When new Digg owner Betaworks is finished with the social sharing websites image-heavy design users will likely not recognize what they discover.
The Digg team on Monday wrote of the redesign:
“The final version is close to complete. When you visit Digg.com later this week, you’ll find a beautiful, image-friendly, and ad-free experience.”
The Digg.com stories will be chosen by editors and chose stories will be based on shares via Facebook and Twitter.
Launching with a huge face lift on August 1st after a six-week hiatus the site will feature more space for bigger stories while some articles without photos will also be featured. According to the sites staff:
“Some stories are bigger and have more impact than others; some stories are actually components of other ones. Some stories can be told with text; others are best told through images.” read more
Remember when Digg.com was estimated by some analysts to be worth upwards of $200 million? Those days are long gone as New York incubator startup Betaworks announced on Thursday that it has purchased Digg for a measly $500,000.
Since launching in 2004 Digg has received more than $45 million in investor funds
On it’s blow Betaworks says Digg will fold into the News.me team. Betaworks also promises to “turn Digg back into a startup. Low budget, small team, fast cycles.”
Digg was once hailed as the future of the internet until Digg v4 was widely panned by critics and the sites most loyal users as a complete failure that confused some users and took away other favorite features used by devoted Diggers. After the release of V4 the website watched traffic plunge, lost much of its management structure and was forced to lay off half its staff. read more
Kevin Rose is reported to have already resigned from Digg the company he founded in 2004. The news comes after months of Rose’s lack of interesting in the Social News site as other projects eat up his attention and time. Rose nor Digg have issued an official statement on his supposed departure as sources close to TechCrunch say his departure happened very recently.
Kevin’s departure comes in the wake of continued user outrage over the new Digg redesign and a mass exodus of users to competing social site Reddit. Management decisions and disagreements between former Digg CEO Jay Adelson and Kevin led to a botched launch of Digg V4. During this time Kevin began experimenting with other startups.
TechCrunch’s sources also said Kevin Rose was closing a round of funding for a new startup he is working with. In recent years Kevin has shied away from Digg to lead a more active role in the startup scene. In mid 2007 during his prolonged absence from Digg, Kevin founded the microblogging service Pownce which was later sold to Six Apart.
At this time it is unknown which startup Kevin is a part of. It will be interesting to see the fate of Digg and whether Diggnation, a weekly Podcast that showcases the best stories on the Social news site will continue. We wish Kevin Rose the best of luck in his newest ventures.
While we watched Digg stumble from their perch in 2010 upon the release of their new interface, another popular social link sharing website Reddit, saw traffic numbers increase by more than 230% from January through December.
Reddit announced January 2010 pageviews of 250 million, while December pageviews brought in 829 million views. If you’re doing the math, that’s a 231.6% increase in just 12 months.
Adding insult to Digg injury, Reddit execs also announced that the average “time spent on site” stats have vastly improved, from 12 minutes and 41 seconds in January to 15 minutes and 21 seconds in December.
To put Reddit’s meteoric rise into perspective, Digg in July received 200 million pageviews with many indicators pointing to a shrinking user base that appears to be working in Reddit’s favor.
It also appears that Reddit growth has no plans of slowing, the company recently increased the number of servers they are running from 50 to 119, while memory capacity was bumped from 16TB to 48TB and delivery capacity was pushed form 10.1 trillion bytes to 44.4 trillion. read more
In an attempt to regain relevancy among the masses, Digg has announced that the company is bringing back the bury button to the celebration of Digg fans everywhere.
I am happy to announce that we’ve made a few changes to our story list design, including bringing back the bury button.
When burying a story, the story will remain visible with the ‘Buried’ label on top of it. Simply hover over the story and the label will hide so that you can continue interacting with the story. Note, you can still save or comment on stories that you’ve buried, but you can’t Digg something once you’ve buried it so make sure you use some discretion when burying. We’ve also removed the “Report” link from permalink pages. This was intentional, as burying a story also flags the story for review so our team can remove content that violates our terms of service. (Official Digg Blog)
The company also made a few more cosmetic changes making it easier to see who submitted stories as well as follow people without visiting their profile page thanks to the mini “hover window” that appears when your cursor rolls over the submitter’s link.
While it’s good to see the bury button return, only time will tell whether this change will pacify some of their hard core users, as well as help the company compete against its more social rivals like Twitter and Facebook (the latter who seems to have stolen most of Digg’s thunder).
In an attempt to revitalize their business and reverse their decline in fortunes, Digg has announced that their API (or Application Programming Interface for you non-geeks) will now enable developers to receive information in near real time.
Today we’re releasing a new API feature which we hope will ease the process of using Digg’s data, and also freeing developers to model and store the data however they want. As such, we’re excited to announce the Digg Streaming API.
If you’ve used Twitter’s Streaming API then you already understand the opportunity that awaits. If not, we’re pretty sure that if you spend a few minutes playing around with the API that you’ll find your curiosity sparked. (Official Digg Blog)
This is a big gamble for Digg, as the streaming API will probably increase expenses for the company at a time when they are still in the red (financially speaking).
However it could also help the company increase its user base (or at least retain its loyal following) by giving developers the tools to take full advantage of Digg which may result in some interesting third party apps in the future.
Despite the startup’s current misfortunes, Digg is still listed as one of the top 100 web sites in world (according to Quantcast), a position which Digg could leverage in order to attract an army of developers to help the company regain its former glory.
After relaunching Digg (to the fury of some users), CEO Matt Williams has just announced that Digg will be reducing headcount in an effort to reign in expenses.
We’ve been able to deliver nimbly on the new platform, with over 100 bug and feature releases to the web site in the past two months. Our Diggable ads product has seen a notable increase in use by advertisers and clicks by users.
Unfortunately, to reach our goals, we have to take some difficult steps. The fact is our business has a burn rate that is too high. We must significantly cut our expenses to achieve profitability in 2011. We’ve considered all of the possible options for reduction, from salaries to fixed costs. The result is that, in addition to lowering many of our operational costs, I’ve made the decision to downsize our staff from 67 to 42 people. (Official Digg Blog)
Hopefully this isn’t a sign of Digg’s demise, as the company still has potential despite being eclipsed by both Facebook and Twitter.
Digg currently is facing increased competition from smaller rivals like Reddit, the later who has been attempting to dethrone Digg (albeit unsuccessfully) for quite some time.
While Digg’s unique take on advertising shows promise, hopefully the company can come up with other revenue streams in order to achieve profitability.
Digg CEO Matt Williams practically went into hiding after the horrible release of Digg Version 4, but he’s emerged from that PR coma to say “sorry that we disappointed our Digg community in the process.” Williams has also promised to return popular features that users were angry to see leave.
The most requested feature for return the “bury” button will return as will profile data from earlier versions of the Digg system. Williams has also announced that the “Top News” algorithm will be updated.
Digg is stuck in a sticky situation, on the one hand, much of their “network shares” have relied on “legacy” users, who in many cases are holdovers since the company beta version of the website, while other new users expect to find new features that match a more streamlined social media system for 2010. Perhaps a “legacy” button which would allow users to switch to the type of profile they choose would be a better decision.
Williams has promised in his press statement to make things better by taking various approaches:
“Our top priority is to make Digg as good as it used to be. Then we plan to make it even better, through innovations in both Top News and My News.” read more
After previously relaunching their site, it looks as if predictions of Digg’s demise may have been preliminary at best, thanks in part to Digg’s heavy embrace of social networking.
Although locating friends on other social networks (like Twitter and Google) via Digg’s profile finder makes the site much easier to embrace, it seems as finding Facebook friends is “mysteriously” not working (at least for this author).
It seems the only way to discover ones Digg buddies is to log into Facebook itself, and viewing the Digg Facebook application directly.
While one could always chalk this up to more Digg bugs, Facebook has previously blocked Twitter when the micro blogging social network tried something similar, which makes one wonder if we are witnessing deja vu all over again.
Either way I’ve reached out to Digg regarding this issue, and if any users are experiencing similar problems (or can connect to Facebook) feel free to share your thoughts below.
Before Twitter captured our hearts and Facebook re-centered the social universe, there was Digg.
Getting on the front page of Digg was every bloggers dream, and no matter how many times they changed their algorithm (to the fury of users) it seemed that Digg was an unstoppable force that was here to stay.
Fast forward to the present and you do not see many sites prominently featuring Digg buttons anymore, with many replacing the once former champ with Twitter, Facebook like buttons or even Google Buzz.
Digg is attempting to reverse its present slide into irrelevancy by releasing a revamped version of the site (as shown below), but the question remains, “Is Digg still worth it?” read more