Digging For Gold?

written by BlogEx on September 28, 2007 in Social Media with 10 comments

Wow… what a week! Two articles hitting the front page of Digg in the matter of a few days bringing in over 100 new comments. With that in mind, today seemed like the perfect time to profile a new site that has sprung up that hopes to follow in the footsteps of the milliondollarhomepage and the Million Dollar Wiki. Andrew Galasetti has created a site called Goldigg.com which is essentially a Digg clone, with a twist. Unlike the popular social media site, only 5,000 members will be allowed to sign up and it costs $100 to join. Alex explains the site like this:

I created this site so that I can earn some money to donate to a charity (Modest Needs), to pay for college, and to re-launch another venture that didn’t succeed in the past because of my limited resources. I admire such web ventures as Alex Tew’s Million Dollar Homepage but I wanted to create something more, something that is not only interesting but valuable to the everyday web surfer.

To become a member of Goldigg.com it will cost $100. Once you are a member you can quickly gain that back by placing ads in your story submissions, by charging to submit someone’s story, having others pay you to vote, or by selling your account. Almost anything is possible to generate income for yourself.

Once 5,000 members is reached no more will be accepted. A limited user base will create more demand for you, adding more money to your pocket.

Alex emailed me and asked me to check the site out and even gave me a free membership. He certainly knows how to grease the wheels a bit! So, what do I think of Goldigg?  I’m glad you asked.

First of all, I love the idea. One of the things I love most about the internet is that original and outside the box ideas like this can turn into the next rags to riches story. While Andrew no doubt based his idea on the milliondollarhomepage (MDHP), he modified it and made it into something all his own. The value of the site, and by extension, the memberships, is going to depend almost solely on the size of the audience Andrew is able to generate. Much like the MDHP and the million dollar wiki (MDW), the more popular the site gets, the more valuable membership becomes. Alex doesn’t go into much detail about the things he has in mind to help generate that buzz, but contacting bloggers certainly seemed to work well for (MDW). Also, Andrew has vowed to donate half the proceeds to charity. While the more skeptical people out there will suspect no charity will ever see a dime from this project, I think stating it publicly and putting the promise in writing on his website certainly adds to the pressure to deliver. If the site begins to get any kind of media attention, you can believe someone will be checking up to make sure he makes good.

So, overall, I like the idea. I do have a few suggestions and recommendations for the site as well as promotion of it. First of all Andrew, while I’m flattered that I was the first member, you really should contact some of the big dogs and work a deal with them in exchange for promoting your site. You could contact John Chow and give him a cut of all memberships you sell as a result of his coverage. You could do the same thing for numerous other bloggers. You could offer an affiliate program that members could join to help give them further incentive to spread the word about the site.

Also, the site design leaves a bit to be desired. You have a lot of empty space at the top of the page that’s just taken up by stripes. Also, a memorable logo would definitely help you brand the site and make it more memorable. There are thousands of Pligg based sites out there, you need to make yours exceptional. The navigation on interior pages is pretty rough and I think on one page the only way I could get back to the main site was the back button.

So there you have it. I think with a lot of promotional effort and some design work, the idea will be able to shine through. As it stands now, I believe those two issues are holding it back a bit. However, the site’s also only been live for days at this point and it can be a HUGE task getting Pligg to work the way you want it to (I’ve know, I’ve tried). But what do you think of the site, BloggingExperiment readers? Does Andrew have the next big idea on his hands or is he going to have to chalk this one up to experience? Do you have any ideas or suggestions for the site? Let us know in the comments below.