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Power Diggers React To New Version of Digg (video)
Yesterday the big news wasn’t that Lindsay Lohan is out of rehab. The real news was that the new version of the social news site Digg launched to the public. Alex from Next Web has an overview of the new Digg. While I don’t use Digg much anymore, it was interesting to see how much of Digg seems to be just like Twitter. From using the “following/followers” terminology to the addition of a default list (aka Suggested User List), it seems like Digg wants to be the “Twitter for News”.
Maybe I never noticed it but it appears that you can now submit a RSS feed and every story you post will automatically be posted to Digg. Many of the accounts I looked at yesterday are setup with this auto-post function.
If we can get serious for a minute, the Suggested User List is what made twitter hit the big time – period. And Digg wants to follow the same pattern hoping the default list will help them regain a strong position in the new technology market. Not surprisingly, Mashable has about 30 feeds on the default technology list and “friends” also take up a lot of the tech list similar to how the Twitter list was/is crafted while I don’t see any of the power diggers (these are the users who spend many hours a day finding stories to post and share on Digg) like Muhammad Saleem on the list. Lastly, if you look closely, most of the “friends” are just scraped RSS feeds.
Most blog posts I read regarding the new Digg launch ended with a question about whether this new version will help Digg regain the buzz and attention they had several years ago.
Last night I listened to the Drill Down podcast which brings together several of the top power Digg users to discuss popular tech stories from the previous week.
The Drill Down podcast includes several Digg users who get the most stories to the frontpage – Mr. Babyman, Muhammad Saleem and JD Rucker. It’s interesting to hear the group get so fired up about the new Digg. From what I can tell, it looks like the Digg team didn’t include these users in the feedback process while building the new version.
Muhammad talks candidly in the video about his take on the new Digg site. If you use Digg or plan to use Digg, you should listen to Muhammad’s comments. Muhammad uses the word “bullshit” a lot in his commentary.
And the Digg team should also listen to Muhammad’s comments as many are very good suggestions for improvement – for example, he notes that pagination is gone and now works like Twitter. So if you click “load more stories” and then click refresh, you lose your place on the page.
One comment I had immediately which the power diggers also noted is that the timestamp for stories has been removed. My take is that they removed the time stamp so that stories can hit the frontpage anytime – this will help Digg push the publishers they need to without worry about the supposed former 24-hour timeframe.
A lot of the conversation centers around mainstream media vs. indies. Clearly the Suggested User List pushes mainstream media and a few Digg friends. The podcast hosts discuss whether small and/or medium publishers will ever see success with the new Digg.
The group did agree that the new Digg site loads faster. I would add that the site has a crisp look and seems very responsive.
Mr. Babyman suggests that if you are a publisher you don’t use the RSS scraper function and instead be selective about what you publish to Digg. There is no way that will happen – publishers won’t care about what a user sees – only about the potential of a traffic burst from Digg.
Here’s part one of the Drill Down podcast from last night – jump to 42:30 for the beginning of the new Digg discussion. And check out part II for the balance of the discussion.
For more about Digg, check out my look from April regarding the two things Digg has left.