Digg Buries Microsoft Deal

Digg-Microsoft DealWhen Microsoft offered Digg a deal to handle the social news site’s advertising two years ago, it was an obvious attempt by the old tech giant to buy some cool with the new kids on the block, all while satisfying Ballmer’s advertising mania. That’s why I’m happy to see that attempt come to an abrupt end. Digg is ending its exclusive partnership with Microsoft — one year early.

Apparently, Digg has grown to the point where it can sell its own ad space. They even hired their first ad sales guy in January, former Yahoo sales exec Thomas Shin. Microsoft’s ads will now serve as mere filler for Digg’s unsold inventory.

Considering that Digg founder Kevin Rose is a devout Mac fanboy, and that most Digg users simply hate Microsoft, the software giant must have offered a pretty fat revenue share to get that exclusive deal. For Digg to walk away from that deal, in this economy, must have taken balls of steel.

Of course, Kevin Rose’s startups have time and again displayed balls of steel in the face of bigger companies. Congratulations to Digg on doing so once more.

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