Remember Digg? For a brief period in 2008, Digg was the hottest site on the Internet. If your link got to the front page (a feat that became basically impossible when power users eventually took over the site), you were guaranteed enough traffic to crash even some of the best servers. Google offered to buy the site for a reported $200 million back in 2008, and Digg founder Kevin Rose turned the offer down. Digg recently sold for just $500,000, chump change in the tech world.
What ultimately hammered the final nail into Digg’s coffin was the site’s infamous Digg v4 redesign. Following this change, the users fled the site in what is perhaps the single greatest exodus in Internet history. The truth is that Digg was already bleeding users (to competing sites like Reddit, which is still a powerhouse today) prior to this redesign and Digg v4 just accelerated the inevitable.
Today, Digg has relaunched with the confusingly-named Digg v1 (how v1 comes after v4 is up to you to figure out, I suppose). The site now looks much cleaner–some might even say that it looks downright good–but it offers little in the way of compelling new features.
Gone are the power users. In fact, user accounts are gone altogether. Facebook and Twitter accounts are now required to use the site. In fact, the site appears to have turned in to nothing more than a aggregation of embedded Tweets. Not exactly a radical new business model.
Essentially, the new Digg is a glorified paper.li site. An expensive one (even at $500,000, it’s a lot more than the free service that paper.li offers), for sure, and one that sounds like it doesn’t even work–people brave enough to try to use the new site are reporting that nothing they submit even shows up on the upcoming stories tab, let alone the front page.
Digg v1 isn’t worth a second look, not a real conclusion to this article. So, back to Reddit for me.