one thing i don't understand is what are you going to use the account for? i think in certain online games i can understand you can buy a higher ranked person and save time. but what are you getting out of a high ranked digg person?
In my experience, there is a certain momentum that existing diggers have (as there are others that "watch" the top diggers). As such, my theory is that articles submitted through a more successful account with an existing track record are more likely to succeed.
Then again, I could be completely wrong.
I don't see why there is so much anxiety about your bid and the experimentation. Two reasons:
This experiment has company after all. The Wonkette is now famously not going to write her blog any more - we will know soon enough whether the brand will survive her absence..
'Celebrity endorsement' or 'celebrity brands' all license and create leverage all the time. Sometimes it doesn't work. A blog whose readership I cannot comment on but whose reader participation is quite low is Po Bronson's blog where he has a co-author. People who read Po's blog want to see Po's comments and postings. When he writes, comments from readers go up...
So good luck - if you win the bid, it is worth a comment on a longitudinal experiment on ownership transfer of a brand. Who knows you could do a mini-case on it for Sloan School?
I'd be worried that there would be a backlash- that a certain subset of users would automatically try to bury any story submitted by this user.
There would seem to be a substantial risk that Digg would shutdown the account or reset it or something too.
Although, I don't know Digg very well. Does reputation count algorithmically? If not, there risk is probably nil, and they wouldn't bother.
(For example, if a digg by a highly ranked digger counted Nx more than that of a new account, their would be a risk to people selling accounts...)
Thanks to those that have commented. Very rational points.
Just a few quick thoughts:
1. I recognize that there is risk in that Digg may shut-down the account, the community may revolt and down-mod articles from that account indiscrimantely, etc.
2. Should I win the auction, I would invest some time/energy to attempt to maintain the brand equity. Not sure if I can succeed, but it's not impssible.
Either way, it'll be an interesting exercise and experiment. There may be some lessons in here somewhere. Part of my motivation also is to foster inspection and discussion.
I see no problem with the bid on the account. However, I do question whether there would really be any benefit in the long run. If you don't dig topics with the same level of effectiveness as the original owner, the value of the account's reputation in Digg would definitely decline.
If you continued to use your own account and dug items to the extent that it rose to be a top dig account then the end effect would be the same - also you would have the momentum built up of digging good stories, which would make you much more likely to continue digging stories in the future.
There is also a credibility issue when digging with someone else's account.
I'm not a digger myself, but I am a familiar with the service and wanted to give my $.02.
But... why? Why is the account valuable to you? The name?
The bid is up to $325! People will buy anything, they really will. I hope you're not the high bidder anymore Dharmesh, because $325 is NOT worth it!
I think it's a great experiment so great that even has pull traffic to his own site, that's good marketing. I don't see why Digg should cancel the account it is nonsense. It is like if I transfer my gmail account, Google cancels it. Anyway mi opinion
Bid is now up over $700 (not sure how that happened).
Looks like I'm not the only one that's crazy. :)
I'm backing out now. It was fun while it lasted.
Digg should create another (not apparently affiliated) site to auction off accounts and get a % of the proceeds.
The cash incentive would pull many people to the site who would try to create valuable accounts. New business model for Digg. Everyone wins!
I am glad you backed out. This is a quick easy win by buying a Digg account but won't get you any long-term results. I hardly believe that the rating has that much to offer in terms of value.
TimG, I think your idea would kill Digg. It would change the purpose and focus of its users. In 2 months when Digg is still killing Netscape think about what matters to the users and if the top users are that valuable.
the articles would get posted by somebody just not somebody who doesn't have a life.