Digg Starts The New Year Stagnant [Updated]

Update: Not only is Digg back, it’s back with a vengeance. Stories are flying on at ludicrous speed. It was likely a bottleneck of promoted stories that weren’t appearing on the Top News section due to some coding change. Things look like they’re about back to normal now.

There has been hope building up surrounding Digg.com for a few weeks now. Changes are rolling in nicely. Traffic seems to be steady and on the verge of climbing. Spam is all but gone.

Today, a good chunk of that progress is overshadowed by the most stagnant homepage in, well, forever.

19 stories have been promoted to the top new section in the last 24 hours. Compared to the glory days of V3 when 90-140 would be promoted on a slow day, this doesn’t speak well for the struggling social news site.

[Read more...]

Leo Laporte Changes His Digg Feed, Starts to “Get It”

Over the last week there has been a lot of criticism aimed at Digg.com and some of the publisher accounts and celebrities who are getting their news to the Top News section of Digg ahead of higher-quality content. Leo Laporte has been at the center of much of the criticism as his Google Buzz updates and podcasts have flooded the front page over the last week.

Mr Laporte, I owe you some kudos.

Today, Laporte switched his feeds of podcasts and Google activity to his Delicious feed. While this may not seem as natural as manual submissions, it’s a huge step in the right direction as he must actively bookmark stories to his Delicious account for them to appear on the page.

In other words, he is manually vetting and selecting stories that he finds interesting rather than feeding everything that Leo likes about Leo.

The result? A digging and submitting pattern much closer and more manual than anything other major recommended accounts are doing. Did Leo Laporte just go from public enemy #2 (sorry, Reddit is still #1) to hopefully the trendsetter that other major accounts should follow? We’ll see soon enough.

The Digg Debacle in One Graph

6 publishers and 1 “celebrity” have controlled the Digg Top News section for the past 3 days. This story over at Media Caffeine called Digg: The Broken Covenant (aka Selling Out to “The Man”) gives a clear indication that the shortcomings of Digg v4 go well beyond the bugs, beyond the fake positive press, and beyond the end of content curation.

It’s uglier than we thought.

The New Digg: A Shift in the Balance of Power

In lieu of getting into a debate about political analogies, I will make one clear statement: Digg has never been a true democracy and the new Digg does not change this.

What “The New Digg” does do is redistribute the power that is currently in the hands of hundreds of users and a couple dozen websites and divides that power to more websites and much, much fewer users.

“But wait! I thought the new Digg would make it to where everyone’s Digg is counted equally? I thought every user will have the power that was unlawfully taken from them by power users.”

On the contrary, the new Digg will make many current “power users” impotent while opening the doors for 2 new breeds of power users. I will detail them below by breaking them into the 3 branches of Digg government. [Read more...]