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Digg’s Buyer Dishes on Revamped Site

The CEO of Betaworks, which bought content aggregator Digg, explains why the site had to be retooled so quickly.
August 14, 2012

You may have noticed social content aggregation site Digg’s recent facelift, which was unveiled this month shortly after its purchase by technology investment and development company Betaworks was announced in July. And behind the scenes, things have changed, too.

Betaworks CEO John Borthwick told me in a recent interview that it was necessary to get the new version of Digg up and running quickly because it was so expensive to run the existing site–it cost about a quarter of a million dollars each month, he said. Borthwick said he was confident that if they rewrote the site from scratch to make its code more efficient and made changes like not having proprietary infrastructure and switching from a dedicated hosting center to using Amazon Web Services, it could be run for $15,000 a month.

Now, he said, “we’ve just got lots more flexibility.”

Borthwick also called the $500,000 Betaworks paid for Digg a “fairly good price.” Indeed, it’s just a smidgen of the more than $160 million Digg was thought to be worth at one time in 2008 and of the $45 million that was invested in the site over the years.

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