The New Digg is Terrible

Digg has been updated as of August 1, and the new Digg is simply terrible. There were a lot of directions that Digg might have taken as part of its revival, presumably a direction inspired somewhat by Reddit. However, Betaworks (the new owners of Digg) have gone in precisely the wrong direction.

Here are some of the major changes present in the new Digg:

Editor Driven Front Page

The first change is that the frontpage is now full of editor chosen content rather than the content that scores well. It would be one thing to simply edit out content that was clearly spam, but picking and choosing is a major mistake.

No More User Profiles

The second and most critical change is that user profiles are now essentially gone and have been replaced with a system that links Social Media accounts to the site. In other words, you link your Facebook or Twitter account to the site and can then submit content. Furthermore, instead of content being voted up or down there is a combined system in which you can thumbs up content and the amount of social media coverage that piece of content has received is used to calculate the rank of the article. The major problem here is that Google is already a system of providing information relative to searches which takes into account social media popularity.

No More Commenting

The third drastic change is that commenting directly on articles is gone. Now, instead of there being commenting on the website itself it seems users will need to comment on the articles. While this change is probably a boon for content creators as users will return visit to their sites rather than to Digg, it certainly does not help Digg’s situation. The developers have apparently stated that commenting is planned, but it is certainly not present at launch.

Conclusion

It seems, for the moment, that Digg is finally and completely dead. Of course the site could surprise everyone and make an unexpected and remarkable recovery, but it seems exceedingly improbable. The thing with sites like Digg is that they are social sites that are meant to undermine traditional forms of media. Whether this is for the best is an altogether different debate, but it remains the nature of the beast and attempting to work against it is a doomed enterprise.

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