“We Aspire to Be The Alternative Free Facebook and Twitter”, Interview to Daniel Seijo and Rowing (Digg)

Digg has new heads. Ricardo Galli and Benjamí Villoslada yesterday announced his intention of standing aside and letting the reins of the aggregator of content to rowing and Daniel Seijo, who now assume the management and direction of the portal.

They are not names unknown to us. Daniel Seijo is co-founder of daily engine, but for many years was with us in Motorpasión and other internal positions within Weblogs SL. Rowing, El Blog Salmón leading figure, he is also an occasional contributor to Engadget. We’ve talked to both so that they tell us what is the present and the future plan for shake me.

Engadget: What a news and what quietly you it had…

Remo: The truth is that confidentiality in this type of operation is normal. We have been trading quite some time because there were quite a few points that leave closed and, although as discussed in the official blog, he had been quite a while bringing the fiscal and financial management of the company, was required to guarantee the continuity and spirit basis of wiggle me. It has been a complex negotiation, we will not say otherwise, and we have taken three or four months to completely closed all.

Engadget: We have curiosity, how did this? One day becomes Ricardo Galli and you said “Hey, that I offer you wiggle me” or how was that situation rather?

Remo: Menéame non has been on sale in recent years. The two founders and CEOs, not living this, for some reason or other have been without time to attend wiggle me. Ricardo entered private enterprise and Bejami, since July, is Director General of the development technology of the Balearic Government of the Balearic Islands and provides exclusive services to the Balearic administration.

Provisionally I took a little day to day management, but we didn’t have the ability to do new things. One day I mentioned the situation of the society with Dani and it seemed good idea buy a significant percentage of society and manage it for us. From that moment, it was when we started negotiations seriously all partners.

Daniel: The part of the purchase, apart from the own financial operation, is to assure you that we do not enter to see what happens, but we’re playing it ourselves with them and with the future of the project.

Meneame.NET is the aggregator of content of reference in Spanish

Engadget: For users, what is that you may now enter two? What changes will now have short term going to notice the users?

Daniel: None, really. The basis on which we are going to act is what it is and works is not touched. Things that we can go by? Improve the advertising management but without noticing the user virtually, that is, based on negotiations with advertisers based on the formats. And the things that have to change, we will change with caution. For example, the design is not raised a redesign in the short term.

What changes it will have in the short term for users? “None”, says Daniel Seijo

And then, all changes that may be sensitive, as news algorithm changes for example, will not act on the principles that have shake me and small updates that Ricardo, was already going to continue with it. I.e., at the end it will not be a “because I now think that it is better to change this parameter”. No, we won’t do that because we are superconscious of none of the base you can touch. Then, where are we going to do? What is not made, for example the mobile application, the negotiation of advertising…

Engadget: do you asumiréis role?

Daniel: Well, I call it CEO and director not because director sounds like “publishing” and the director of shake me is really the community. Between Remo and I we will do all of the backstage, kitchen… What is not but ultimately makes a company from outside look the same but can work well or it can malfunction.

Engadget: Speaking of wiggle me is impossible not to mention the AEDE Canon. Right now, would you have no fear that tomorrow will any means come and make you pay?

Daniel: As it is the law is a very large risk and is a risk that we have had in mind but in that aspect we think Ricardo and Benjami [founders of wiggle me]. When the law was published I wrote an article against it, and why I was editor, no aggregator. Furthermore, it is an absurd law, appealed to the EU. Sincerely believe that it is so absurd that it will not run, but it is a very big risk that right now it is there and we will do whatever is necessary to keep the company.

“[The AEDE Canon] is an absurd law, appealed to the EU. “Sincerely believe that it is so absurd that it will not run, but it is a very big risk that right now it is there and we will do whatever is necessary to keep the company.”

Remo: A very important point is that it could never impact a rate prior to the date of publication of the order, that would be completely unconstitutional if it were to happen. A few tribujos of any kind with retroactive can not be set unless the taxpayer knows it. Taxpayers must have tax debt always, determined not as it is currently the case with the AEDE Canon, that exists as such but has not determined the amount, neither taxable nor application cases.

The tax law prevents that it applies a tax of indeterminate way, which would be the designated case if they now wanted to pass to wiggle me or any other site the amount by the rate applicable to the year 2015. In the moment in which post rates, already Yes it could be and it would be that date with retroactive effect can never raise in Spain. If someone tries it, it would obviously be a totally unconstitutional measure. At the time that has elapsed so far since the adoption of the AEDE Canon we are not concerned, but in future if.

If tomorrow comes the regulation approved that would be worrying, but by the last effects would not be viable legally.

Rowing will be responsible, together with Daniel Seijo, management and day to day of wiggle me

Engadget: Digg is in some sort of conversation with AEDE, or participating in some kind of conversation with the Ministry of culture or in the consultations of the Government to secure these rates? Have you had in mind?

Remo: Basically, and as far as I know, never have contacted us, but would have to confirm with Ricardo and Benjami. Which to me I record, and in recent months, not.

Engadget: In the news which, paradoxically, became front page of Digg, a user commented how to Ricardo Galli looked quite burned recently and blamed it to, among other things, numerous legal fights that Digg had, or are having, complaints from people who wanted to censor some remarks or people wanting to delete information…

Remo: Official blog has published a couple of procedures and, specifically, one is still open. Remove information in the official blog at the moment which is designated the trial because just yesterday we reported our lawyer who, in one of the previous cases which had in which not had cited or even to the company to testify, carried it to judgment in Barcelona. At the moment we have the exact documentation, we will follow the same line that we have followed so far: will be published in the official blog and we will defend the freedom of expression, right to information and right to link all the courts so we require.

Engadget: will the policy follow equal? Are you going to fight in court if you are equal cases?

Remo: For supuestísimo that Yes. The departure of budget for lawyers to defend freedom of expression know that it is one of the fundamental costs of wiggle me.

“The departure of budget for lawyers to defend freedom of expression know that it is one of the fundamental costs of wiggle me”

Engadget: With the change I was concerned a little that will change a bit the philosophy of freedom of expression. Ricardo is the “standard bearer” for freedom of expression. Do you are going to continue this way you Digg?

Remo: Obviously we will keep the same trend: won’t remove links as well because Yes. It will make the same case that is made to the menacing burofaxes of lawyers or third-party news or news withdrawal, that is between zero or none, unless they have reason. I.e. when they reason the request for withdrawal of a data or link, it will act in the same way that you acted now. Hence users will not notice any change.

Engadget: What are your priorities in the near future? Daniel commented before some of the mobile application… for where you are going to start?

Daniel: There is one review of the advertising revenue, especially in the part that the user is not aware of, say, in bargaining with agencies. Then you will think about what we can build on that, how can be the mobile application, because right now there are applications but no official. With respect to which there is, it won’t happen nothing with them, they are still there, but we want to make your own.

Daniel Seijo, new CEO of Digg

Engadget: From outside gives the feeling, and Ricardo often commented on it, for visits and the activity that has, shake me makes very little money. Enter something but also has costs and leaves very few benefits.

Daniel: Exactly. That is easy to optimize part and we’re going to go by in the beginning. The user will not see, but internally improvements can be made and is in what Remus and I have experience.

Engadget: Lately there is much talk of blocking ad. You in wiggle me can have an additional difficulty that Engadget for example also has: you have many users but technologically advanced, among which the use of adblock is certainly quite high. I don’t know if you have any figure or if you looked at it but would is not something that worries you how monetize Menéame only with advertising display with the rise of the adblockers?

Daniel: It is a complicated issue. Even so, follows without worrying too much, does not seem the biggest challenge because this is an issue that affects all of us who live advertising alike. And, at the same time, it is partly an opportunity of creating new models of non-intrusive advertising and integrated with the portal to do that does not interest the user use the Adblock. It is a bit the model of Facebook, which in the case of Facebook can be very aggressive or all the same, but is integrated. An integrated model can be done and is not aggressive.

Engadget: About that just going to ask because the media are tending toward the “branded content”, with articles sponsored and well labelled as such, but to Meneame cost me a little see another type of advertising that is not display could fit you.

Daniel: There are models such as Outbrain. It would obviously not be something to do with the content, but models of branded content with something Outbrain type in an area separated from what is the cover could be made. For all the things we do, we are going to establish a communication channel with users to see if that fits or does not fit.

Engadget: in general the media we are seeing how social media eat their cake “Chub”, increasingly there are more content to social networks. Does not give you fear losing a bit of bellows with respect to social networks, that people do not enter wiggle me to learn but that between your Facebook because it follows between X and X other?

Daniel: That is precisely the strategic opportunity to shake me. I.e., there is a tendency to which the cover of the media is not your own cover but that of others. For example, many people enter Engadget by Twitter or Facebook instead of enter through Xataka.com. And I think that the opportunity to shake me is to position ourselves in that role of content aggregation, but interested Facebook algorithms, but with a more transparent and democratic process. In this respect we aspire to be the free alternative to Facebook and Twitter.

Engadget: In the comments of Digg me, in reaction to the news, there were some users who complained about the lack of diversity, that there is an ideology most concrete… how see it you?

Daniel: In fact, I think that that has perhaps not make new users. Anyway, we are not going to play what is already there, but to give you an example, you enter and you have your cover personalized with news of your followers on Facebook and Twitter, but in a different section. I.e. Menéame mobile application get off me, you enter and you have the same cover ever organized by the same algorithm always that I reiterate that we will not touch, but you have a second home, with recommendations of news that is a mixture of Digg me but with people who you follow on Facebook and Twitter which can be more related to your interests. Or, directly, you don’t want to know anything about politics and only want to see topics, imagine, culture. We arrive to a personalized front page of Digg, but always without changing the main entrance, which will remain so.

“We are not going to play what is already there, but to give you an example, you enter and you have your cover personalized with news of your followers on Facebook and Twitter, but in a different section.”

Engadget: And that you mention, is somewhat hypothetical or something that you are considering to do already?

Daniel: At the moment everything is hypothetical, and this is absolutely true. I can assure you that we have no next step except maybe the part of advertising management. But, as things develop, we begin to talk to users, we want to go throwing these ideas and to establish this dialogue, but no, we don’t have a roadmap that says “Let’s do this, this and this”.

Engadget: Finally, something you want to clarify what they insist or explain the change?

Daniel: The main ideas are that both Ricardo and Benjami remain linked to the project, our intention is to make the management of what is not so that it works better, but what is already running will not change and it can think of creating new channels and new customization options but always optional to what already exists change what already exists.

Remo: For purposes of management and moderation of comments and all that, it is not that we get today. In particular, there is a part of the backoffice that we were already managing it, i.e. I was managing it and Digg not broken and users have not noticed any changes, do not have why to see it now. What is said of the fear to change the philosophy in favour of freedom of expression, to which us acobardemos by demand… We will continue with the same coverage as so far, that does not concern us. Well, yes we are concerned about because we will have a judgment than other almost sure (laughs), but is not an issue that we are going to give us back or take a step back from what has been done so now on Digg me.

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