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Crowdsourcing is Hot Now, But Will Participation Fatigue Set In?

It seems that crowdsourcing is fast becoming the "next big thing." Whether you call it "social answers," "help engines" or something else, there’s a growing trend of asking those in your network to help you out with advice. Heck, there’s even a new search engine being built around the concept!

I spotted two interesting uses of crowdsourcing over the last 24 hours. First, AdWeek writer Marian Salzman decided that an article on how Dominos could repair its damaged reputation would be best constructed if the she tapped into the wisdom of the crowds. She sent out requests to numerous places and ended-up with some concrete reputation management advice.

I’ve personally been quiet about the Dominos saga–I’ve simply been too busy–but it was easy for me to add my 2-cents to the list of great advice:

Digg Decides to Ditch Microsoft & Build Its Own Ad Sales Team

It appears that Digg has decided to dump Microsoft as its ad inventory provider and is instead planning to build its own ad sales force.

The deal was originally announced back in July 2007 and was supposed to last 3-years. Now ClickZ is reporting that the partnership will end one year early:

But beginning in July, Digg will be solely responsible for all custom ad deals and a significant portion of its own Interactive Advertising Bureau standard ad inventory.

The partnership initially was supposed to last until summer 2010, but the two always had an understanding that Digg would at some point step up to rep the bulk of its own ads, according to Mike Maser, Digg chief revenue and strategy officer. He said the company’s internal sales efforts will focus on custom, non-IAB inventory combined with standardized banner ads.

Pizza Hut ‘Twinternship’ Available

While it may look like some kind of prank and serves to continue the “twitterification” of the English language,pizza-hut-logo Pizza Hut is hiring a ‘Twintern’ for the summer. The New York Times reported it and just to make sure I went to the Pizza Hut homepage and sure enough there it was. With the summer job market being one of the worst in recent history at least some college student can get some job experience putting 140 characters or less to work for the Hut.

Of course, it appears as if there is no pay (there is a pay check, see comments below) and you will need to relocate to Dallas on your own dime if you get the gig but what better resume builder these days. In addition, this may be one of the few times that parents can say that the new 140 character culture can pay benefits. The description is as follows:

Polls Are Open for Vote at Facebook

As we discussed a little while back, Facebook is going for the democratic (not the party) approach of putting the proposed changes to their terms of service to a vote. The polls opened yesterday and thefacebook-logo idea is that with the users of Facebook ‘making the call’ there can no longer be an uproar over Facebook making changes unilaterally.

On the Facebook blog, founder Mark Zuckerberg outlines the new policy with the crux of it being

You will have two options on the ballot, as shown below: 1) the new Facebook Principles and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR), which incorporate feedback from users and experts received during the 30-day comment period, or 2) the current Terms of Use, which were developed by Facebook and did not go through an outside comment period.

Ning Shows Some Zing

Ning has hit a pretty significant milestone reports cnet. The social network enabler has just seen its one millionthning-logo network set up. This was accomplished in two years which makes the number even more impressive (average of 1,370 networks started per day).

Of course, it doesn’t hurt when Marc Andreessen is a co-founder and the timing was good considering the upswing in popularity of social marketing / media / networking over the past two years. The flip side of that is the possibility that the folks at Ning had a pretty accurate crystal ball and called this one pretty well. Either way, being good fortune or recognizing opportunity the success is there.

Ning has overcome its fair share of adversity as well.

Facebook Snubs $4B Valuation?

facebook-logo Conflicting reports, none confirmed, are circulating today about Facebook’s latest attempts at raising funding. TechCrunch says that Facebook has been shopping itself around at a $4 billion valuation somewhat unsuccessfully, while VentureBeat says they just decided not to accept funding at that level.

In October 2007, Facebook announced a major deal with Microsoft—1.6% of the company for $240 million, placing the overall valuation at $15 billion. However, in the intervening eighteen months, the company’s speculated value has fallen off, being projected as low as $5 billion last June. By October 2008, many sources thought Facebook was headed for financial ruin.

TechCrunch’s story is that Facebook is having trouble coming up with new funding:

Would You Pay to Read a Twitter Stream?

While Twitter continues to tease us with its advertising plans, third-party providers continue to get creative with their efforts to make money from the micro-blogging service. Next in line to give it a shot is TwitPub, which lets you charge users to access your protected Twitter stream.

Here’s how TwitPub explains its "get rich quick" service:

TwitPub is just another fantastic way to monetize Twitter. The best way to be rewarded for generating quality content (or tweets) is to get paid for it. All you need to do is to have a Twitter account and set it to private (or protect your updates so it’s not publicly visible) in your Twitter settings.