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Digg Seeks Salvation

Posted on 7.06.2010

Several weeks ago, I proclaimed that Digg is Deadd. So, when I received an invite to alpha test the new Digg.com, I decided to conduct my own post-mortem. Here's what I found.

When first logging in to the new Digg.com, you are met with the call-to-action of "Find Profiles to Follow," sortable by category. Likely, many brands have yet to sign on, because the selection is relatively thin and still tilted heavily toward "tech." And they are almost all major brands or social media celebrities. Immediately, these accounts will have an edge on the new Digg.

You are then asked to import your friends and contacts from other websites including Google, Twitter and Facebook.

Noticing a trend?

The new Digg is all about who you know. Your home page will feature stories submitted by those you follow and on the right side of the page are stories voted on by your new Digg friends. Gone is the home page of the most Dugg stories by the public. That is, unless you click a button at top left where you can view the classic Digg home page.

Digg's attempt to personalize the site is in direct response to it's most often criticized component - the ability for the few, most powerful Digg members to manipulate what content was featured on the home page; therefore sending a deluge of traffic to the fortunate few and rendering the site all but useless to the rest. But even this attempt at personalization has a fatal flaw - it too, can be manipulated. In fact, it already is. The immediate recommendations of accounts to follow ensures that many users' personal feeds will be chock full of large publishers' stories. Naturally, the more followers an account has, the more votes their stories will receive. And it gets worse. The new Digg allows RSS feeds to be imported. So, whenever a publisher posts new content to their feed, it will appear on Digg in your stream. Follow CNN and you can expect your "personal" feed to quickly become crowded, leaving less room for those personalized stories.

Of course, your choice of who to follow is just that - your choice. However, the basic problem of "who you know" (or don't know) is still prevalent on the new site. The most active and best networkers are the ones who will benefit the most. In other words, spend an inordinate amount of time with the site and you might see some benefits. Which presents yet another choice ...

For my money (and time) Digg is simply Done. I never received the value commensurate with the time I spent on the site in the first place. And I don't see anything new or innovative that makes me think anything will change. Since leaving Digg over a year ago, my efforts have been rewarded in other places - like Facebook, Twitter and developing my e-mail subscriber base. These are my "real" friends. These are the people with whom I have developed a meaningful relationship. And because they have committed to me, I will not abandon them in pursuit of failed promises of the past.

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