MSNBC.com buys Newsvine — but for how much?
Newsvine, the Seattle-based headline aggregator — think Digg, but without the heartthrob cofounder — has sold to MSNBC.com for an undisclosed amount. The company had raised a small amount of venture capital, $1.5 million, which has led some industry insiders to peg the price at more than $15 million, less than $35 million. Newsvine, like Digg and the rest, encourages users to discuss news headlines, but it adds a twist: So-called "citizen journalism," where users also write their own articles. To a cynic, allowing that just spells more loser-generated content. But for MSNBC, which has, since its birth over a decade ago, been struggling to embrace the Web, the prospect of viewers contributing reporting has double appeal. First, it potentially cuts costs, and secondly, it adds a much-needed appearance of hipness, as upstarts like Current.tv threaten to garner a more youthful audience.