these are lame" stories.

Has the Digg crew been working on any algorithms etc. to try and weed out the lame content?


How did you come up with the design for the site? For instance, why aren't stories highlighted with pictures always?

And the digg/bury system, was it also your idea?


joseph blogs

if a train travels from dublin to newcastle @ 33.7mph carrying 12 eggs and at each station a passenger brings on 1 egg but at every 3rd station an egg gets droped and the stations are 5 miles apart.. how long will it take before there are enough eggs on the train to make an omlette for 10 people?


What's the meaning of life?


I would like to know what you think of the whole situation with Comcast (and other ISP's) and the FCC. Some people like to suggest that, the future holds a Controlled Internet in the sense that ISP's will be controlling where you go and what you do and see.

Is this what you see happening or are you reading something totally different into this??


Kevin Rose Worked for another T.V. Network in the past G4tv (the Now Defunct Tech TV). That network has

opened up a way to talk to the CEO of the network (Neil Tiles)called open source.

Well Fan's have asked if G4tv could make a Deal With Rev 3? Mr. Tiles has said he is unsure how you guy's would take that Idea, and also He Say's rev 3's shows are still not mainstream for the network. He may Change his mind about the Later Comment Because Repeats of old G4Tv shows in the morning have brought back huge Ratings At G4Tv. My Question is if G4tv Tried to Make a Deal With Revision 3 and digg Would You guys be for it? or does Kevin Rose (Like Leo Laporte) Still hold a Grudge Against The Network? also Do you Guy's know that several Fan's of Rev 3 were from the G4tv side of the merger?


Are you happy? and how do you define happiness?


What is your educational background, and was it from a young age that you decided on entrepreneurship as opposed to a regular career path?


I think it is now clear that web 2.0 phenomenon has the power to bring about the democratization of media. By harnessing the power of individuals, news story can now emerge based on their own merits, bypassing any form of corporate or state censorship.

Unfortunately, instead of bringing out the best in news, recent trends on digg such as the poor quality of comments, the popularity of top-10 lists seem to show that web 2.0 is failing at harnessing the "smart mob" effect, and instead catering to the lowest common denominator.

What are your views on the matter ? Is this a problem or simply a reflection of the state of culture in the US ? Should the recommendation engines be biased against such poor-quality content and try to engage the reader in more profound, thoughtful articles ?


Which pie is the best?


So google must want to buy the suggestions

David Kudrev

Are there plans to expand the website services out into other countries, and set up regional offices say in Australia?

James P.

Is there an iPhone version of Digg coming in the future, and perhaps a Digg application?


What's in the future you? any other plans?