Muhammad Saleem posted an article on Techcrunch.com that goes over 9 different reasons on why the Digg story sells. Muhammad makes a series of points that I agree helped to propel Digg.com to success. However, the golden days of Digg.com are long gone.
One of the biggest reasons why Digg became successful was that it provided individuals with the opportunity to govern the site. By way of democracy, users choose which articles were submitted to the site, what made it to the front page, which new features should be implemented, ect. What a novel concept this was in the beginning. Fast forward to today and what do we have?
Digg is now controlled by the majority of users who just so happen to be Apple fanboys, who just happen to be Linux fanboys, who just happen to be political nut cases. Occasionally, you will see an article reach the front page that doesn’t fit in these three categories, but for the most part, these three categories run the roost. At one time, it was ok to submit Digg articles that were housed on blogs. Nope, you can’t do that anymore because the majority of Digg users frown on blogs and consider all blogs to be internet trash.
Digg used to be an awesome place where you could browse the front pages and check out some of the coolest things on the web that you normally wouldn’t of found on your own. In recent months, it would appear as though the majority of your front page articles on Digg.com come from reputable, major news publication websites. What a drag.
Don’t mention the commenting that takes place on these Digg articles. Every conversation on Digg.com turns into another pile of crap. However, I will admit that I usually read the comments before I actually visit the article that was dug and this may be the reason why my IQ has been getting lower.
Digg became a success because it was one of the first sites of it’s kind that provided users with the decision making capabilities. It was also built from the ground up from a guy that was on TechTV who generated quite the following. Of course, you either love Kevin Rose or you hate the guy. Truth be told, thousands of folks jumped on the Digg bandwagon simply because Kevin Rose was behind the idea. (Pownce is another classic example). It’s also a success because of the amazing amount of traffic that one could receive if you just so happen to publish an article that was graced by the hands of the Digg gods. (Top Diggers). Every blogger along with mainstream media embedded digg buttons, hoping anyone out their who thought the content was worth a damn would digg it. Think about all of the DIGG THIS buttons that are across the net. What an amazing advertising campaign that turned out to be, and Digg didn’t have to spend a dime.
With all that being said, many of the things that made Digg successful are also the things that are dragging the service down. Digg is run by crowds of vocal people. So vocal in fact, that if you put the words Microsoft Sucks or Apple or Linux into your post title, you’re guaranteed a front page spot on Digg. It doesn’t matter if the story is nothing more than a rumor. Because of these insanely vocal crowds, regular users visit Digg.com and are constantly bombarded with these types of news stories.
The bottom line is this. Digg WAS great, now it SUCKS. Do yourself a favor and create an RSS feed that aggregates stories submitted to Digg with the keywords you configure so you rarely have to visit the Digg.com site itself. Let the (lack of wisdom) Digg crowd work for you, not against you. Thats the motto of Kevin Rose and so far, it’s proven to be a good business model.