Yahoo pays people $150 to use Meebo, AOL pays people to use Netscape

Two web portals, figuring out new ways to hemorrhage money, are paying people to play on the Internet.

According to a thread at SlickDeals.net (one of those shopper forums), Yahoo is paying testers $150 to use online IM client Meebo exclusively for two weeks. Do I smell pre-acquisition testing in the works? Meebo would make a cute new addition to Yahoo's collection of Web 2.0 companies. Gotta catch 'em all!

Meanwhile, Netscape czar Jason Calacanis is biting the bullet and offering a thousand bucks a month to the top 50 users from Digg, Reddit, and other social sites. They just have to come do their thing at Netscape. These lucky defectors will be called "Netscape Navigators," which is like Cub Scouts only dorkier.

So in the first case, you get a pittance for using an unfamiliar IM client. In the second, you lose all your Digg friends and get a dorky title. And you thought there was nothing lamer than mining gold all day in World of Warcraft.

$150 For Im'ing For Two Weeks! [SlickDeals.net]
Paying the top DIGG/REDDIT/Flickr/Newsvine users [Calacanis.com]