As I expected, yesterday’s post regarding my thoughts on Digg becoming nothing more than a bad high school clique was a pretty big hit. Within 8 hours of submitting, it had received over 250 Diggs, was listed as the top upcoming story and, judging by the comments on Digg, was causing quite a stir.
It also disappeared for no apparent reason.
So, rather than be discouraged, I thought I’d pick up right where I left off and write another post on ways Digg has “jumped the shark,” which of course is in reference to the popular term (God, that made me sound so old) meaning where things started going downhill.
(As a side note, be sure to check out Jump The Shark. It’s a great waste of time.)
So, without further adieu, here are the Top 3 Ways Digg has Jumped the Share:
1) THE SHOUT SYSTEM
Before Digg sold out and added the shout system, submissions had to be discovered through either browsing Digg’s upcoming sections, or by checking out what your friends had submitted. Either way you found the story, you had to be actively searching for stuff to Digg.
When the shout system came along, all of this went out the window. Yes, you can still do your Digging the old fashioned way – but on top of that, you now have submissions being jammed down your throat by overzealous shouters. I know because I used to be one of them.
The shout system really goes against everything that Digg originally “stood for” because it has essentially done nothing but promote “blind Digging.” What I mean by this is you Digg a story not based on whether or not it was a good submission, or because you want to bookmark it for later reading, but simply because you’ve been asked to Digg the shout.
I’m sure there are a lot of Digg users who ignore most of their shouts, however, there are still plenty of users you try and shout everything that comes their way. This is probably based in the fear that if they don’t Digg, they’ll lose friends and be relegated to Digg’s black holes – after all, it’s widely believed that the best way to get submissions promoted is to not only add lots of friends, but the “right friends,” i.e. the power users.
This leads me to my next way Digg has jumped the shark –
2) BEFRIENDING THE POWER USERS
Full disclosure – I have no proof that any of Digg’s so called “power users” are doing anything wrong.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, it’s pretty obvious they (meaning the power users) have to be up to something fishy and/or in cahoots with Digg administrators. What else explains the fact that front page stories generally come from the same 25 or so users? I really can’t think of anything.
Since Digg was founded as and gained massive popularity for being a social site, shouldn’t the main social circle consist of more than the same 25 users? By allowing itself to become dominated by the power users – therefore moving away from its roots – the “Digg experience” has become an exercise in futility for a vast majority of everyday users.
Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t have any grand illusions that ALL of my submissions should hit the front page – however, I’d probably be a much more active user if I felt I stood a shot to get one up every once in a while.
3) GOING CORPORATE
One of the things that first, I guess for lack of a better word, attracted me to Digg was the fact that it was sort of a grass roots site, meaning as long as you submitted good content, you stood a shot of getting up on the front page. It didn’t matter if the submission was an article from CNN or if it was just some interesting post from a random blog – good content was good content.
Now, not only do the power users dominate the front page, but so too do the same websites. Cracked, Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Think Progress, Tech Crunch, NY Times, Time, Telegraph – these sites completely dominate the front page. Anything non-corporate doesn’t stand a chance, no matter how good the submission.
Again, I’m not saying that every Tom, Dick and Harry with a blog should get every submission up on Digg’s front page, but at the same time, if they a quality article is submitted from their site, shouldn’t it at least have a fighting chance?
Here’s what will happen next, if everything goes as I expect:
- I’m going to submit this to Digg, with an incendiary description
- It’s going to get other users like me riled up
- The submission will get over 300 Diggs
- The submission will then disappear never to see the light of day
- When I wake up and check my account tomorrow, it will have been suspended
So, on that note – happy Digging!