Look at Digg Suck Corporate Dick

Kevin Rose on the cover of BusinessWeek.

this cover is cringe-worthy

Sure, perhaps I am being overtly dramatic here about Digg’s demise, but I personally will no longer use the site in the same way. I oscillated between digg and reddit, but now digg’s user face is too obnoxious and heartbreaking to look at, and the whole mainstream/corporate /algorithm problem is even more broken than it was before….

The new Digg has removed all of the unique aspects of the original product. What is left is horrid and depressing. It is no wonder Matt Van Horn left Digg when the new version went online.

I used to tell people I met on the street about digg. I would get excited – here was a democratic form of information gathering and media sharing. I would tell them of users submitting stories, with users voting for the stories, and based off the amount of votes that story got, the rest of the site would read it too. Everyone played a part.  I trusted the people on digg to filter out worthwhile, intelligent news stories. The digg user base had no corporate alliance, and no interest in twittering or facebooking news items, or the importance of those sharing numbers.

But enough about me… let’s give some tech writers some loving, shall we?

From Digitaltrends.com,  “New Digg Loses its Identity Further” by Ian Bell:

Tonight when I went to Digg.com, I immediately noticed that Mashable was promoted to the front page a total of ten times, and that was without scrolling down and hitting the load more button (which I am sure would reveal more Mashable links).

link includes video, and some great comments which include: “The founder of Mashable, Cashmere, wrote an article for CNN praising the new Digg and telling Rose to ignore all the complaints. Now you know why.”

“The new sorting algorithm is designed to give power-users and sponsors greater capability to reach the main page than before. The new Digg needs to be shut down”

“Kevin made the new digg just for mainstream sites! He doesn’t want independent sites on the front page now. He changed the algorithm so that it practicably ignores actual votes, and goes on how popular a site is (by seeing how many hits and shares it’s getting from other services) he doesn’t care what actual digg users are voting for, only what’s popular on mainstream sites! Mainstream sites just dump their RSS feeds into digg, and don’t worry about getting digg users to vote for them, because digg goes on how much traffic the site is already getting, putting popular articles on the front page.”

and, now that I’ve read all of them, all comments on that article are worth reading. You get a feel for the level of frustration and anger over the destruction of something some people used to hold sacred (myself included)

The removal of the upcoming stories tab was my main complaint…. and all the complaining must have gotten to Kevin Rose because the tab is coming back in a limited capacity: Rose said that the resurrected version of this page will not quite be the same, consisting only of “upcoming popular” stories. (I facepalmed here)

It has already been made evident that corporations/ mainstream websites can “spam” the social news aggregator to get on the front page, so what will stop them from dominating the “upcoming popular stories” section too?

From ReadWriteWeb, “Digg Responds to User Outrage: Upcoming Stories Will Return” by Chris Cameron:

There are still many lingering concerns for fans of Digg. While many contend that the new Digg plays into the hands of popular mainstream media outlets (the same outlets Digg was originally designed to circumvent) and takes away power from individual submitters and smaller sites, Rose says that all diggers are created equal.

Rose saying all “diggers are created equal” is ridiculous because every”digger” knows about “power users”. I will admit, I followed MrBabyMan as a digg user, but as any curious and weird watcher of  modern humans would do (or maybe that is just me).  Here is a man who is so in love with controlling and influencing the spread of information, that he is constantly on the site. For what? Did he really get money from websites to promote their content? Those rumors seem a little far-fetched. Maybe he did do it for the love of knowledge and news…

And while the presence of “power users” should have warned me that my naive perception of digg was a fantasy, I tolerated the likes of MrBabyMan because it was familiar: every where you go in life, there is always some popular person or “well-known person” getting their way, yielding power and influence that you don’t have and could never have. Besides the familiarity, the power users didn’t seem to have any corporate backings, again, making their rule somewhat tolerable. (Here are MrBabyMan’s thoughts on the new digg, again the comments section is worth checking out)

The new Digg now conveniently offers you up to these “power users” with a “recommended user” section… except those recommended users are actually websites??

And what is this talk of an “overly harsh activity ban“? How would that work, banning websites/publishers and power users for their excessive activity - (*ahem* Ebert on Twitter?). What if they really do just like sitting at home, reading Digg? And with this banning going on,  how would I  find stories NOT promoted by the former without a functioning “upcoming/latest stories” section? While banning might sound good in theory,  if you actually used the ban properly, you’d be banning all the people on your current front page, Mr. Rose.

Speaking of the current front page, here are the stories on the top of the front page:  Paris Hilton’s tweeting about Family Guy before she was arrested for cocaine (a post that should have been buried if the button was still around), a post sponsored by Threadless advertising a sale, and a link to a Best of Craigslist, which doesn’t EVEN TAKE YOU TO AN ACTUAL WEBSITE, just a relinking. The real article is here, on Nerve.com.

You know who is not sucking corporate dick right now? Reddit. (digg also linked to that conde nast/ pro-pot reddit story, and you can see Digg censoring user complaints in the comment thread.)

Perhaps Reddit can fulfill my silly notions of a democratic news aggregator site after all?

About these ads

3 Comments on “Look at Digg Suck Corporate Dick”

  1. Aly says:

    Fruzsina– Great analytical breakdown and written from the perspective of a user who knows the product. I dig this with one ‘g’

    -Aly


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 78 other followers