Digg, Dug, Done
I've tried to like the new Digg, I really did, and I'm here to tell you that it's awful.
I didn't like the Digg beta. But, then, I thought, "It's a beta, they're often rotten." So I waited for the new version, Digg 4 to be released. I didn't like that either. But then I thought, "Well, I'm just not used to it. I'll wait a bit." So, about two weeks later, I think I've given the new Digg a fair chance and, folks, it's awful.
I deliberately avoided reading all of the "The new Digg is awful" stories. I also didn't even bother to look at competing social bookmarking sites like Reddit for Digg news. I knew Reddit fans would hate it. One sample Reddit comment sums their view of Digg up nicely, "The new digg is embarassingly bad."
After due consideration, I have to agree. Digg gained its popularity as one of the first social news sharing sites. The idea was that users would pick the 'best' stories on the Internet by their votes. Of course, any public voting system like Digg can be gamed by people with an ax to grind, and it was ... over and over again.
That said, Digg, Reddit, and the other bookmarking sites at least give users the illusion that they were calling the shots on what was good and what wasn't. Both sites, and their less well-known counterparts like DZone for developers, try to let the 'people' decide on what's good and what isn't.
Well, that was the case with Digg anyway. Now, and this is what has killed my interest in it, users really have almost nothing to do with what becomes 'popular' on Digg. While individuals can still try to place stories, their voices are buried underneath automatically placed stories by both minor and major publishers.
Making this even worse is that if there's a way to get the word out now on Digg that you've just placed a new, interesting story on it, or you've just found a good one that was promoted by someone else, I'll be darned if I know what it is. And, folks, I know something about how to use social networks. If I can't figure it out, I don't see anyone else doing much better.
There is a whole laundry list of other complaints I could make about the new Digg. I dislike no longer having an upcoming news page; I dislike having my favorites vanishing into the ether; I hate the over-broad categories, and without a "bury" or "dislike" option I can't try to get rid of garbage stories. All that said and done though my real problem is that Digg is dead.
Digg is no longer in any way, shape, or form a site where the users get a vote. It's become simply a really dumb RSS feed Web site. I can do a better job of looking for news I might care about from Google News; directly from the news sites; Twitter, for breaking news; or Reddit. Digg? Forget about it. I doubt the site will last until the end of 2011.