Towards Digg 3.0, A True Digg-Nation

The fake gate at the entrance of our school for the Christmas concert on the 22nd of December 2006. Taken during the Christmas concert on the 22nd of January 2007 with a Nikon D200 and a 18-35mm lens. Part of the Christmas Concert Series.

In this article, we examine the impact of the new features launched by digg recently and what they need to do to change market arenas and move forward in the next few months. Also we examine what Calacanis has been doing with Netscape’s memedigger.

Digg has launched new features to their site with the digg stack and the digg swarm. They are interesting features, but are they relevant to consulting and reading stories?

From what has been shown, they are entertaining and digg labs will probably be a good platform to launch new and emerging features that digg will want to include in future versions. Will users consult the swarm and the stack instead of the main digg page? No, but they will be curious what this will show and it itself, that was reason enough to come up with these new features.

Even if digg has revamped itself, it still needs to polish a few areas of digg 2.0 before moving into its next iteration.

Digg is one of the original memediggers, following right after slashdot. With its ease of use, interesting stories and membership, it made for an interesting meeting place of people and communities.

By now, most bloggers are aware that 60% of the front page topics are controlled by a core group of 0.03% of digg members, also referred to the digg mafia. Even if these numbers have changed over the last few months since this story was breached, it is still relevant.

It is not unreasonable to assume that most memediggers follow the same line of reasoning and function. Sure, their might be attempts to moderate this type of behaviour, but all in all, it becomes very difficult to do so when confronted with users who:

A) Have the time

B) Have the will

To do this and to pursue doing this the way they have been. Calacanis from the new Netscape’s memedigger has tried to parse this by appointing Netscape Anchors and Netscape Navigators. Hierarchially, the Navigators work for the Anchors and are in concept just power users, similar to the digg mafia. Will this level of control be enough?

From what has been made available, Netscape Navigators are on staff and paid as employees, whereas Netscape Anchors get a 1000$ a month salary for their contributions. It is an interesting proposal, and it is possible that some power users will be convinced to join Calacanis and Netscape, but will it be the right ones? Will it be members of the digg mafia?

If we examine the reasoning behind these precepts, it is easy to see that most people involved with IT are somewhat anti-authority and have problems dealing with it. Most of them are fiercely independent and will probably resent the proposol. But like it was mentioned, it is quite possible that some will be attracted by the promise of salaries and contributions that they might not be able to get through digg.

What this means is that the digg mafia is able to willingly or unwillingly control ad revenues and traffic by deciding what is “lame” and what is “hot” in their minds.

Calacanis has said that digg will be sold to Yahoo within the next 12 months. And we think he is right. From the last numbers that have been published, for digg to become even more relevant to a larger audience in the blogosphere, they will have to be sold or drastically change their business model. Yahoo is #1, and digg needs their expertise to popularize their engine and philosophy.

They have tried to market themselves to new people by adding channels and new topics, however it isn’t proven how well this will work. Will it alienate current users because of the more mainstream aspect of this philosophy? Or will the addition of these features mark a move into the mainstream blogosphere. Currently, digg is around the #107 most popular site on the web and Yahoo is #1.

Also, there are a lot of new memediggers available now, so competition is getting fiercer. Reddit is innovating by adding subreddits quickly. Subreddits are like channels specific to certain areas of news, from nytimes, lipstick, nsfw, the slate and more subreddits have appeared over the last few weeks.

Yahoo has already added del.icio.us to their roster and we have already examined the important of social bookmarking in the modern blogosphere.

By adding a successful existing memedigger to their repertoire, Yahoo is preempting Google. And to stay on top of their game, they will have to preempt Google in a bid way.

If digg is bought by Yahoo, they will possess the means to

A) Find new stories

B) Bookmark them through their services

Which is in effect combining successfully social bookmarking and memedigging.

 

Conclusion

To stay relevant and to continue progressing forward in their expansion, digg needs either to innovate new trends in the coming weeks and modify their business model somewhat or become an aquired by either Yahoo or Google to reach a new audience. A bold move would be if Yahoo added them to their roster of companies.
If it does not, it becomes a possibility that digg will be lost within the ocean of new memediggers that have appeared in the last few months.

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ranjitwithkinginbehand.jpgI'm Range, your host. On the menu, photos, art, stories, entertainment and reviews. Links, maths, education and social issues. I'm in Quebec (Canada) or Taiwan (R.O.C.). Follow me on Twitter.

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