Digg is dead (and it dug it's own grave)

Remember the Digg effect? It was the second major moniker for a tidal wave of traffic (the Slashdot effect was first).

The tidal wave was caused, of course, by a massive community that shared links. When one became popular and reached the home page, thousands upon thousands of surfers would flood a website … resulting in much the same effect as the barbarian hordes descending on Rome: servers would melt down in flames.

In response, of course, everyone who wanted traffic and thought that sort of disaster was a nice problem to have put the Digg button on their site … one of the first (after Technorati, I think) social sharing buttons on the web.

However, after multiple community upheavals, redesigns, and months of dithering, Digg’s traffic dropped significantly last year. And it isn’t coming back.

Which was fairly obvious from this:

This is just a random TechCrunch post, but see the numbers:

  • Digg: 5 diggs
  • Twitter: 818 tweets
  • Facebook: 167 likes
  • Google Buzz: 100 shares

Only 5 diggs!

In other words, Digg is increasingly less relevant. As site owners notice and start to remove it from their preferred social bookmarking buttons, this will only increase.

RIP Digg. You dug the hole.


2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I have to agree. Digg used to be a fun site and had a pretty unique niche user base. They kept trying to inject stories covered by places like Google, Yahoo, AOL news and have since become an also-ran. They also started to focus on major sites (places people already visited) – so those older unique gems just weren’t showing up anymore. All the passion just fizzled…

    Nowadays (and a return to basics), a user does much better managing their on RSS feed or visiting niche sites that do a better job of covering one’s interest.

    The real shame is that they’ve done precious little to change this.

  • I also agree. I was one of the first among the masses that deserted Digg. They totally dug their own grave. First, they let crafty people become “power users” whose posts stood about a 1000X greater chance than an ordinary user’s to become popular. They never made clear exactly what these power users were doing right. And some of these elite users, often registered just weeks or months before, were obvious propagandists for right-wing causes and various multi-death corporations. It really made one wonder just where the politics of the owners/managers lay. However, a large chunk of the user base was actually politically progressive (i.e. lefties), and they worked hard trying to use the Digg effect to get their various progressive causes noticed by the larger world. To do this, they groomed their friend lists with gusto.

    The beginning of the end for Digg came when they eliminated the friend list functions, essentially tossing shit in the faces of past loyal users. Many of the johnny-come-lately “power users” were pleased and the top page soon looked like the top page of a typical tabloid site. But the rot had set in. Just look at the Digg top page now; it is an absolute joke. What a waste. I hope others do learn a lesson from this sad story.

    Here’s the lesson: people catch on to bullshit.