These days I can't go through any news aggregating sites without seeing at least 1 or 2 stories about Digg. The social news site has been stirring up a lot of controversy lately, check out this list:
- algorithm updates
- admission of moderators
- stories reaching the front page with just one "digg"
- banning of top tech bloggers
- services popping up aiming at gaming digg's system
- digg's CEO overstated its traffic numbers
- digg issues cease & desist to DiggDot.us
And that's just a small bit, some other influential bloggers have been questioning where digg's going an the quality of stories being put out there. The entire "mob rule" is being placed into question, especially in light of how John Chow's blog has been banned from digg submissions. Take a gander at these recent blog posts from more well known blogger's in the industry:
- BusinessWeek's Rob Hof: Shoveling on Digg
- Robert Scoble: Digging on Digg
- Tailrank's tracking a whole list of discussions on this
- Danny Sullivan's Digg vs. News Traffic Case Study
- Dissing digg....Why? (GigaOm)
- Andy Beal's Marketing Pilgrim: Bribe a Moderator and Get On Digg
- Google Blogoscoped: Kevin Rose & Digg on Moderation
- Steve Rubel's Micropersuasion
I really see digg's audience changing from the technology and geek readers and branching out and attracting mainstream readership. I read and hear a lot about professionals in our industry having their stories "dugg" but then the discussions that happen on the threads show the total lack of knowledge of the area the article speaks to. It is not saying that the "diggerz" are dumb or stupid, they really are just lacking the in-depth day in and day out knowledge the technology and search industry professionals have.
As new "diggerz" come into the fold the more it annoys and drives away the early adopters. Not necessarily those who "digg" lots of stories, but more the folks who read the stories. Both Rob Hof and Scoble point out they are opting out of the feeds from digg, as the stories being submitted are no longer of much value to them. This is just how services who have been in the "geek realm" change when they reach the mainstream, an evolution, it changes and morphs once the mainstream populace gets a hold of it.
As digg courts investors or potential buyers (such as News Corp.), this "mainstream" reach helps to up the value of digg, so who can blame Kevin Rose for leading digg in a new direction? Don't worry though, I'm sure Venture Beat or Tech Crunch will find us another internet darling that us geeks can become early adopters of.