Correction Appended: May 5, 2008
For a web company, there may be no better definition of total, unconditional victory than seeing your name become a verb. So far, that club includes Google and...nobody else. But if you had to predict the next tech brand to make the leap, Digg would be a good guess.
Digg.com, which gets about 26 million visitors a month (up from 16 million this time last year), is a website where readers rank news stories and other online content according to how interesting they are. The most popular ones bubble to the top. It's the ultimate Web 2.0 take on the ultimate Web 1.0 medium: Digg not only puts readers and editors on equal footing but also puts the Wall Street Journal on equal footing with Dwight Schrute's blog on the TV show The Office.
Jay Adelson, 37, is Digg's CEO. If somebody somewhere posts "The 11 Most Unintentionally Gay Rap Lyrics Ever," and you care about unintentionally gay rap lyrics, Adelson is the guy who makes sure you see that list. For someone who runs a human-powered media website, Adelson has a seriously crunchy background: he founded Equinix, a data-center company.
So if the people choose the news, what exactly does Digg's CEO do? He manages the community, grows the business and curates the arcane algorithms that translate votes into ranking and placement. Prime placement on Digg has become so valuable, people will do anything to get it, including cheat. Adelson makes sure nothing thwarts the will of the people. Not even Dwight Schrute.
The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Digg CEO Jay Adelson also founded the company. In fact Kevin Rose is the founder of Digg.
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