Who will buy Digg? Anyone? Google?

The Digg-sale plot continues to thicken. First there were rumours that Digg was for sale — asking price $300-million — and then there were reports that co-founder Jay Adelson had gone to the Allen & Co. venture fund party, where those who want to mingle with those who want to sell. And now, Eric Eldon at Venture Beat says he has it confirmed from a highly-placed source that Digg is for sale and Allen & Co. is handling the deal.

It’s not at all surprising that Digg wants to sell. But is $300-million a realistic price? In a world where less than 2 per cent of Facebook sells for $240-million, maybe it is. But to whom? One theory (which I wrote about the last time this came up) is that an existing media entity like News Corp. might want to buy it, for the same reason that the New York Times bought BlogRunner.com — which has now been integrated into its technology page — and Conde Nast bought Reddit.com.

I know this will probably expose me to widespread ridicule, but I could even see Google being interested in Digg. There’s no question that Google is getting more social, as recent developments — such as the ability to share Google Reader items with friends — indicate. But much of what Google has tried in that area hasn’t gained much traction. Why not make Digg the foundation of further social networking from within the company? I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility at all.

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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