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Digg Fades

March 19, 2011 10:37:34.539

The whole genre of sites such as Digg seems to be fading. Reddit is suffering a brain drain, and over at Digg, even the founder doesn't use it much. Computerworld explains why:

Getting on the front page of Digg was everything, because the site's millions of users used to read the front page like it was the morning paper. The early movers who collected a lot of friends were able to get even more friends by getting on the front page. A Digg aristocracy emerged. Influence on Digg became a winner-take-all system, with the majority locked out of meaningful participation.

Which made it not terribly different than any arbitrary news site - editors promote stories either way, it's just that the Digg system involved a more ad hoc set of editors who had self selected at some point in time. Even if you posted a story before one of the editors did, you just wouldn't get the votes - they would. That drives a kind of "meh, why participate" mindset, which in turn closes the circle of participation even more. Rinse repeat a few times, and you effectively have an old style writer/editor cycle.

Their handling of messaging just exacerbated things; follow the link for that bit. At the end of the day, I think Facebook became what Digg could have been.

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posted by James Robertson

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