Time heals wounds, right? Unfortunately, the time since Digg was at its peak in mid-2010 until now has not been enough time for me to really let it go. They had something wonderful growing in social media and I was a part of it. The demise of the site still stings today.
I put together a piece that spilled my social media heart out on the table. While I wanted to post it here, this is a venue for positive growth in social media today and tomorrow, so reminiscing about what might (should) have been doesn’t go here. Still, it had to be written, so I put it on Medium. If you want to check it out, here’s a snippet:
There has never been a social media site that acted more like a meritocracy than the old Digg.com. It required true talent at both finding the content and “gaming the system” to become a power user. Only a few hundred people in the world mastered it.
There’s something about infographics that make claims based on perspectives and opinions rather than facts. This infographic from MyLife does just that and tries to list the top 10 failed social media sites.
The newly re-designed MySpace has been in beta for some time now, which only allowed those who requested access, permission to use it. That is until now. MySpace has gone public, Timberlake Style. It is fully open to everyone, allowing users to sign-up using Twitter, Facebook, or an Email sign-in and granting all of us access to start experimenting with its new features.
Facebook has become so entrenched as the social media leader, it’s difficult to imagine any new threats emerging…but what about old threats? What about long forgotten ancients, stirring from their slumber and rising from the sea to reclaim their throne? In the world of social media this may be happening right now.
What about Myspace?
Well, it turns out sexy isn’t the only thing Justin Timberlake is bringing back.
I told Kevin Rose that he made a huge mistake with Digg v4 a couple of days after launch. He Tweeted some snide remark about how he’d built such a large site and dismissed the warning.
I told Matt Williams shortly after he took over that he had to get extremely aggressive if his site had any chance of surviving. He and his team stayed conservative to the bitter end.
As progressions go, I had expected to offer some meaningless after-the-fact advice to the new owners of Digg once they launched “V1″. Unfortunately, I have no advice to give. It seems that in 6 weeks of development they managed to obliterate the site beyond repair.
In short, Digg is officially dead.
Had they just completely given up, moved all of the content to a WordPress blog, and tossed some adsense in the sidebar, they would have been better off. Here’s why.
Millions of Pages Crying Out in Terror…
“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.” ~ Obi-Wan Kenobi
There is only Digg.com now. All of the content, all of those highly ranked pages in Google, all of the accounts with years of records and service to the site – gone. They weren’t even redirected. They’re now just a blank 404 page.
This in itself is arguably the dumbest move in the history of websites. Despite the decline in recent years, Digg still received a good amount of traffic from search. Google ranked the pages well on many topics and it was a trusted source with inbound and outbound links that met perfectly with what Google wanted.
This was the one great asset that Digg still held. It was wiped clean, presumably irreversibly today. Nearly 20 million pages. Lost. Forever.
Users? What Users?
If you had a Digg account, you don’t anymore. Nobody does. You have a Facebook or a Twitter account and that’s all that Digg recognizes.
From New Digg’s perspective, those of you who spent years of your life contributing content, comments, Diggs, and buries – you are worthless trash that has no place on their site. The friends you made – better find them on other networks. Digg isn’t a social network. It isn’t a social media site. It isn’t even really a social news site anymore. “Submitting” is meaningless. If you want to “submit” to Digg, you’d better get your Twitter account ready.
We’ve posted dozens of stories today to Digg without a single one making it into the upcoming section. If you think it’s because of human moderation, think again. We’ve seen stories in different languages make it. We’ve seen Reddit.com make it. Even “Pain Control” made it.
It’s Techmeme with Pictures
The closest approximation we’ve seen so far is that it’s like a mini-Techmeme. You Tweet tips to them. They pick top stories weighed against a makeshift algorithm. They favor mainstream media sites.
We love Techmeme, but we don’t need another one. For general topics, there’s already Google News which seems to be more up-to-date.
No, It’s Not Too Early
Those who will cry, “Give them a chance” or “They just got started” probably haven’t seen the complete scope of Digg’s obliteration. They didn’t just come in and “rethink” Digg as they claimed they were going to do. They did everything they could to destroy it. V4 for the last 2 years was bad but it had a few redeeming qualities. Betaworks has come in and removed the last remnant of what made Digg good.
We were hopeful. We expected bad but kept a positive outlook. The blog post about what Digg was going to become seemed to have some good ideas. This is worse than we could have imagined.
So long, old friend.
As a fitting note, the top story in upcoming right now tells the sentiment that many feel right now:
The article can end right there. The point is made and few will argue. Unfortunately, I can’t stop.
After doing some research into the history of MySpace I realized something – it’s totally the fault of News Corp that the once-mighty social networking pioneer is going to be sold for parts in the coming months, maybe even weeks. We won’t go into the changes (or lack thereof) nor will we look at the commitment (or lack thereof) that News Corp put into MySpace. This was a huge squandering of something powerful and potentially beautiful.
MySpace has been freeing up some “space” with plans of firing 47% of its staff, this seems like a clear sign of its final stages towards its demise.
MySpace’s current owner NewsCorp, may be looking to sell this sinking social network this coming June, first sign of this is firing 500 of its employees for a reconstruction by entering with local partnerships in the UK, Germany and Australia to manage advertising and content.
A new segment of the Social Blade Show was launched this week. The “Social Blitz” portion of the show goes over some of the news from the week in social media in a short, overview-based report. Here’s the first. What do you think?
So, you’re not sold. You still believe that sites like Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace are passing fads that will fall to oblivion by 2010. While I do believe that some sites will come and go, grow and dissolve, there is zero doubt that social media as a whole will continue to grow to the point that it encompasses most of our daily interactions.
It is ever-becoming a more important part of our lives. This video below puts it all into perspective. Thanks to @murnahan for showing it to me and @equalman for making it. Great stuff.