"I would like to deny that Fark will be sold for $750 million. I cannot confirm talks at this time. I also cannot confirm that Jason Calacanis has sex with sheep." That's what Drew Curtis, the acid-tongued, whip-smart founder of Fark, a social-news site which competes with Digg, emailed me after reading our rumor of the impending sale of his rival for $300 million. Curtis is obviously dismissive of the mooted Digg valuation. And I've heard lots of scoffing on that number — both ways. It tends to fall in an obvious pattern: East Coasters think $300 million is way too high, and West Coasters think it's way too low. Compete's Jay Meattle crunches the numbers and finds arguments for both sides.
Digg's user base is two-thirds the size of Facebook's, which just garnered an investment from Microsoft valuing the company at $15 billion. On the other hand, Digg's users are much less active on the site. Advertisers are ultimately buying users' attention, and whether measured by pageviews or time spent on the site, Digg falls short. Still, with an audience that has grown sevenfold in a year, and investors desperately looking for a home for their cash, Digg surely will be sold based on a buyer's future hopes, not present reality.