Social bookmark(et)ing just got professional

Thanks to the GMSV blog for the heads up. AOL-Netscape have offered the top contributers to Reddit, Digg and Flickr the opportunity to be active on the New Netscape site and get paid for it. This is interesting because it means that there is now a price on the super contributers that make up every social community product.Arguments go along the lines of it won’t work it will disrupt the community dynamics, I am sure that Bradley Horowitz and danah boyd would have more feedback.

Where I think it is interesting is that it shows how community or micro media is morphing back into becoming part of the ‘big media combine’. Big media has long ago recognised that blogs represented a viable way of publishing content without having to resort to a complex content management system.

I could see social bookmarking working as a media, some of my favourite blogs post links of the day, imagine what would happen if an aggregator of news and links on gadgets was open to sponsorship from say Energizer?

It messes with the numbers of players relying on free user-generated content as consumers get hip to their value. Just like power sellers on eBay sent everyone scurrying into the attic to sell their tat online, so they will start to look at their online life in a different way.

Where does this leave the start-ups and some product groups within the big online players and their business plans? Will points and web badges be enough?

For instance will social networking, email and instant messenger operators have to pay highly-connected individuals for their patronage in order to continue to get eyeballs?

I think that the opportunities it offers marketers (and PR folk who are willing to get involved in through-the-line-marketing initatives) addressing global niches are very interesting.

I am just waiting for Digg.com to announce dress down Friday for users, reflecting the new professionalism in The Conversation.