Apparently, not only is Digg feeling the need for speed, but it’s feeling the need to make money too. And that’s good because this new idea is rather interesting.
Digg is testing a new type of advertisement on its site that basically surfaces old content submitted to Digg that is relevant to certain advertisers. So, as you can see in the example below, if Norton wants to advertise its new security software, it can find a few old Digg items related to Internet security and put them in the ad box along with their banner. This not only advertises their product, but gives users something potentially useful to click on.
The whole ad area is sponsored by the advertising company, but it’s not clear if clicking on one of the Digg stories in the ad space takes you to that actual story, and more importantly, if the advertiser is actually paying for all of those clicks. If so, that seems like a great deal for Digg. Regardless, this seems like a good way to build brand awareness through content that Digg users have already found useful by themselves.
One thing I’ve been thinking about recently is that while Digg is full of interesting information, the lifespan of that information is very short. Once a story disappears from the homepage, the liklihood that anyone is going to see it again is very small. Digg has some methods to surface really popular items again, such as the “Top In” areas, but there’s plenty of information that is not a top item on Digg for whatever reason, but would still be interesting to some users to see again. This is one potential way of surfacing such information and making money for doing it.
Digg notes that only a small percentage of users will see these ads for now. These are not the same as its Digg Ads platform, which asks users to vote on actual advertisements.
It’s also worth noting that advertisers are not allowed to submit their own content to use in these ads. Any content used has to have been already submitted to Digg, though it doesn’t necessarily have had to have been on the homepage.
[photo: TriStar pictures]