Richard MacManus has published some striking statistics about Digg, supplied to him by the site Diggtrends. The data reveal that of Digg’s 445,000 registered users, only 2,287 contributed any stories to the site during the last six weeks. But here are the real eye-openers: The top 100 users contributed fully 55% of the stories that appeared on the site’s front page, and the top 10 users – yep, you can count ’em on your own two hands – contributed a whopping 30% of the front page stories. Peer production? I think a better term for it would be peerage production.
Diggtrends also reports, according to MacManus, that there was a sudden and dramatic increase in user submissions after Jason Calacanis made his offer to pay top social bookmarkers. Digg users, says Diggtrends, “have realized the value of being a top user and probably are aiming for Netscape money.” No doubt there are such things as reputational capital and attention capital, and people will compete for them. But they’ll compete harder for cash. With cash, after all, you can actually buy stuff.