Digg is experimenting with a new ad format it’s calling Digg-fed content ads. When you place this new kind of banner ad on Digg, it appears with links to former stories from the Digg homepage relating to your product or category or the interests of your prospective buyers. Let’s say you’re advertising a food product with an ingredient that’s believed to reduce cholesterol. Your banner ad could contain links to former Digg stories that support your claims of cholesterol reduction.
Sounds like an interesting way to monetize by leveraging the specific qualities of Digg’s information aggregation and rating model. Digg thinks “ads will feel more relevant (and thus work better for brands) if they feature the kind of content we look for online.” I guess that’s true, because they provide the reader with background information, immediately accessible, that can help him or her evaluate assertions or claims made in the ad. On the other hand, the advertiser can apparently control which links show up, and which don’t, which means the featured Diggs won’t necessarily paint an objective picture. It also blurs the boundaries between the traditional separation of editorial and advertising content.
I thought the whole thing is also an interesting twist on the Google model of ads showing up next to related content. In the Digg model, the content shows up next to the related ad.